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'Hiding the Talent' Strategy Helped Tucson's Ephibian Find Success


Even with the downturn in the market and the demise of a few dotcoms, the currency that drives the new economy is still human capital. Ephibian, an Internet services firm, adopted a unique strategy to avoid the loss of their pool of talent.

Their strategy was to hide their engineering staff. Although Ephibian does much of its work for San Francisco and Silicon Valley area clients, its engineering work force is in Tucson.

According to a press release, "Through the establishment of a hub and spokes model, the sales and marketing divisions of Ephibian aggressively network and operate within the geographic hotbeds of the new economy leaving the engineering talent hidden and happy in the desert city of Tucson, Arizona."

This arrangement can also save money for clients. "In addition to talent retention, a home base in Tucson allows Ephibian to offer clients more affordable solutions without sacrificing critical time to market. Daily inexpensive flights from SFO to Tucson (one hour in duration) make it convenient for San Francisco and Silicon Valley clients to visit the Tucson Corporate Headquarters or for the Ephibian engineers to fly to the Bay Area for a day of client meetings."

Even though the clients often pay less than they would for a San Francisco based firm, employees aren't short-changed, according to Ephibian CEO Teri Spencer. "The cost of living in Tucson is much lower than that of the major cities. We have 25 year old engineers who own 3,000 square foot homes with swimming pools and mountain views.''

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