Sapient Unveils ALM Solution

Sapient released an agile application lifecycle management (ALM) platform designed to help organizations plan projects, manage change and collaborate. The latest version of the company's ALM software, called ResultSpace, has moved from being an internal Sapient solution to being a generally available product.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company is known more as a consultant and provider of marketing services than as a software vendor. It has two main divisions. Sapient Interactive focuses on the marketing side and Sapient Consulting encompasses the remainder of the company's services work.

Sapient released ResultSpace largely after working with clients who wanted a solution that would continue to leverage Sapient's way of doing business, according to Erik Gottesman, Sapient's product manager for ResultSpace.

"We thought, 'How do we take our accumulative intellectual property that we have and package it more into a turnkey solution?,' Gottesman said. "If an organization wants to adopt agile iterative development techniques, how can they do so and know that it is based on real-life experience, tested best practices?"

Sapient has used its ALM solution internally for about four years to support its clients. The release of ResultSpace, which the company "built from the ground up," according to Gottesman, is not the company's first foray into providing software products. In May, the company commercially released its BridgeTrack marketing software.

ResultSpace is a collaborative tool designed for medium-to-large organizations, which are either in the process of adopting, or that have already adopted, agile development techniques. According to the company's announcement, ResultSpace includes Wikis to enable collaboration and document project ideas. It has "real-time" reporting capabilities to support decision-making. It uses the open source Subversion software configuration management tool and has story management capabilities. It uses special search algorithms for information retrieval.

Gottesman emphasized the product's scalability and usability.

"The focus on usability is an important one," he said. "If you don't get that one right, no matter how scalable the product is, no matter how great the underlying technology or the features and functions, it's going to become shelfware."

Many think of agile development as involving small teams, but Gottesman said that you can have agile teams today that range from just a few people to more than 100 people and still maintain agile development cycles.

Large organizations have particular problems enabling agile development, and the ALM tool is the least of it, Gottesman explained.

"The challenges faced by large organizations in making the move toward more agile iterative development processes, it's 80/20," he said. "Eighty percent of it is organizational change management, and the remaining 20 percent is the processes and the tools selected. In the grand scheme of things, the processes and tools are the tip of the iceberg."

He emphasized that incorporating change is a long-term commitment for organizations and not just a matter of installing a tool.

ResultSpace is a Web-based product that can be used over a network, either behind the firewall or over the Internet. The product is currently available and Sapient offers three different licensing models. There's an on-demand software-as-a-service version, an on-site subscription-based version and Sapient also offers perpetual licenses.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.