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HR Technology Column

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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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How Much Money Do You Make?
Nobody will tell you that, right? But TALX has been quietly collecting that data for years and now has it for 50 million people. Parent Equifax wants to use it to re-invent the credit reporting business. Plus create some new services and incentives for HR that may seem scary at first but could help employees, particularly now.
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Let's Talk Payroll ... Payroll?!?
Payroll gets no respect, unfortunately, except when it breaks. Now the two largest companies providing it as an outsourced service -- ADP and Ceridian -- are undertaking similar radical restructurings of all their HR products and how they sell them. While facing beefed-up competition, as always.
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Pssssst! Wanna Free HRMS?
OrangeHRM, an "open source" HRMS, has been available free for years for smaller companies. Now it faces the challenge of adapting to SaaS -- an issue never imagined when the open-source movement started years ago. The two brothers/owners are making the transition, while trying to stay true to their roots.
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Finally, Job Candidates Catch a Break!
Can you imagine anything worse right now than being unemployed? With the way many companies treat job candidates? Their lives may have gotten just got a little better thanks to StartWire, a new service from two recruiting technology pros. Using social-network technology (of course), they're making job-hunting go viral.
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Recruiting Battles Chaos!
The current chaos in recruiting is not, unfortunately, from hiring many of the 15.1 million unemployed. It's from companies trying to deal with a constantly shifting technology landscape offering more ways to capture scarce candidates -- and setting up more opportunities for failure. SmashFly and jobs2web are two companies trying to weave all the pieces together for recruiting.
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