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HR Technology Column

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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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The Shape of Things to Come!
In HR technology, everyone always wants to know what's coming down the pike in one, two or five years. Happily, both new and experienced industry analysts just published reports last week on this subject. They give me air cover and some validation for what I've been noodling about.
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The 'New Normal' of Talent Management
HR executives -- and their C-suite leadership -- must act now to deal with the "new normal" of talent management. A global recession, a lack in needed skill sets, an aging workforce and disconnected talent strategies are combining to create corporate crises.

This is a guest column by Jason Averbook for a vacationing Bill Kutik.
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SuccessFactors, Taleo & Cornerstone!
If you think, as many seem to, that there are only two major suite vendors leading the seven-year Talent Management sweepstakes -- SuccessFactors and Taleo -- forget about it! Recent events, and not just its successful initial public offering, make plain that Cornerstone OnDemand has joined that exclusive group and will be staying.
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Two Tech Vendors Sold in One Day?!
The selling of Lawson and Plateau within a 24-hour period represents just one data point rather than the first sparks of a fire sale. But a closer look at these transactions provides end-users with some important insights into the strains and pressures shaping the HR technology world. It's also worth noting that SuccessFactors may have gotten a gem!
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