Unica takes Sane approach to Web analytics

With the purchase of Sane Solutions, Unica is continuing its march toward a unified marketing application.

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Unica Corp. announced today that it will acquire Sane Solutions LLC, a Web analytics software maker.

Waltham, Mass.-based Unica will pay $26 to $28 million for Sane Solutions, a privately-held firm based in North Kingstown, R.I., with $22.8 million to be paid in cash and the remainder in Unica common stock. Unica went public a year ago and is now starting to spend some of that capital.

The move comes less than three months after Unica purchased MarketSoft, a maker of event detection and lead management software. Sane Solutions provides software to analyze customer online behavior and Web traffic. Its NetTracker product offers both hosted and on-premise deployment options based on an open architecture. @18931

"Overall, I think it's a very exciting and aggressive move on Unica's part," said Elana Anderson, vice president and research director of the marketing strategy and technology group at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.

Last month Forrester released a report which found that 77% of marketers surveyed said they wanted an integrated marketing suite. Essentially, there are three core buyers of marketing technology, Anderson said: database marketing, where Unica is a strong presence; interactive marketing; and brand marketing.

"Ultimately, while we have this vision of enterprise marketing platform supporting all three, today you need to be realistic about where the buying centers are," Anderson said. "For the online, interactive buying sector, Web analytics is the fundamental repository. If I'm Omniture, Coremetrics or Web Side Story, I'm thinking, 'now Unica has moved into my turf.'"

Sane Solutions customers include Coca-Cola Company, CVS and GEICO Direct.

"Unica has a leadership position in the [ enterprise marketing management ] market and we believe we are now the only company capable of delivering an end-to-end, cross-channel marketing solution," Yuchun Lee, Unica's CEO, said in a statement. "The acquisition also provides Unica with a proven solution to win the market for Web analytics and Internet marketing."

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the month.

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