REVIEWER: Katherine A. Goeddel, manager of Internet business group for Tektronix, Inc.

BACKGROUND: Tektronix, Inc. is a technology company focused on providing test, measurement and monitoring solutions that enable and sustain the explosive growth of global communications networks and Internet technologies. Manufacturing more than 1,400 products including a broad range of instruments for virtually every measurement application, Tektronix provides solutions for wireless, photonics and access networks in addition to its sophisticated oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, spectrum analyzers, cable testers, stimulus devices and communications testing.

PLATFORMS: We are running on a Compaq PC with four processors and the NT operating system.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The concept of measuring Web traffic is nothing new to Tektronix ­ the company has been doing this for a number of years. Previous tools were implemented from an IT perspective, allowing Tektronix to measure bulk numbers of users and hits, but not permitting them to drill down to the finer level of detail needed to make informed business decisions. In addition, the previous tools were designed primarily for use by IT employees, so reports were not readily accessible to business users.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The NetIQ Commerce-Trends reporting is exactly what our marketing teams wanted. It's a tool that they can use to answer any question they have about our traffic patterns without having to get an IT person involved once the report has been created. The information provided allows them to make fact-based decisions instead of relying on intuition.

STRENGTHS: CommerceTrends' browser-based user interface makes it very easy for users across the company to view the exact reports that impact their part of the business. The depth of reporting is also very impressive ­ almost every Web traffic metric our managers want to monitor is available through one of CommerceTrends' standard reports. The functionality to be able to download Excel or Word files has been heavily utilized for further in-depth analysis. This has been done with no modifications to the standard package.

WEAKNESSES: It would be helpful to be able to trend historic data more easily over time. A nice enhancement for companies that have fiscal years which don't match the Gregorian calendar year would be flexible time reporting periods.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The two reasons Tektronix selected CommerceTrends were because it matched our business requirements for Web tracking and the company provided the best technical support. With young software products, technical support will be required. In doing our evaluation, WebTrends was extremely helpful in answering our questions about the software so we could fully understand the functionality. Secondly, the CommerceTrends browser-based user interface was better suited to the needs of the business users who wanted the ability to generate and view the reports themselves when they want them without relying on another department to deliver them.

DELIVERABLES: With CommerceTrends, it's all about the reports. For example, soon after implementing CommerceTrends, the marketing team noticed a large spike in traffic and concluded that they needed the ability to attribute that increase to a particular marketing effort. They compared the traffic reports with their marketing plan and discovered that the increase in traffic corresponded to a recent series of on-the-road seminars. The marketing team was able to determine the level of interest these seminars prompted and proved to upper management that the time and expense required to implement these road shows was well worth it.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Vendor support has been exceptional. The people we worked with at WebTrends have been very knowledgeable and willing to address our unique needs. We find it saves us a lot of time to bring in knowledgeable consultants to give us traction. The Tektronix team has made several suggestions to the WebTrends developers regarding features for future releases. The most important suggested feature was for business partners to be able to download large quantities of data into an Excel spreadsheet for further analysis. WebTrends added this feature shortly after the Tektronix implementation, and Tektronix served as a beta test site for the new version.

DOCUMENTATION: CommerceTrends is an enterprise-level product and as such required NetIQ professional services and training support to facilitate installation and get our primary IT staff up to speed. The documentation for the technical team is good. The browser-based interface and standard report documentation for the users are excellent.

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