Keynote Extends Services to Online Banking, Retail

Keynote Systems on Monday will launch a pair of new transaction testing services aimed at online banking and retail.

Keynote Systems Inc. on Monday will delve deeper into a more vertical focus in its online performance benchmarking services when it launches a pair of new transaction testing services aimed at online banking and retail.

Keynote, at the Forrester Finance Forum in New York, will launch what it claims is the first Consumer E-Commerce Transaction Index along with the Keynote e-Banking Transaction Index, which both allow customers to compare the performance of their e-commerce systems with specific competitors and the industry average.

Rather than using page downloads as their performance metric, the new indices emulate the steps that a typical consumer would take to buy a popular product or execute online banking functions. For the Keynote Consumer E-Commerce Transaction Index, the steps include accessing the home page, searching for a product, viewing the product, adding the product to a shopping cart, proceeding to check-out and logging in to an account for purchase. The online banking steps include accessing the bank home page, clicking on login to online banking or account access, entering login information, checking balance or viewing transaction log and logging out.

Keynote officials asserted that its customers want more "actionable data" that is pertinent to their business and that they want to understand what they should be doing to boost performance in a way that helps the companys bottom line.

"Theyre bridging the gap between traditional IT measurements and business intelligence measurements," remarked Dennis Gaughan, research director at AMR Research Inc. in Boston. "Keynote deals mostly with IT. Now they can branch out to other parts of the organization," he added.

The index data can show both IT as well as marketing people how their e-commerce transactions performance stacks up to competitors; they can trend the performance of their vertical relative to other e-commerce verticals; they can establish realistic internal and external objectives for Web transactions performance; and they can see where poor or failed transaction performance could lead to lost revenue.

In the highly competitive banking industry, where an increasing number of customers are doing business online, having solid data that can help justify to management the need for further investments in the site is key, believes Mike Lenart, CTO at JP Morgan Investments, LLC. "You need some justification to say, I need to increase transaction rates by 10 percent. It fills out the picture and lets us set expectations around what should be the cost to enhance and maintain the site," he said.