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Sun, E.piphany Ally to Push CRM on Solaris

Businesses that don't respond effectively to their customers rapidly lose their footing in the marketplace. But the fragmentation of customer touch-points -- fax, telephony, the Web, e-mail, chat and wireless -- can leave the staunchest marketing manager bathed in a cold sweat. Enter E.piphany, which, like a number of companies today, specializes in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions.

But E.piphany too has to listen to its customers. And that meant a multi-million dollar, multi-year strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems Inc., E.piphany President and Chief Executive Officer Roger Siboni said Wednesday.

"Our customers are telling us that Sun is the environment that they like and we listen to our customers," Siboni said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Siboni explained that E.piphany's customers like the massive scalability, reliability, security and availability of Sun's platform.

The two companies forged the alliance to push delivery of next generation CRM solutions built on Sun's Solaris platform.

The alliance covers joint engineering, sales and marketing. E.piphany will leverage Sun's worldwide sales and marketing organization to promote its CRM solutions to customers while Sun will endorse E.piphany as a leading CRM vendor and premier partner.

"With this alliance Sun will become our preferred platform," Siboni said. "To be effective, companies need a customer management solution built on powerful software, scalable hardware and a robust infrastructure. Sun gives us the hardware and infrastructure that will allow companies to maximize the potential of our E.piphany E.5 system."

E.5 is E.piphany's integrated suite of software solutions, blending Web-based analytic and operational CRM to unify all inbound and outbound marketing, sales and service customer interactions.

"This is truly a winning alliance for E.piphany and Sun as well as all our customers," said Sun President and Chief Operating Officer Ed Zander. "The Net economy is a customer economy. Real-time knowledge of customer needs are critical to any company's success."

Zander added, "Competitive advantage in the customer economy means breakthrough performance, ability to scale, continuous uptime, and real-time knowledge of and interaction with your customer base."

Siboni did note that while Sun has become E.piphany's preferred platform, it will continue to support other environments.

Both companies are currently in silent periods, so few details about the financial end of the alliance were released. However, Zander said, "It's an investment that we're making...We're going to spend some money here to make this happen. We're going to really put some energy into making this thing a success in the market."