Saba Acquires Human Concepts
The talent management technology market consolidation trend continues today with the announcement by Saba of the acquisition of Human Concepts, one of the few pure play workforce planning solutions. With the huge wave of content focussing on SAP/SuccessFactors Oracle/Taleo and Cornerstone Ondemand, it's as if we have forgotten there are other contenders among the Tier One talent management suites. Saba is definitely one of those formidable competitors.
It's been almost a year since we have seen any activity in the workforce planning category, the last deal when PeopleFluent picked up Aquire. I still believe WFP is the key driver of talent management, and this move by Saba just might rekindle the flame.
I first got a glimpse of Human Concepts when I met the founder Martin Sacks. He was a former Managing Director of a Big Six consulting operation and used a product called OrgPlus to manage his very dynamic organization. He liked it so much he eventually decided to buy it and start his own company.
I was a little surprised because I remember OrgPlus from my early days in HR and remember it as a basic piece of desktop software. Human Concepts eventually sold off the legacy product to Administaff (now Insperity) and focussed on a SaaS solution for larger companies. Last year I received a demo of their enterprise solution and was impressed by how far they had come (see our product review here).
Whenever I read one of these M&A press releases and see the plan is to have a "unified platform," and in order to get there "we will integrate the products," it makes me a little queasy. But in this case, I think I get it. Workforce planning is one of those disciplines that requires a lot of data. In fact, the more you dig into it, the more data you need, and it is rarely ever stored in one system. The nature of the discipline requires the technology to be integrated with multiple data sources. Human Concepts should make a nice addition to the Saba suite. It will be interesting to see if they take the plunge into Recruiting next.
The question remains, will this be the tipping point for the consolidation of the WFP category? or will it remain a stand alone? If there are any counter moves out there, Aruspex, Vemo, and Orca Eyes are likely the next targets.