Publicis ups consultancy offer with full control of Salesforce-based unit Sapient i7.

San Francisco-based Salesforce is one of the behemoths of the digital world (although it doesn’t sound like one), through its its cloud-based CRM software and linked services.

Publicis Group had a joint venture with Salesforce called Sapient i7 (me neither) but now it’s bought the lot to ramp up the business helping companies use Salesforce to best advantage. Similar to the various units in other holding companies and elsewhere trying to feed off tech giants.

It’s not wholly clear why the tech giants can’t do this themselves but there you go.

Sapient i7 boss Jason English says: “The acquisition of Sapient i7 enhances the value Publicis Sapient brings to its clients. Publicis Sapient has been delivering large scale digital business transformation for a number of years and the acquisition of Sapient i7 enables the company to offer digital business transformation on a truly global scale.”

Consultancy.org reckons the business transformation market is currently worth $261.94 billion and will grow to $1,051.12 billion by 2026 – so maybe there’s room for everyone. Publicis Sapient, the holding company’s consultancy arm, employs about 20,000 people in 53 offices worldwide.

Maybe one day they’ll be able to make in-house platform Marcel work.

At the moment the ad holding companies, especially Publicis and WPP, see business transformation as a necessary add-on to their traditional work. In the near future as possibly more important.

If, indeed, it does prove to be as successful as they hope it will certainly prompt the thought among some shareholders that there’s no point in keeping the two arms together: spin off the faster-growing business transformation bit. But that’s an issue for another day,

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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