Webtrends Acquires Transpond: Analytics, Meet Apps
The burning question on many a web analyst’s mind today is likely…Who is Transpond? That’s the question I asked when I first learned of Webtrends’ plan to acquire the San Francisco based application development platform vendor.
Today the acquisition closed and word is out. At first glance, this may sound like a left turn for web analytics and perhaps it is. But in my mind it’s an interesting acquisition that’s headed in a positive direction. It also demonstrates that Webtrends isn’t afraid to make bold moves and assert its innovative position in the social analytics realm.
Transpond was founded in 2007 as iWidgets, back when widgets were all the rage (here’s a view from the Wayback Machine). The company got off the ground with a $4M investment in early 2009, but found that they were limited by their chosen iWidgets moniker and went through a rebranding exercise in the Summer 2009 to become Transpond. All the while, they’ve been providing application development tools for companies to build and deliver apps on mobile devices like the iPhone or Android, web platforms like Facebook and even TV apps for connected televisions. Transpond offers do-it-yourself development of applications such as quizzes, polls, games and interactive commerce for distribution across multiple digital channels. They also provide development support if you’re looking for some expert dev resources to really make your apps sing. Under the new ownership of Webtrends all of these capabilities will be folded into the Webtrends Apps offering and presumably reporting will become available within the Webtrends Analytics 9 interface.
What’s in it for Webtrends?
So, you may be asking yourself, why is Webtrends interested in this company? Well, the way I see it, Webtrends is tuned into the fact that more and more organizations are developing content that will live and breathe off-site. That is, apps that are not contained within your primary web presence. Whether it’s on a mobile phone, Facebook or the next new platform, users are interacting with your content and each other off-site. That’s a domain that web analytics has traditionally not been able to capture without some fancy footwork because most web analytics solutions rely on tracking contained within the pages of your primary web sites. While tracking within apps is not new either, this acquisition opens up the possibility of integrating behavior with applications that exist off your site into the data soup that is digital analytics. It’s really a logical extension of the analytics technology.
Why is this Cool?
What’s also really appealing about this technology from a development perspective is that the platform allows company’s to build apps and deliver them across multiple platforms in a consistent manner. Thus the ability to build it once and delivery to many, in whatever format they choose to consumer the content. Plus, when you bake in measurement and analytics to the apps, then you really have a means to evaluate interaction and compare across channels.
While this is certainly a new direction for web analytics acquisitions, I for one like the purchase and look forward to seeing Webtrends execute on the delivery of this new solution. Webtrends has the distinction of being one of the first pioneers in web analytics out there and also as the last independent vendor left standing. I’m pleased to see that this old dog ain’t afraid to learn new tricks.
Congratulations go out to Alex, Casey, Justin and the Webtrends team on the innovative move and to Peter Yared and Charles Christolini of Transpond for closing the deal.