The Talent Management Technology space has always been very dynamic. Ever since the Web made it possible to deliver software over the internet, we have seen ebbs and flows of new solutions and fire sales. In the early 2000′s there were so many Talent Management systems on the market the predictions of consolidation were constant (Back then we called the ATS Talent Management Systems, remember this guy?).
Mass consolidations never really came but there were a few, Kenexa leading the way with the acquisition of Webhire and BrassRing. Taleo shortened the field a bit further when it absorbed Vurv. These vertical consolidations created fewer choices for an ATS, but as the concept of Talent Management broadened to include Performance, Succession, Learning, and Compensation the quest for The Integrated Talent Management Suite took hold. The consolidations started to go horizontal to add new modules.
2010 has been the year of horizontal consolidations in the Talent Management Solutions market and here is how it is shaping up:
Taleo: Started with a Recruiting solution and expanded by developing Performance and Succession modules. This year Taleo acquired Worldwide Compensation and Learn.com to round out the suite. The one component missing is Workforce Planning, look for this gap to close in 2011.
SuccessFactors: Started as the powerhouse in Performance Management, SuccessFactors has grown all modules organically, adding Succession, Compensation, and Recruiting. This year they acquired Infohrm, which is the first indicator that the Workforce Planning space my not stand on its own for very long.
Kenexa: Also started in the Recruiting sector, with three recruiting products(Kenexa Recruiter, Webhire, BrassRing) and developed Performance Management and Learning Management. This year Kenexa acquired Salary.com, which has a little more under the hood than just compensation.
Authoria: One of the original providers with the vision for the integrated suite, Authoria came back onto the grid this year when it acquired Peopleclick and now go by the combined name Peopleclick/Authoria. This is sort of a do over for Authoria who originally purchased Hire.com as the Recruiting engine in 2005.
Stepstone: The first TM solution provider from Europe to make a run at business in North America. Stepstone already had a recruiting product (i-Grasp) but recently acquired Mr. Ted. This sort of corners the market in Europe, it will be interesting to see if the addition bolsters their position in other regions.
SumTotal: Started in 2004 when Docent and Click2Learn merged and dominated the Learning Management space. They acquired a Performance Management company (MindSolv) in 2006. This year they acquired Softscape who was probably the first to organically develop the ITM Suite.
Cornertsone: There was the acquisition that didn’t happen. Cornerstone went public this year. They provide everything except Recruiting. The ADP/Virtual Edge product adds the Recruiting functionality through a strategic alliance. This was unexpected as it seemed there would be a potential acquisition by ADP.
These were not the only transactions that took place in 2010 and by no means are these the only players in the ITM space. But I believe these are the seven that make up the Tier 1 playing field for the Talent Management Suite solutions.
Moving Forward in 2011: It is important to know how different all of these providers are in terms of their origins and how they came to be a Suite provider. In future posts I will go into more details about each of them. I will also discuss some of the other solutions who get classified as Tier 2 (no one likes to get classified as Tier 2), but occasionally secure some Tier 1 business. I will also talk about some of the proliferation that is taking place in this market in spite of the consolidations.