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I-Builder Ephibian Focuses on Back-End Web Development


The I-builder gold rush is ending. In the past, demand for traditional I-builder services was so strong that many firms had to turn away business. The largest firms had a waiting list of clients, and promising "dot-coms" had to sell hard to get the prestigious I-builders to take on their projects. Today, as venture capital attention has shifted away from dot-coms toward wireless and infrastructure companies, many I-builders have had to shift their efforts away from startups.

The I-builder category provides a broad range of e-commerce packages that include strategy, marketing, design and technology. Many of these "end-to-end" agencies have recently warned investors that fourth quarter earnings won't meet expectations. "As large as the market is (Forrester Research expects e-commerce consulting to top $65 billion by 2003), it isn't big enough to support the 25 percent quarter-over-quarter growth rate we've been seeing from the two dozen companies in this space," notes Drew Ianni, IT service analyst at Lazard Freres.

What has become apparent in the space is that I-builders offering "everything under the sun" are losing favor. Forrester recently took an in-depth look at 40 e-commerce consulting shops and concluded "no service provider demonstrates excellence across those strategies." Forrester concluded in a recent report that "To take a leadership role, integrators must cultivate depth by category, not serve up undifferentiated end-to-end services."

These recent reports bode well for Tucson-based I-builder Ephibian, who focuses solely on hard core technical solutions. Teri Spencer, CEO of Ephibian notes, "We're specialists. Technology is what we do and it's all we do. We're not a design firm trying to sound like a tech-shop. And we're not one of those ‘everything under the sun' companies either."

The I-builder sector has also seen a recent rash of layoffs. Companies who have overestimated demand are now forced to retrench and rethink their business strategies. With growth through retained earnings and cash flow, Ephibian has managed to avoid layoffs entirely. The result is the creation of a cohesive culture that continues to attract and retain top executives and engineers. "Ephibian is not a company bandaged together by acquisitions," says Spencer. "We do not have Wall Street's pressure to meet or beat earnings expectations. And we are profitable. These factors lend credibility to our company and our future stability in the marketplace."

About Ephibian

Ephibian is an Internet services firm specializing in infrastructure, application development and management services for Fortune 1000 corporations and technology startups. Ephibian maintains a strict focus on the back-end issues that provide the greatest challenges and greatest risk to companies that compete in the Internet marketplace. Ephibian also maintains "Ephibian Ventures", a venture technology arm that provides services for equity for select technology startups. Founded in 1996, Ephibian maintains a development headquarters in Tucson, AZ and operates business development centers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Boston, Chicago and New York.

Ephibian's headquarters are located at 5151 East Broadway Blvd., Suite 1400, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-745-3999, Fax: 520-745-3775, Toll Free: 1-877-917-4747