Sapient is a marketing and consulting company that provides business, marketing, and technology services to clients. The company operates three divisions, SapientNitro, Sapient Global Markets and Sapient Government Services.
On February 5, 2015, Sapient became a fully owned division of French advertising giant Publicis, in a deal valued at $3.7bn (£2.3bn).
On November 17, 2016, SapientNitro was merged with sister agency Razorfish to form SapientRazorfish, which will be co-led by former SapientNitro CEO Alan Wexler and Sapient Consulting CEO Chip Register.
Sapient was founded on November 6, 1990. The two founders, Jerry Greenberg and Stuart Moore, met at Cambridge Technology Partners, an IT services company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The co-founders recognized the need for a different type of mindset in the IT consulting world. Sapient chose to use a fixed-term, fixed-price model for pricing projects, rather than charging on a time and materials basis. In addition, Greenberg and Moore relied on their own resources instead of venture capital to fund the company’s operations. This allowed them to keep control of the organization and set long-term strategic goals. During this period, Sapient was also an early adopter of internet-based technology, and internet-based work grew to over 70% of total revenue by 1999. Both client satisfaction and the pioneering use of the internet led to rapid growth in the period from 1992 to 2000, with revenue growing from $950,000 in 1992 to $503 million in 2000.
After a period of contraction after the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, Sapient looked overseas to grow a substantial portion of revenue, rising over 30% in only 3 years. This growth was driven by a strategy called “Global Distributed Delivery,” which sought to capitalize on the quickly growing tech market in India to grow Sapient’s software development capabilities. The operations in India would supplement project teams globally. As Sapient has sought to expand its business as a leader in an emerging market, the company has made several strategic acquisitions in its history. Sapient’s first high-profile acquisition was of Planning Group International (PGI) in 2006, which greatly expanded Sapient’s experiential marketing and UX capabilities. Another important acquisition was DCG group in 2008, which augmented its existing capital markets offerings. In 2009, Sapient announced its largest acquisition; the $50 mil acquisition of The Nitro Group, which added 300 employees. This acquisition also helped define three separate business units within Sapient.
2000 The Launch Group Sapient https://www.computerwoche.de/a/sapient-kauft-sich-in-deutschland-ein,1078349
Sapient is divided into three business units: SapientNitro, an integrated digital marketing agency; Sapient Global Markets, a provider of business and technology services; and Sapient Public Sector, which offers strategic, digital, and creative services.
In April 1996, Sapient went public with a price of $21 a share. In the subsequent four years, share prices in the technology sector increased substantially. Sapient was no exception and its shares soared to a split-adjusted price of $550. However, the dot-com bust in late 2000 hit Sapient shares hard and they declined to a low of $0.75/share. Over the next few years, growth picked up and the share price recovered accordingly, hitting a high of $17.95 in 2014.
Sapient’s culture has been profiled by case studies within the Harvard and Yale Business Schools as an example of leadership and organizational behavior. Sapient’s culture is built upon six core values. These values are meant to guide employee behavior and decision making. They are used in Sapient’s interview process, and form an important part of the company’s week-long initiation program called “Sapient Start.”
All Sapient offices have open layouts, where it is difficult to decipher any hierarchy. Whiteboards dominate the office space and are used frequently for meetings and work plans. These two characteristics of Sapient office spaces are considered a way to support the core values of the company. Sapient’s offices have received global recognition for their innovative and collaborative work spaces, including the IIDA Gold Award for Corporate Office Design (Arlington, VA office).