AT Internet, founded in 1996, is an international web analytics provider. Its services include a variety of web tracking tools, e-commerce systems and an extensive support system. AT Internet has received numerous awards and has been recognized as a technology leader.
Chief Executive Officer Mathieu Llorens was so kind to answer a few questions about the company’s work and about its relationship and attitude towards Google Analytics.
Background information: AT Internet’s services are available at a cost, unlike Google Analytics who’s services are free of charge. The Google Analytics Premium Offer with additional features is now also subject to charges.
Mathieu Llorens, what do you think about Google Analytics new features that Google introduced recently? Does this new version have any consequences for your company?
Not really… Users who are satisfied with Google Analytics are simply no longer our target. If a company does not understand the difference between the solutions, it means that they do not see their analytics data as being strategic… yet. And so, of course, they often choose Google Analytics if they do not need any support or do not have any privacy or security issues with Google. A lot of web sites use them, of course, but Google’s impressive visibility has helped the Analytics market to become increasingly mature, which is the ideal situation for us.
And, we see a lot of customers coming (or coming back) to us, saying “ok now I understand that analytics is crucial for managing my business. Now I want more, and I need an increasingly powerful and safer solution“. Google has made our job more interesting and more strategic. We can’t complain, even if the first few months were a bit disturbing when we lost some of our smallest customers.
What does the Google Analytics Premium Offer change for you? Have they become a larger competitor?
No, they haven’t become a larger competitor for us. On the contrary, what happened by introducing the Premium Offer was very interesting for us. We often needed to explain to our customers why they need to pay for our service, when on the other hand Google Analytics is available free of charge. Now Google has provided the answer themselves by charging fees, for example for Service Level Agreements (SLA) or for a deeper insight into user behaviour.
By introducing the Premium Offer, Google explained why customers have to pay – this makes our life easier since we no longer have to explain to our customers that their data is important, and that they have to invest in it. Google now shows that data is strategic, and we are really happy about this change.
We still don’t see them as real competition in Europe though.
What do you think about Google Analytics Safety? In your opinion, does it now conform to European guidelines?
I will not say that Google is not safe. I’m not Google. The only thing I will say is that we need to be able to respond to the needs and expectations of our biggest customers, especially in Germany. We need to abide by all of the European laws, the national laws of the individual countries and we need to certify this conformity.
We are happy to work in accordance with these guidelines to show our customers that their data is safe and compliant with European laws, so that they trust us. I don’t see how Google can do that without any true certification, and I don’t see any. They don’t provide their customers with this guarantee right now but I assume that they do not have to, since Google Analytics is mainly a tool for SEM campaign improvement. But if you provide analytical data for making strategic decisions and if you want to integrate this data into your business system as we offer, then you need these certificates. So, once again, Google is targeting different customers.
Furthermore, Google has been under the Patriot Act since 9/11. The American administration wants to protect its country, which is totally understandable. But the Patriot Act does not really comply with the Privacy and Security laws in Europe. And the problem is exactly the same with all of the other American analytics companies.
What is AT Internet’s Unique Selling Proposition?
We offer unique agility that allows our customers to manage long term business vision and real time optimization. If you really want to combine analytics data with your company’s strategic vision you need a very high level of customization and integration. You need a fully customized analytics report that you can put into perspective with your company data. And we can provide that, combining our tool with our consulting expertise. This is the secret behind Online Intelligence, it’s not only about simple web analytics anymore. We are one of the few companies worldwide that offer this combination, with a unique collective knowledge, because we have been providing this type of service for more than 15 years with an increasingly larger but very stable team.
We can also provide every part of the SLA, such as data security, data privacy, performance, data collection and so on. We can commit on all dimensions, including the performance of the request, which can be crucial when, for the same customer, hundreds of users are handling data in real time. You can easily understand that a customer such as Deutsche Telekom has very high expectations in terms of performance and availability. I also think that the quality and the pro-activity of the support and consulting are the key for our customers. This is an important added value for our customers, as is being available on a 24/7 basis, to answer our customers specific needs. You will have some problems finding that with a free tool.
I was recently very proud of the following comment from the latest Forrester Wave™: Web Analytics, Q4 2011, and I quote: “The company has also a tremendous rapport with its clients, garnering the evaluation’s highest quality of reference scores”. Eventually, this “tremendous rapport” is our main USP.
What is your vision on the online intelligence market?
What is very exciting for us is that CEOs and CMOs increasingly understand that analytics data is crucial and is the key for their overall business strategy. We have been working for more than a year on a brand new processing engine, and general API platform, which now allows us to provide our biggest customers with an even more agile and integrated analytics operating system. This is only the first step. Analytics data is not only about improving your campaign or about improving the ergonomics of your website anymore. It is now business data that is used by companies to improve their overall strategy. Nowadays, more and more real business decisions are made based on this data. We see an increasing number of managers extracting the value and intelligence from such data which is a great reward for us.
Mathieu Llorens, thank you very much for the interesting insights and your time!