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Ephibian featured in BizAz


"Thus is man that great and true Amphibian, whose nature is disposed to live not only like other creatures in diverse elements, but in divided and distinguished worlds," wrote amphibious physician and man of letters Sir Thomas Browne in 1636.

Thus is Teri Spencer, President and CEO of Tucson-based Ephibian, the mega fast-growth technology-services specialist. This woman engineer forges giga-second links between the old world of computer hardware and the new worldwide web of dot-coms, portals, and storefronts all in a profession saturated in testosterone.

"We're passionate about technology," reveals Spencer, 37, AZSoftNet's President of the Year. Growing by more than 100 percent annually with offices expanding this year in Phoenix, San Francisco, Boston and New York, Ephibian offers a gourmet menu of high-tech services including web-design and development, database-backed websites, online catalogs, hosted Internet applications.

Educated in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Spencer is also passionate about her 50 carefully selected Ephibian employees and their equally well-screened Ephibian clients- mammoth companies such as AOL, AT&T, Honda, and eBay; newcomers such as Get2Net and; and Valley companies such as

"We want all the complex problems no one else wants- the tricky, tough, technical knots that the other companies can't untie" claims the affable Spencer, who neologized Ephibian by combining "evolve" with "amphibian" and wryly selected dual company colors: life-affirming blue and amphibian-like lime-green.

Jan Stenbeck, a Swedish venture-capitalist, had seen Spencer at work in the mid-80's and 90's where she and a core of civilian engineers, some later Ephibians, constructed multi-million and multi-billion dollar network systems and applications for the Army base at Fort Huachuca in her native Sierra Vista. Stenbeck flew Spencer to New York and offered her startup money for Ephibian.

One $60 million program centralized multiple-management applications and troubleshooting for the Army's sprawling computer network by linking 32 bases that had been speaking in a babble of computerese. The installation saved the government $80 million in operations and maintenance costs.

Spencer, who sits on the boards of companies such as Miltope, Phoenix Group International, and Fitrex, has also pioneered the venture-technology concept in which Ephibian assumes an equity stake in clients' businesses thereby reaffirming the company's commitment to success for everyone.

Senior Software Engineer Andy Tofel was recently challenged to provide the back-end technology for Get2Net, a newcomer that installs free Internet kiosks in public places such as airports.

Tofel and Ephibian responded like frogs on flies.

Spencer explains," The kiosks are expensive as is maintenance and monitoring. To reduce costs of the latter, Ephibian made it possible for Get2Net to monitor the kiosks internally without having to send expensive technicians to the sites. As a result, Get2Net, supported only through advertising, could improve profit for itself and its investors," Spencer adds, "We make the impossible possible."