E.piphany, Inc. develops CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software
primarily for the Fortune 1000. Their new product suite, E.5, will become
available in late August 2000. This suite is the company's first attempt
to combine analytical information with such traditional CRM functionality
as campaign management, personalization, and customer support tracking.
The union was made possible by assimilating software E.piphany acquired
from the purchase of Octane Software, a specialist in contact management.
The new release manages all inbound and outbound customer contacts from
sales, service, and support touch points within the company.
new suite promises to provide real-time, rules-based personalization by
bringing data from clickstreams, customer databases, transaction systems,
third-party data, and other sources into one view. These data are accessible
any time the customer is on the phone or visiting the website. The software
is also capable of creating and tracking concurrent, multi-channel campaigns
with varying frequencies. Linking these two capabilities provides significant
advantages in marketing and sales because both functions can be managed
from a unified view of the customer.
E.5 promises to enhance service and support functions by bringing such
information as purchase history and product preferences to service representatives,
giving them the ability to cross-sell and repeat-sell products as well
as handle complaints.
The E.5 release has enjoyed considerable media attention and brings E.piphany
closer to rival Siebel Systems in market awareness. This is good news
for E.piphany because the CRM market is becoming increasingly crowded
with vendors all claiming to provide similar functions. Furthermore E.piphany
has strong references from the likes of Kodak, GTE, and Hilton. Wall Street
has rewarded E.piphany with a steady gain in stock price from around $50
in late May to its current price at around $110.
market for CRM products is booming. TEC estimates the CRM market at $8.5
billion, and predicts a 68% growth this year. E.piphany's growth is well
ahead of the curve, generating $24.5 Million in the second quarter 2000,
a 70% increase over the previous quarter.
E.5 is a revolutionary product that will up the ante for competitors such
as Siebel, Clarify, and Broadbase, E.5 still lacks tight integration with
ERP and other back-end systems. This creates a dilemma for companies with
ERP systems in place that are looking to add CRM functionality. There
is currently a tradeoff between purchasing a top notch CRM product from
E.piphany or Siebel that is disconnected from your ERP, or a CRM module
from an ERP vendor such as SAP or Peoplesoft that is tightly integrated
with the ERP system but does not have the functionality of a dedicated
Firms considering the implementation of a CRM product should strongly
consider one or many of the six modules available. Close competitors to
also consider are Siebel and Broadbase. Firms should also become aware
of smaller, best of breed CRM products that have limited scope, but better
functionality in specific areas. Although these niche products may not
easily integrate with other parts of a different vendor's CRM system,
they are smaller products that carry less implementation risk than large
CRM software has to be complemented with significant organizational change.
These systems are intended to support customer-centric business processes.
First and foremost, departments have to be willing to share information
freely. A unified view of the customer is not possible unless each department
is willing to share data with the rest of the organization. Marketing
has to redesign campaigns to take advantage of one-to-one marketing, and
service representatives have to be empowered to sell. Firms looking to
purchase CRM software must be prepared to make these and other changes
if they plan on exploiting the benefits of the software.