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Acxiom IT Picks New Name -- Ensono -- To Underscore Massive Cloud Investment
Infrastructure management partner Acxiom IT has selected a new name to cement its identity as a standalone company capable of supporting clients well beyond the mainframe.
Ensono, a newly coined word derived from the Zen concept "enso" and the Italian expression "in sogno," emerged victorious after a nearly five-month process involving extensive interviews with associates, current clients and prospective customers.
The new name is intended to signify a commitment to moving beyond treading water with a spectacular mainframe operations staff -- as was the case when Ensono was a division under IT giant Acxiom -- and invest in sales, marketing and cloud technologies, according to CEO Jeff VonDeylen, who joined the company in August.
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"We knew the business had been starved for resources and product," VonDeylen told CRN Tuesday. "We're a $200 million company operating in a $100 billion industry; we can go and capture market share."
In order to do that, Ensono plans to increase its capital spending in 2016 by 40 percent over 2015 while decreasing its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by 25 percent. This will enable the company to provide a common ticketing system and support structure to customers even if they're using a combination of mainframes, private clouds and third-party hosting tools like Amazon Web Services.
Since Charlesbank Capital Partners and M/C Partners purchased the Downers Grove, Ill.-based business in July from Acxiom, No. 60 on the 2010 VAR 500, Ensono has added 50 new employees to handle the necessary back-office functions for an independent company and improve the company's position in sales, marketing and product development.
"I feel like I'm a college coach with the number one recruiting class in the country," Chief Operating Officer Brian Klingbeil told CRN.
The investments are intended to give 700-employee Ensono more easily consumable resources in areas such as cloud, Klingbeil said, making the company more attractive to prospective clients and relevant to existing customers.
VonDeylen, Klingbeil, Chief Technology Officer Tim Beerman and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Marc Capri all joined Ensono in August from Town and Country, Mo.-based Savvis. VonDeylen spent more than 12 years at the CenturyLink-owned enterprise cloud and hosted IT solutions firm, during which time the company grew from $200 million of revenue to more than $1.4 billion of sales.
The outlook for 2016 stands in stark contrast to the first eight months of the year under Acxiom, during which time Klingbeil the business added no new customers and did little to expand sales to existing customers.
"We started off with a pretty empty plate," VonDeylen said.
In the ensuing five months, Ensono brought on a few new logos primarily interested in the mainframe side of the business and expanded a couple of larger relationships on the open systems side around the server and storage suite. Despite cementing a legacy over the past 46 years with mainframe systems, less than half of Ensono’s revenue today comes from this traditional business, Klingbeil said.
Ensono is happy to support customers with mainframe, but has no intention of trapping customers there. VonDeylen said he knows certain applications will migrate into open systems or cloud, and Ensono is capable of helping clients through that process.
Ensono's customers are typically Fortune 1000 companies with significant IT needs, with vertical expertise spanning the gamut, from health care and financing services to publications and marketing, according to VonDeylen and Klingbeil.
"We are going to spend money to get this platform and the right people," VonDeylen said. "We think it's the right strategy, the right market and the right people."
PUBLISHED JAN. 12, 2016