*New Epsilon CEO Announces Strategic Direction
The newly refocused company, which has been in the direct marketing business for more than 30 years, will focus on the customer relationship management space by aggressively seeking out strategic alliances with partners as opposed to its current model of offering almost purely integrated solutions inhouse.
Torrence said Epsilon, a $100 million company, reached this conclusion after he and his team spoke with 105 account teams dealing with Epsilon's customers. "We realized that in order to reach our customers' objectives, we had to change our model and and start forming relationships with the best-of-breed companies in their prospective fields," said Torrence. "We have to do this because technology and tools, especially in the Internet space, are moving too rapidly for us to be experts in everything."
Torrence said that instead of investing time and money in research and development that could take years, "we are instead in the process of forming partnerships that will allow our customers the ability to have their solutions up and running quickly."
He said Epsilon was talking to many data mining, Internet and CRM vendors on the show floor here and was especially interested in E.piphany, a Palo, Alto, CA-based company that offers Web-based marketing automation solutions. "These types of companies have the economies and cultures to attract Web-savvy engineers to work long hours and create technology that we couldn't do ourselves," Torrence said.
According to Torrence, there is a possibility that Epsilon could form a relationship with an advertising agency, and that it's currently in discussions with all of the major agencies in the United States. Torrence said one of the reasons for this type of partnership is that Bob Mohr, the former CEO of Epsilon -- who is now chairman -- has many close relationships with these companies.
"All of the major agencies are either partnering or looking to partner with CRM vendors or e-mail marketing agencies right now," said Torrence. "This is major area for them."
Torrence also squashed rumors that made it around the trade show floor stating that Epsilon was up for sale.
"We are not for sale," said Torrence. "We are very interested, however, in forming partnerships, strategic alliances or even acquiring companies right now."
Epsilon is also in the process of building a new sales force, Torrence said, although he had nothing concrete to offer just yet in terms of how many people would be hired or where they will be located. The company also is planning a broad-based marketing program to get the word out about the new company soon and the company is interested expanding internationally in areas such as Mexico and Europe.
The new Epsilon will target a wide variety of clients -- from small companies to the larger companies Epsilon currently works with -- and it will offer solution design, solution building, and solution management.
"The group of people coming up to us has also been very inquisitive and so far we have been doing very good business."