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HR Technology Column

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Ce-le-bra-tion, Come On! Workday Rising
Workday had many reasons to celebrate at its recent annual user conference, Workday Rising: its wildly successful IPO, its seemingly delighted 350+ customers and its continuing sales momentum. Plus, with three releases a year, Workday is filling the holes in its software faster than customers can fall into any of them.
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Kutik on KI's Next Step
I got the biggest news of the HR Technology® Conference Sunday morning before it opened: Knowledge Infusion, the hottest consultancy in HR for the last seven years, is being acquired. CEO Jason Averbook sees KI continuing on its current path, but going much wider than before with new owner Appirio.
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Awesome New Technologies for HR
Discovering new trends in HR technology doesn't take rocket science, just a long-term time commitment. The companies selected for this year's "Awesome" session at the conference, along with the runners-up, speak volumes about what entrepreneurs are doing and what they think HR needs.
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There is Another! SilkRoad
Just what Yoda told the worried spirit of Obi-Wan-Kenobi as Luke Skywalker cut short his Jedi training to rocket off to save his friends in the second original "Star Wars" movie. There is another vendor offering a unified SaaS HRMS and a full talent-management suite: SilkRoad.
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Storm Clouds over Silicon Valley
Just as Workday filed its long-expected bid to go public, Oracle and SAP are furiously integrating their acquisitions of Taleo and SuccessFactors with a refrain from one song in mind: "Gotta stop that man. I've gotta stop that man cold. Or he'll stop me." (In this case, the lyrics, from "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," are referencing Workday's co-CEOs Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri.)
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Software Secrets from the North
Canada is a wonderful country, which I've explored from coast to coast and to the north. More HR software companies come from there than you may realize -- Taleo, Rypple, dayforce to name just three -- but one of my favorites has always been Halogen Software. Call it scrappy, but that doesn't make it small, like a terrier.
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ADP Changes Strategy for Integrated Talent Management Suite
ADP had an integrated set of SaaS HCM talent management products from partner Cornerstone OnDemand, but is now finishing building a second one called ADP Talent to compete with its partner. How ADP got to this juncture is an illuminating story of how the software industry has always worked.
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Ceridian Pivots Widely
"Pivots," a marvelous Silicon Valley term, means making a major change in a company's business direction without judgment on the success of the earlier one. That's exactly what Ceridian is doing now, slowly abandoning its heritage as a payroll service and becoming a SaaS software vendor -- with a new leader!
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Lifetimes of Tech Change
For computer hardware and software, 25 years represents several lifetimes of changes. For HR, it has meant continually getting more control over -- and access to -- its own technology. Changes over the next 25 years will certainly be radical, too, and if I knew exactly what they'd be, I'd quit writing and get rich from them.
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Latest on SuccessFactors, Taleo Acquisitions
Amazingly, SAP and SuccessFactors have stuck by every promise they made three months ago, putting all pundits and cynics to shame -- including me. Oracle and Taleo, meanwhile, have released some pretty specific details of an early product roadmap, with existing Taleo customers seemingly buoyed by what they have heard.
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Analytics! (Did I Just Scare You?)
Workforce analytics can seem scary and complicated, which must be two of the many reasons they have not been successfully used inside HR departments for decades. After many previous attempts by software vendors large and small, consultant Mercer may have come up with a winning combination of technology and consulting.
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Is Salesforce.com in Your Future?
The December announcement that Salesforce.com is acquiring Rypple has sparked a flurry of speculation about how the poster child (and largest) SaaS software company is moving into HCM. The senior executives in charge make clear that their effort will be both larger -- and smaller -- than you think.
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New Words on SAP, SuccessFactors!?
SAP's friendly acquisition of SuccessFactors released a torrent of words unprecedented in our world since Oracle's hostile takeover of PeopleSoft seven years ago. The discussion came together most sharply on the HR Technology® Conference group on LinkedIn. The entire process was fascinating.
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Analyst Day Surprises!
Analyst briefings have evolved from technology vendor executives visiting a few top industry analysts to hosting Analyst Day events, in an effort to keep a wider group of important influencers up to date on their companies' business success, products and plans. Two recent Analyst Day meetings held by Kenexa and SumTotal revealed much about the aims of these companies -- but left some questions as well.
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An Amazing Conference
My reflections on smart devices and social technology plus insights and observations from others about the recently concluded 14th Annual HR Technology® Conference. It was an outstanding event -- drawing together a worldwide community of 4,600 people who care about HR technology.
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What Does Taleo Do Exactly?
Silly question, right? Recruiting software, of course, for the largest multinational companies: 50 of the Fortune 100. But a lot more besides -- the entire talent management suite, in fact -- and now, the company finally seems ready to tackle the problem and implications of most HR people simply not knowing that.
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The Hottest Trends in HR Technology
Innovation is alive and well in Silicon Valley, where vendors continue to develop new apps that can benefit not just HR's own productivity, but the entire business.
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Oracle Fusion Comes into Focus
After five years of stony silence before finally announcing and showing Fusion HCM, Oracle has a market perception problem that will dissipate as it sells more customers (as it is doing), and their experiences get out into the world. But the cage match with Workday is already well underway.
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