Looking to combine the reporting features of its software product with the convenience of its ASP version, NetIQ today announced the release of WebTrends Reporting Series 6.0.
The new series encompasses WebTrends Reporting Center 6.0, which is a software-based product, and WebTrends Reporting Service 6.0, which replaces the WebTrends Live hosted service in NetIQ’s Web analytics product line.
According to Barry Parshall, NetIQ’s group product manager for WebTrends, the two products now share a common code architecture, which allows “feature parity” and easy migration between the hosted and licensed versions.
Parshall acknowledges that for Web analytics, hosted products have the clear momentum. And that trend is no different for NetIQ. “The ASP product is growing substantially faster [than the software version],” Parshall told ASPnews. He attributes that to two reasons: speed and simplicity “The ASP version can be up and running quickly and IT departments don’t care” because it’s outside the corporate firewall. “Marketing people are making decisions.”
The underlying technology for WebTrends Reporting Series 6.0 is SmartSource Data Management, which Parshall describes as a “client-side data collection technology.” SmartSource technology is designed to simplify data collection, solve accuracy issues related to log files and facilitate migration between software and hosted services.
While client-side data collection has been previously available in ASP-delivered Web analytics products, Parshall said, WebTrends Reporting Center 6.0 is the first software-based product that offers this capability.
WebTrends new technology makes data more accurate, according to Parshall, because it isn’t distorted by caching or proxy servers and excess hits from spider, crawlers or other automated applications. It also eases the IT burden, Parshall said, by eliminating the need to collect log files from multiple, geographically dispersed servers.
The downside to hosted Web analytics tools is that “someone has to tag all those pages,” Parshall said. To help with that process, NetIQ will offer a WebTrends Developer Kit as a free download. The wizard-drive software makes tagging files and implementing and managing cookies “fast and reliable,” he said.
Parshall also told ASPnews that relying on cookies has some inherent issues. For example, when a user clears his or her Cookies file, that visitor is no longer tracked effectively. Parshall said some users have expressed concern because some Web analytics companies use to cookies to collect more info than they claim. For those reasons, using cookies is optional.
Key features of WebTrends Reporting Series 6.0, which are identical in both the hosted and software product, include the following:
- Customizable dashboard and templates: Parshall said this is the first time that this level of customization has been offered in a hosted product. “Some of our competitors say they offer customization, but they really just let you change fonts and background colors.”
- Segmentation analysis: The “Marketing segmentation analysis is the most powerful new feature,” Parshall said. For example, you can analyze visitor behavior based on historical data relating to visits, marketing campaigns and purchase history.
- Navigation analysis: The new version offers ten ways to analyze a visit’s navigation through a site.
- Custom reports: A wizard-style interface is designed to make creating custom reports easy and offers depth previously not available in the ASP version.
- Path Analysis: Allows customers to analyze various scenarios to see “where customers are dropping off,” Parshall said. “You typically think of this for shopping cart analysis, but it’s also effective for the registration process and surveys.”
Parshall said NetIQ’s primary goal is to increase its marketshare, which Parshall lists at 32 percent. He said the company will continue to offer both hosted and software versions. He added that it’s now likely that some larger customers could use the hosted version in some departments and the software-based product in others.
Having two options and a way ensure migration between them “keeps us honest,” Parshall said. “ASPs can be kind of like a cable company.”
WebTrends Reporting Series 6.0 is available in two editions: eBusiness and Enterprise. The software version is available immediately. The eBusiness Edition starts at $3,500 and the Enterprise Edition starts at $10,500.
The ASP version will be available in February. Fees for the eBusiness Edition starts at $35 per month and the Enterprise Edition starts at $1,000 per month.
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