It looks like there might be a little tech-spending after all. (Only 2.3 trillion, but beggars can't be choosers....)
Oh yeah, services will only be $557 billion. (Granted, that is not all targeted towards Internet or Client-Server Development, but a large portion is.)
All it takes is for Sapient to field a reasonably talented sales team in order to get a piece of that. Whatever you might like to say about them, they do have a nice portfolio of work in both Internet and pure Client-Server engagements that stand as pretty darn good references.
I'm sorry, but you're deluding yourself. From the client side, I can honestly say that none of what Sapient does can be viewed as particularly unique, other than maybe undercutting Accenture or others in price due to its temporary advantage with GDD. Holding out revenue againt meeting business goals is also referred to as "risk sharing". It was done at Andersen back in 95-96 while I was there, and is being done now on another project at the company I work for.
I understand you want SAPE to succeed, and believe in it, but you have to take the market's view on things as well. And from where I sit, I'm just not seeing the differentiators. Obviously I'm far from the end-all and be-all of consulting buyers, and you certainly need to take my words with a grain of salt as well, but based on my own experience buying services here, as well as observing others, the trend is for very small shops who have very specialized experience or large shops who have deep industry knowledge. There isn't much in-between right now.
Slow down, realitycheque... The two drivers of SAPE's former user experience activities, Clement Mok and Rick Robinson, have left the company. Most of the other user experience people have already found better jobs. The few remaining ones are hanging on by default, probably hoping for another redundancy round. Sapient is merely an IT consultant selling cheap labor from India. Not a very exciting proposition, still losing money. Creativity and User Research are no longer related to Sapient; sad, but you should get over it.
>> none of the concepts you mentioned are unique to Sapient, and none originated at Sapient.
Ok. If you say so.
>> don't allow aggressive marketing literature tell you how unique a company is.......view the marketplace.
Ok then, as evidently the clear expert on the marketplace on this forum, why don't you help me out with all Sapient's competitors who offer similar propositions?
The fixed price/fixed time proposition I will give you, everyone will offer that if needed. However, find me a company that almost exclusively works ft/fp, as Sapient does.
Please, please, please find me some examples of where the big five pushed to be ft/fp and then placed a proportion of revenue against meeting business goals on a project (and just saying "business case" or ROI doesn't cut it). I will be very interested to see you prove me wrong.
As for User Experience, yes there will be others around who do it (to a greater or lesser degree), but for every company that has even a limited capability in this area, there are ten others with f**k-all. Sounds like a differentiator to me.
You don't need to be the ONLY comapny offering something for it to be a differentiator.
Anyway, besides all that, one thing I do like is that at least they seem to stand for something a bit different (how different is open to debate evidently). Go take a look at http://www.accenture.com/xd/xd.asp?it=enweb&xd=aboutus\company\co_company.xml
Now that company overview really does sound like every other consultancy out there.
Indian / GDD Model
"As part of the job cuts, EDS next year expects to terminate 1,500 applications development and client contact center employees and rehire at lower cost, through established, centers around the world, said EDS spokeswoman Kristin Dobrowolski."
You know you are not on the leading edge of a strategy if EDS is already there. And notice that EDS isn't saying India, they are saying around the world. They know that the cost / risk of doing business in India is rising, and they are probably already on to the low cost areas of SE Asia and lands beyond.
How interesting, "realitycheque2003." You sound arrogant like a PM or director (and you sound like you work for SAPE...). No sane client is going to give you more business if this is how you think of them: "Find a client who does X, and I will show you a moron."
You must be a SAPE employee, because you're spewing the cool-aid word for word.
User Experience = usability. This is being done everywhere now. Even on internal client development teams (there are a zillion and one books on this too)
Explicit Business Outcomes = ROI. Every consulting, software and hardware firm pitches it and sells it. Sapient is not unique in this respect.
As for the Indian GDD model, that's a short-term band-aid. Eventually, competitors will move to that model as well, thereby raising labor costs in India, and shrinking margins as competitors get into pricing wars to win business from each other.
Bottom line, if you don't have a serious differentiator, you're toast long term. And Sapient doesn't have one anymore. They'll never be much more than a small-medium project shop. Which is fine, if that's what you want to be, but I don't think that's what Jerry & Stu were hoping for, and that's certainly not what they sold Wall Street in 96.
none of the concepts you mentioned are unique to Sapient, and none originated at Sapient.
all of them exist in one form or another at the big guys, and all of them did it before Sapient did it.
don't allow aggressive marketing literature tell you how unique a company is.......view the marketplace.
the me too consultancies all based their business on the big 6 model, making adjustments where they thought they could get an advantage.....like fixed price for example. in the short run they get some marketing mileage out of it, but in the long run it's not a differentiator.
there are a zillion ways to skin a cat, clients have seen them all, and every me too consultancy is willing to skin a profitable cat fixed price if that's a client requirement.
p.s. you've been reading too much Sapient marketing literature and doing too little in the real world.
completely agree with you about India and offshore. if Sapient can do 50% of it's work there for U.S. based clients it may have a profitable business model.
i am not sure IBM/PriceWaterhouse or Andersen can be dismissed. they are bigger and thus an easier target than Sapient in terms of huge jobs screwed up in the past, but that's a superficial analysis that won't matter much when bidding on new work. they are serious competitors. often the 200 lb. chimpanzee has to take the scraps that the 800 lb. gorilla permits.
>> Your description of customer frustrations with the so-called big 6 rings true, but it is not clear to me that Sapient is any different. In fact the big 6 was the seed for every me-too consultancy from Sapient to Cambridge to Razorfish (not the pet retailer)........same people using the same tired jargon plagiarized and regurgitated among the consulting world.
I think there are a number of things which differentiate Sapient from the big guys...they are, in no particular order:
1) Fixed Time-Fixed Price. The cornerstone of Sapient's philosophy, something other occasionally do, Sapient almost ALMOST does. Find a client who does not like the concept, and I will show you a moron.
2) User Experience (Adoption). A capability none of the big guys have and is receiving increased focus these days as businesses start to understand the challenges of acceptance.
3) GDD (Using Indian resources mainly). Name another company with a resources mix like Sapient (approx. 1/3 of staff in India). I don't believe there is one. The ability to combine the best of both worlds (cheap skilled labour in India, with a local office to the client) is very valuable. There have been problems, as you would expect, but they are starting to get it right now.
4) Measurable Business Results. An increasing number of projects are being sold with a proportion of revenue (up to %20) on the achieving of explicit business outcomes.
Clients like to feel like everyone is pulling in the same direction, with a crowd of big-five guys in there, working T&M, this isn't always the case. We've all seen it.
I am not saying Sapient is perfect, far from it, but they are not that similar to the Big Five, and this can only be a good thing.