On Monday, May 17th, DoubleClick announced it was buying Performics, a search engine marketing company, for $58 million in cash. Once the acquisition is completed, the Performics capabilities will be branded as Dart Search, a complement to DoubleClick's Dart for Advertisers product and SiteAdvance, the company's Web analytics product.
The impact of this? DoubleClick, like other forward-thinking vendors, is re-making itself to better serve the process orientation of today's online enterprises. DoubleClick is moving from being a best-of-breed, point solution vendor to becoming a supplier of an online optimization suite. Other vendors rushing to fill this market vacuum include Keynote Systems and Watchfire (from the Internet performance sector) as well as Atomz and iUpload (from the Web content management sector).
For a long time, vendors in this space have viewed themselves as members of a group defined by technology -- for example, Web content management or Web analytics. This technology-centric point-of-view made sense when the technologies were immature and poorly understood. However, as the major vendors reach feature parity, the technology is no longer a challenge -- the challenge is now how to integrate these disparate bits of technology into an enterprise's daily work.
In short, as a way to save enterprise time and effort, one stop shop for optimizing an enterprise's online presence is a good thing. No one vendor is there yet; but at least several are heading in the right direction. Let's hope the rest of the herd plays follow the leader.