Like its rivals iXL Enterprises, Viant, Razorfish and others, Scient, which provides clients help with Web development and devising Internet strategies, has been hit hard in recent months as the industry continues to trudge through a changing landscape.
Several consultancies have turned their focus away from serving dot-com clients, following the April stock earthquake that rocked a flurry of new Internet companies. Cash-strapped dot-coms, a number of which have already gone under, can no longer afford to purchase consulting services.
"The new economy is dead, and really, this is the crux of the massive change we've seen in the market," said Christopher Lochhead, Scient's chief marketing officer. "We're moving with the market. The next economy is where we think the market is going."
The San Francisco company is defining the "next economy" as the next big landgrab, with Internet consultants targeting more lucrative Fortune 500 clients and providing consulting services that address emerging technologies, such as broadband, wireless and optical networking.
While several so-called pure-play Web consultancies churned out disappointing quarterly results, Scient last week posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings fueled by a spike in revenues.
Although the company escaped the quarter relatively unscathed, Scient says the market transition has been difficult.
"When the whole market moves so rapidly as it did, it's a challenge for everybody," Lochhead said.