Convergence in Learning and HCM

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Since June I have been working with a client to determine their requirements for transitioning from an internally created external facing learning management system to an off-the shelf one to satisfy many of the current systems’ deficiencies. This engagement also included the organization’s needs for internal learning management, which in turn resulted in many discussions around performance and talent management, and succession planning. Throughout this process it has been amazing to see many individual’s appetite for more sophisticated and actionable-based systems directing everything from on boarding through learning and performance management to a complete picture on the organization’s talent pool and where they maybe deficient, have flight risks or are okay for tomorrow’s workday.

Understanding that these needs exist from business units, IT, HR and executives only reinforces what has been happening lately in the HRIS, HCM, HRMS, or “whatever you want to call it” world. The convergence of many systems into a single offering from a given vendor is the current trend. Many in this space are acquiring their “missing pieces” to offer an end-to-end solution comprising core HR functions and associated modules including recruiting, talent, performance, learning and succession.

Consider the latest happenings and tell me convergence is not occurring at a rapid pace:

  • Success Factors (Talent/Performance/Recruiting) acquires Plateau(Learning) and now Success Factors is acquired by SAP(Core HR)
  • Taleo (Talent/Performance/Recruiting) acquires (Learning) and now is in the process of being acquired by Oracle(Core HR plus a lot more….)
  • SumTotal which started off as a pure training company many years ago has evolved from Asymetrix to Click2Learn, to a merger with Docent to now a company with a complete HCM offering with individual modules supporting Core HR and Talent/Performance/Recruiting

Convergence is happening in this SaaS world with vendors creating a complete solution with modules that can be turned on/off for their clients based on their current needs with the goal of every client using all modules with the vendors’ suite.

Where does that leave the LMS vendors that are still independent and focused on just learning and or learning/talent/performance?

Maybe it leaves them ripe for acquisition, or ripe for death. However you look at it, it is a very interesting time for those of us in this space who are waiting for the next domino to fall.

Is that domino Workday and if so what is their plan? I can guarantee you it is not to be acquired by Oracle……..

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