By John Ambrose
This week’s announcement that IBM is acquiring Kenexa for $1.3 billion has generated a lot of buzz. As I wrote on the Skillsoft blog back in December when SAP announced it was acquiring SuccessFactors, this sends a clear message to other large traditional software/services vendors - it’s all about the cloud. And as Josh Bersin wrote in his blog post on the acquisition, after SAP‘s acquisition of SuccessFactors and Oracle‘s acquisition of Taleo, it’s IBM’s turn to jump into the HR and talent management market.
Organizations are recognizing the significant hard- and soft-cost advantages of procuring software and content in the cloud. For the past decade, SaaS vendors including Skillsoft have been extolling the financial and deployment advantages of cloud-delivery models.Skillsoft has always been a cloud-based provider and maintains relationships with many talent management vendors, including Kenexa. This relationship and our commitment to our common customers will continue.
IBM acquiring Kenexa, just like SAP’s move did back in December, underscores the importance of integrating talent management with existing mainstream corporate infrastructure. This is good for corporate users as they do not check their consumer tendencies at the front door of the company and expect and deserve a better, more seamless talent management experience.
Learning content is key to any successful talent management program from recruitment to retirement. Skillsoft will continue to provide this essential ingredient to the talent process for our clients regardless of whether they are an SAP, Oracle or IBM shop.
This deal, along with SAP’s acquisition in December and Oracle’s acquisition of Taleo earlier this year, confirms that organizations value employee development as a competitive differentiator more than ever before. The industry has moved from tactical (but necessary) human resource administration toward higher-value human capital management (HCM), where developing people, not the process, is the focus.