“We lose money if customers walk away from our site because it’s too slow. [Keynote] Perspective helps us understand what’s happening when something goes wrong so that we can respond appropriately.”

—from the Keynote homepage

No sour notes
E-commerce, distributed network computing, and Web-based applications represent more than just the latest buzzwords in information technology. Face facts: E-commerce is the way business gets conducted in the information age. Whether it is merely an online storefront selling niche-collectibles or a vital integrated business-to-business solution, e-commerce systems and their infrastructure must be evaluated for performance. The question of how to measure system performance is addressed by Keynote Systems, Inc.

Ensuring customer satisfaction is obviously a key component to the viability of any e-business. The business of Web site diagnostics has taken off as a result of this focus on customer satisfaction. Keynote Systems describes itself as “the world’s leading supplier of Internet performance measurement, diagnostic and consulting services to companies that operate e-commerce Web sites.” Using indexes as benchmarks, Keynote enables you to quickly analyze how your site stacks up.

Keynote’s measurement services determine the effectiveness of a company’s site. Similar to an independent auditor that provides financial information, Keynote gives extensive details to a company needing feedback about their Web site. Keynote is connected to major Internet backbones and consists of a customized network dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and disseminating performance data.

After you answer a few questions, Keynote agents will execute a performance test of any Web site you request. Although the free measurement I obtained for my very small site was limited to load times, larger e-commerce sites receive more detailed and pertinent information. But no matter what you receive with the free measurement, the idea is to pique your interest and convince you to buy comprehensive Keynote performance measurement services. Prices for full service range from $295 per month to $1,495 per month.

The Web site itself is well designed, and you should have no trouble finding enough information to decide which service is right for your organization’s needs. The Keynote site is a good example of how to market and promote a sophisticated service online without overwhelming visitors with bells and whistles. If you or your organization is in the market for sophisticated yet easy-to-use Internet performance measurement services for an e-commerce business, the Keynote Systems site presents a succinct and comprehensive introduction to their services.

A business consultant, Mark Kaelin writes for TechRepublic and Louisville Computer News. Kaelin also works as a courseware designer for Bell and Howell. For diversion, he spends time on the softball field or the golf course and listens to rock ‘n’ roll.

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