EPAM Systems Partners With Content Management Vendor Censhare, Boosting Digital Marketing Capabilities

EPAM Systems said it has partnered with German software manufacturer Censhare AG in response to the growing digital marketing needs of its customers.

The Newtown, Pa.-based company – No. 36 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500 – primarily offers digital platform engineering and software development services. However, many businesses that contract EPAM to design and develop customer engagement platforms often feature large digital marketing experience platforms within them, said Jason Harman, senior vice president and head of global business development at EPAM.

Munich-based vendor Censhare made for an ideal partner for EPAM on this front, then, because of its comprehensive content management software, which unites data asset management, product information management and content management within one offering.

[Related: EPAM Continues Growth Surge On Higher Digital Services Demand]

"There's a convergence going on in that world," Harman said. "Censhare seems to be positioning themselves well in that, and it seemed like a good partnership to strike up. We've also managed to get some customers together quickly."

Traditionally, many companies have offered data asset management, product information management and contete management platforms as separate services. Dieter Reichert, CEO of Censhare, called that "industrial-age thinking." The vendor's 180 customers, he added, have benefited from Censhare synthesizing all of these tools because it improves interoperability and marketing agility at a companywide level.

"If you want to do real-time communication – and more and more companies need to do this – you want to talk to a customer on the buying journey. If you want to talk to him, you need editorial information, you need pictures, you need videos," Reichert said. "At the same time, you need information about products. That's what you want to show to your customer. You have no time. It's an immediate reaction in content and product information, and you need sometimes up to 200 languages.

"How are you going to do this if you have to separate it in different systems?"

The Censhare partnership builds upon EPAM's recent efforts to expand its consulting services. Although pure consulting roughly accounts for only a single-digit percentage of company revenue, according to Harman, the business is "definitely growing" and being bolstered via key hires and acquisitions.

One of those acquisitions, a 2012 purchase of digital strategy firm Empathy Lab, added digital marketing consultancy capabilities to EPAM's portfolio of services. Moving forward, Harman said that team will work with Censhare to introduce its new partner's platform to existing EPAM accounts.

"It's an area where we are actively investing," Harman said.

While much of the consulting demand has originated from EPAM's traditional areas of operation, including financial services, retail, travel and business information, the company also has begun working with business-to-business organizations that are seeking to transform their digital marketing platforms.

"It started with large B2B manufacturers, multi-brand manufacturers looking to consolidate multiple CMS to different brands and geographies onto a single platform. That is the entry point," Harman said. "How do we industrialize the digitalization of other processes within our organization? To start from a marketing side, it's centralized content management. But we're also looking to consolidate to a single experience platform across the board. We've seen quite a lot of that."

In addition, Censhare maintains strong relationships with a number of prominent manufacturers, particularly in the auto industry. Those ties, combined with the vendor's strong foothold in the so-called DACH region – Germany, Austria and Switzerland – gives EPAM the chance to capitalize upon what it sees as a significant growth opportunity for its business in that part of Europe.

EPAM reported revenue of $324.7 million in the first quarter, up 22.7 percent year over year. Reichert believes the new partnership represents another positive step for the solution provider.

"Since digitalization is everywhere, you have to be able to also serve the needs of the particular customer in retail or in manufacturing," he said. "This is a great possibility for EPAM to grow even more into their audience."

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