I was thinking to comment on the posts of Avinash Kaushik regarding Enterprise Web Analytics Software long back but I had to dig out many blogs and comments on them to really understand the content here.
I agree with you Avinash that People and not the software is important to do good business. And it is the need of the company that has to call for a software and not the tag associated with the software.
Till now, "Enterprise" word has not been standardized in the likes of ISO, CMM etc, so if someone wants to attack one for calling his software, a Enterprise Software, he will need to first define the word Enterprise. And he can attack in his way. I would call a International Conference on the product Standardization of Web Analytics software to have way out for this wonderful discussion of the Web Gurus. But before that let us not worry much about the use of the word "Enterprise". It is just a word like any other word to market a product.
My definition for a Enterprise Web Analytics software would be:
1. provides all information regarding web usage
2. have information usage direction for making tactical and strategic changes for betterment
3. good presales and postsales support
4. have considerably good number of clients lasting at least 12 months
GA is weak in 2 and I have no idea on 4. So, GA may not qualify to be an Enterprise Software as per my definition.
But more important thing is most people don't need it. Avinash is correct here. Today's companies invest much more on showing things than for actually solving the problems. To have an Enterprise Software for Web Analytics has to be done once the implementer has smart people on board who can actually use the information. Or else the investment is a waste. But equally important is to have an reliable, flexible and quality software implemented at the right time to get ahead of competition. So, I will take mid-way between Eric and Avinash and would suggest my clients to go for limited software (not having all features of domain) at the early stage and find smart people to use it, and in due course go for some Enterprise Edition when there is enough financial and manpower backup. One day or the other they will need to move to the Enterprise Editions if they need to lead the market competition.
My idea of successful business is :
People - Smart People - Limited Software - More Smart People - Good Business - Improved Financial Status - Enterprise Software - More Smart People - Good Business - Market Dominance.
By all chances, it is the people who are important to software. But better software is a necessity too (at the appropriate time). Rushing to Enterprise Software at the early stages is a suicide, and not going for it at any time is defensive. So it is in the business managers to decide the right time.
I will be happy to get your comments here.