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WebTrends Unveils New Analysis Software

WebTrends (www.webtrends.com) announced on Monday that it was unveiling a suite of Web traffic products, and updating its brand. The company is calling the new product, WebTrends Reporting Center 4.0, which features three editions: the eBusiness Edition, the Enterprise Edition and the Service Provider Edition.

In January, NetIQ said it was merging with WebTrends, which will remain as a separate subsidiary. The transaction, valued at about $1 billion, brought together NetIQ's Web management products with WebTrends' log analysis and reporting software. Not only does WebTrends handle regular Web traffic and reporting, but also streaming media. WebTrends supports all three platforms — RealNetworks, Windows Media and QuickTime. The just announced version also now comes with WAP and Palm reporting built in.

Jason Campbell, product manager for WebTrends said that the re-launch and re-branding, which includes a new logo, will help customers understand which products are right for them. "We now serve companies of all sizes," said Campbell, "and we're taking the opportunity to advance our brand and let the world know." WebTrends even used its own analysis tools during its re-launch to find out what worked and what didn't on its Web site.

"WebTrends Reporting Center gives our customer IT managers, webmasters and other executives the ability to see exactly what's working and what's not with their Web site content and design, promotions, ad campaigns and other online marketing efforts," said Rick Gable, vice president, content delivery, at Digital Island, in a statement. "That analysis helps customers use our streaming, content delivery, hosting and networking services to deliver what their viewers want, when they want it — which ultimately means a larger number of more satisfied customers, and a better return on Internet investment."

Time for Change

Campbell admits that as the Web has grown, WebTrends needed to change and adapt as well. Still, he says that streaming analysis is supported in all three versions of the software and customers are interested in its streaming media log analysis tools.

One of the bigger updates is a browser-based interface so anyone in the company can get customized reports, specific to their interests or business. For example, an IT worker might want to see very specific technical reports, like total usage, time to serve, load times, number of users, etc. A marketing person, on the other hand, will just want to know which files were accessed most often or how long they were viewed.

Previously, IT users had to configure, analyze and post reports to everyone. With the new version of WebTrends, everything is automated, so users can log in and see reports at any time, rather than rely on the IT department.

"There's a high degree of control, from full administrative access to customized reports," said Campbell.

WebTrends is a log analysis tool, so it grabs the data from streaming servers and outputs it into graphs and charts that makes it easier to understand. As such, there isn't much new with log files; it's usually the same old data that's being recorded. But WebTrends has managed to introduce new levels of granularity and analysis. One new feature, for example, allows customers to manage a bunch of clips together, like sports, news or financial conference calls.

Unlike other tools, WebTrends is not a real-time stream analyzer, and it doesn't manage your streams. "It's more of a trending over time, that's what the product is designed to do," said Campbell. "You don't want more frequent than every few hours. Many are satisfied with daily reports."

Campbell said WebTrends has 55,000 customers with a "large number" of them buying it just for the streaming analysis.

WebTrends counts Lariat as its most potent rival. Lariat (www.lariat.com) provides log analysis tools, although it also provides webcasting management software. Campbell said that most of its competition is focusing on the technical side of streaming. "We make sense for the tech and business users," he said.

Pricing for the WebTrends Reporting Center starts at $3,500 for Microsoft Windows 2000/NT and Red Hat Linux editions and $5,000 for Sun Solaris.

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