Omniture, Inc. (Nasdaq: OMTR) announced yesterday that they are acquiring Visual Sciences (Nasdaq: VSCN) for a total of $394 million. Visual Sciences consists of two recently merged entities, the original Visual Sciences, and WebSideStory, the company that produced the HBX family of analytics tools.
This move follows closely on the heels of Omniture's acquisition of Offermatica, a leading web optimization company. Clearly, Omniture is moving to consolidate their position as the leading brand in this space. Visual Sciences was one of it's larger competitors. Their is a distinct synergy in the nature of the customer base, as both companies focus on large enterprise customers and high value optimization.
It will be intriguing to see how they go about integrating the product lines and the product development teams. There are many products that overlap in functionality and structure. This will be one of the more challenging parts of the acquisition for them.
Overall, I would expect this type of activity to continue, and not just from Omniture. There are too many players in the space. I will be intrigued to see who steps up in the SMB analytics space. There is plenty of room for consolidation at that level too, and companies like Omnniture and Visual Sciences are not really designed to optimally serve that market.
For search marketers, the consolidation is a good thing. We need to have a few financially stable companies to choose from, not 20. For SEO firms that server multiple clients, having to deal with a smaller set of different analytics tools will make life easier.