RealTime IT News

AOL Awards Omniture ASP Deal

America Online has embraced the idea of software as a service by awarding a multi-year contract to Web analytics provider Omniture.

AOL will use Omniture's SiteCatalyst, a hosted Web analytics system that helps customers analyze data across hierarchical and relational databases. Omniture, which beat out 20 other Web analytics providers for the deal, is expected to help AOL conduct real-time analysis of traffic across its Web properties in order to improve its feedback and understanding of how its sites are used.

Eric Eichmann, senior vice president of inventory, planning and operations at AOL, said the company's size and privacy standards were key considerations for the contract, in addition to AOL's goal of expanding its real-time feedback and analysis.

Omniture considers the deal, which is estimated to be worth more than $5 million a year for each year of the contract, the biggest application service provider contract in the ASP sector. It comes as vendors increasingly shift to offering software on-demand, as well as in light of the recent IPO of online CRM provider salesforce.com .

Josh James, CEO of Omniture, said the deal helps illustrate that on-demand delivery of software is mature and ready for prime-time.

"We've been doing this for a long, long time," said James. "In this industry, ASPs make so much sense. It's really a validation of the company and what we do."

The hosted platform SiteCatalyst is configured to provide real-time data from every corner of the company's business. In addition, the system integrates both external data -- aggregated attributes, such as pricing plans and download times -- and real-time usage information from third-party platforms for an enterprise view of activity and segments.

"It's not about collecting the data," James added. "The data's always been there. Our specialty is getting the right information in the right person's hands in an organization when someone wants the information in order to do a better job."