Posted tagged ‘Cornerstone OnDemand’

The Parable of IBM and Kenexa: Part I

September 13, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

I have not seen such a range of varied opinions from members of the HRO and HR tech communities as those about IBM’s acquisition of Kenexa. The commentary showed that many were taken a bit by surprise and weren’t sure how to analyze the news that IBM was acquiring Kenexa for $1.3bn.

IBM Bought Kenexa?

The surprise was not the purchase of Kenexa, which was foreshadowed by the acquisition of Taleo by Oracle and SuccessFactors by SAP. It was more about the fact that IBM was doing the purchasing.

A few  thought that ADP might make such an acquisition since it had already expanded its benefits capabilities with Workscape and SHPS and its RPO capabilities with The RightThing, so wouldn’t talent management make sense? Speculation continued, perhaps Mercer, Ceridian, or even ADP would be the target of an acquisition or merger.

IBM itself was considered likely to continue its acquisitive ways with something more in the talent management / HCM space. Likely targets mentioned included Cornerstone OnDemand, SilkRoad, SumTotal, Saba, with a few suggesting Halogen, Peoplefluent, and others. In short, someone is going to buy something else.

The Meaning of the Deal?

What does this mean we all asked, much like the tale of the Blind Men and the Elephant as was suggested by the leading light Naomi Bloom. Early viewpoints on the acquisition included:

  • Continuing IBM’s move into social media and analytics
  • Continuing IBM’s move into professional services including strengthening RPO
  • Disrupting the HCM market and becoming a talent management player
  • Delivering value to the HR executive
  • Delivering value to the C-suite and bypassing HR
  • Primarily being a HRO deal with some software attached
  • Primarily being a software deal with some HRO attached
  • Upping competition with SAP, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and even Workday
  • Selling into Kenexa’s IBM-like customer base of Fortune 500 clients.

IBM’s news crossed many markets including HRO, HCM, HR tech (software, platform, cloud, etc.), BPO, social media, talent management, and financial and market analysts. Each commenter viewed the same information through the lens of their personal perspective and professional interest, much like the blind men touching different parts of the elephant.

With so many options before it, including IBM’s own announced intentions for the addition of Kenexa, the opportunities are new and exciting. Given the inherent complexities, IBM will face many risks as well. Look for more on The Parable of IBM and Kenexa coming in Part II.

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HRO 2012 Trends – The Evolution of Talent Management

January 12, 2012

The NelsonHall HRO team is pleased to once again contribute the annual HRO Today thought leaders forecast of trends that will influence the year ahead. ‘Artful Predictions’ covers a range of topics with talent management (TM) as one of the highlighted trends. We have covered the subject of talent management frequently as we see the opportunity for it to become an integral part of HR business process outsourcing.

For some time, I have called talent management a disputed ground and a potentially disruptive force that could shake up the HRO field. Why? This is because TM elements include so much of the human capital management value chain and cross over everything—from HR ERPs, software modules, HRO business process outsourcing, HR consulting and the roles of HR leaders, HR business partners, and internal shared service centers. TM includes performance management, succession and career planning, recruiting and staffing, compensation, and learning. I also include workforce planning and management under the TM umbrella.

In addition to the HR ERP vendors and the specialty TM software providers, there are HRO providers that are also building out their TM capability internally as well as through strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

  • Kenexa acquired BHI (Batrus Hollweg) a TM company. Although Kenexa has developed TM expertise internally, the company has also been enhancing its efforts over the past few years through prior acquisitions that have included:
    • Salary.com to strengthen its compensation management capability
    • The Centre for High Performance Development to further strengthen its leadership development and management training offering
    • Gantz Wiley Research to increase its employee survey research capabilities.
  • Mercer acquired Censeo Corporation to enhance its TM consulting capabilities and online platform of assessment services.
  • Both Kenexa and NGA are partnering with SkillSoft for learning content.
  • In July, Talent2 re-branded itself to simplify its talent management focus.
    • It also became a reseller of Cornerstone OnDemand, most widely used for its performance management, including succession planning and learning modules.
    • Talent2 also added advisory services as a service offering to help clients more effectively deploy the capabilities.

With recruiting as one of the core TM processes, RPO vendors are among the early leaders in developing internal as well as external TM service options. NorthgateArinso has been moving in this area as well, coming from the standpoint of bring it all together into one integrated system and services package. With the acquisition of The Right Thing, ADP signals both a stronger move into RPO and its interest in TM.

The HRO Today article also discusses whether HRO has reached the maturity stage of providing ‘true business value’. I believe that talent management evolving into a full-fledged HRO service with technology-enabled tools, data integration across the full suite of HR data, supported by analytics assistance and consulting is critical to HRO providing true business value results for clients and achieving its own full measure of success as an invaluable industry.

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

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Learning 2.0 Portals – From Buzz to Abundant Value to Increasing Innovation

September 16, 2010

In blogs earlier this year, I wrote about “The Buzz About Learning 2.0 Portals” and “The Abundant Value of Learning 2.0 Portals.” We’re now seeing providers building increasingly innovative components and capabilities into their learning portals, which can exponentially increase their value and usage.

For example, just yesterday Expertus announced it was recently awarded a virtual instructor-led training (ILT) contract by a large global software provider. Expertus will develop a virtual ILT program to train the client’s sales force on new products, and to educate technical sales architects. Delivered over the ExpertusOne social learning platform, components of the program include hosted live events around the world, live chat with international subject matter experts, hands-on labs, virtual classrooms, online proctors and technical support. And the client’s anticipated cost savings – through elimination of worldwide travel and events expenses – is up to $5 million. While these types of portals of course require a financial investment, such potential hefty cost savings provide justification.

Other examples:

• OCLC, a nonprofit, membership-based computer library service and research organization needed to bring together library staff and organizations around the world, and provide a venue that would allow them to engage in discussions, participate in groups, share content and engage in collaborative learning development. The solution it selected was Plateau’s Talent Gateway platform, which integrates social tools, content management, Plateau learning management, customer management and virtual meeting spaces. It’s enabling OCLC members to connect with colleagues across the library community using social tools, create custom content, join in conversations, create ad-hoc communities and learn relevant skills.

• Liberty Mutual is using Cornerstone OnDemand’s Cornerstone Connect to facilitate informal learning as part of the company’s front line management training program. Participants take part in an in-person, weeklong program, supported by supplemental online courses via Cornerstone’s learning management system. Using Cornerstone Connect, Liberty Mutual’s team has created a management community to maximize and extend the benefits of the training program. Components of the Cornerstone Connect platform include rich user profiles, status updates, live feed views, communities of practice, discussion boards, blogs, wikis, podcasts, rating and sharing of content, knowledge management, tag clouds and RSS feeds.

One of the common, and critical, capabilities across all these platforms – as well as those already offered or under development by other providers – is engagement. In an isolated e-learning environment, it’s all too easy for the mind to wander (“Did I remember to send that memo?” “Hum, I wonder if there’s any cake in the break room?”) and equally challenging to feel a sense of connection (“Is anyone else unclear about that point the instructor just made?” “Who can I ask, other than my boss?”) Social media capabilities such as discussion boards and live chats with peers and subject matter experts can significantly enhance engagement in, and the resulting value of, e-learning.

Expect to see an increase in uptake of Learning 2.0 portals that enable engagement via social media capabilities. The rapid deployment, learning enhancement and cost savings value prop is über compelling.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

SaaS Solutions Continue to Emerge for HR

January 22, 2010

There’s little question that Software as a Service (SaaS) Internet-based solutions hosted by an external vendor offer a wide range of benefits to buyers including: 1) Access to a single database from any location; 2) No need for additional hardware other than existing laptops or desktop PCs; 3) No need to pay for maintenance and upgrades, as compared to in-house systems or ERP solutions; 4) No IT staff required for support or other needs; 5) The system can be accessed by users anytime 24x7x365; 6) When used across multiple locations and geographies, one system allows for standardization and efficiency, increasing compliance and lowering costs; and 7) Bottom-line reduced costs in service delivery.

But is SaaS a panacea for HR’s service delivery needs? In a word, no.  SaaS by itself is not a remedy for completely eliminating a buyer’s internal HR staff or an organization’s propensity to outsource, particularly in the mid to large market. That’s why we will continue to see an increasing array of SaaS and HRO services-bundled offerings from vendors supporting a wide range of HR processes including benefits administration, health and welfare administration, HRO analytics, RPO, outsourced training and payroll.

That said, examples of the SaaS components of these solutions include:

• MidlandHR’s iTrent software is a web-based, integrated HR and payroll system which helps its clients tackle HR issues such as payroll, talent management, succession planning, recruitment and absence management

• NorthgateArinso’s euHReka OnDemand supports HR administration and payroll processes, preconfigured for more than 50 countries, and talent management processes in 24 languages, on a single integrated platform

• Patersons, a global payroll provider, uses SaaS developed in-house to deliver payroll to companies in 160 countries via a global network of providers

• Cornerstone OnDemand is a SaaS offering that supports talent management, performance management, succession planning, learning management, compensation management, social networking and reporting and analytics (note: ADP and Cornerstone entered into a partnership in mid 2009 to enhance its talent management capability)

It’s important to note here that service providers are muddying the waters a bit by referring to their offerings as SaaS, on-demand or managed services. And while there are differences among the three – a topic we’ll cover in a future blog – suffice it to say that NelsonHall expects the volume of “SaaS-esque” contracts to significantly increase over the next several years. For data points and statistics, we’ll soon be reporting the results of our Q409 Outsourcing Confidence Index which includes a focus on “Proportion of contracts signed which were platform-based.” Stay tuned!

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall