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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2045 - May 20, 2009 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 4

Infopia Announces Reorganization with New Model, Layoffs

By Ina Steiner
May 20, 2009

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Infopia laid off eight people on Tuesday as it moves to a more traditional account-management model. CEO Coleman Barney, who joined the company in January, confirmed there was a reorganization and said half of the employees who were laid off came from sales and marketing, and half from administrative roles.

Barney said Infopia's goal in making the changes was to fundamentally shift the emphasis from being primarily a software development shop focused on acquiring new accounts, to an ecommerce platform company that would achieve greater success by focusing on existing clients and helping those clients achieve greater success in their business.

Account teams made up of executives, product architects, and analysts have been created to work directly with accounts to review operations and make recommendations about how to optimize the usage of Infopia Transact, collaborate on product features, and improve site traffic and shopping cart conversion. "This account team structure will make it easier to share knowledge between internal Infopia groups, which will facilitate and speed-up responding to customer requirements."

Barney said Infopia customers need more hand-holding than a traditional line organization could provide. "My background includes traditional sales cycle models, but the new account management approach, based on my experience, is something Infopia needs right now." The company has beta tested the new approach over the past month in which staff participates in selling and doing account reviews and resolution follow-up, and Barney said it was a much easier way to streamline and empower everybody to do account resolution rather than the previous ad hoc approach.

Infopia recently hired Gary Kahl as Vice President of Professional Services. Barney said Kahl's background will help the company continue to subcontract and outsource professional services work, saving on hard costs, but at same time, drawing on the expertise of a community of people that can work for the company and its clients.

The industry has been contracting over the past year. eBay announced this month it would lay off 700 customer service workers in Canada, and last month, Amazon.com announced it was shutting distribution centers in three states resulting in layoffs or transfers of about 210 employees. Last fall, eBay laid off 10 percent of its employees, Infopia laid off 20 employees, and ChannelAdvisor laid off 20 percent of its employees.

5/20/09 Edit: Infopia laid off 20 employees last fall, not 125.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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