Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mergers and Acquisitions

As Jason Corsello notes in his most recent blog post ( , there have been a number acquisitions of interest in the HCM/Talent space. Excluding Oracle and SAP, I would like to ask my small, but hopefully growing, list of readers to identify some of the mergers in the space that they would think are real winners for the space and for users out there. Please post why as well if you have some good combos in mind.

I am not going to post my ideas initially, because I am in a biased position, but I would like to see what others think would make good sense.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Customer satisfaction via SaaS in HCM

Classically, larger organisations are accustomed to driving nearly any business requirement in to their ERP implementations regardless of whether or not that capability existed off-the-shelf. This is not news. However, with SaaS solutions beginning to seriously penetrate large organizations, there does not yet seem to be a proper balance between accepting the best practises (fuzzy edges and all) of SaaS solutions and addressing all of an organisations business requirements.

This leads to an irritating situation all around. Specifically, if an organisation evaluates SaaS vendors against robustly documented business requirements, inevitably SaaS solutions fall short due to the wide variance in business processes. Unfortunately, some organisations choose to utterly ignore their own business requirements, assuming that the price/benefit of SaaS is so good, and that adopting embedded best practises is just something they'll have to do.

This leads to an often huge customer satisfaction issue for organisations as they begin to realise "My SaaS talent management application does not support all sorts of things that my old on-premise application did." The next comment often goes back to the vendor, "Your application sucks. At first it was easy, but when we tried to do some of these more advanced things, you can't help us much at all. Furthermore, you jerks told us in the sales process that you supported all of these best practises, now I think you were just lying." Of course this is an extreme example, but it is absolutely more prevalent in HCM vs. SFA/CRM.

The point is, large organisations MUST take ownership and responsibility for what they are getting from a SaaS vendor, then hold the vendor accountable to what they delivered. But, they cannot foist responsibility for lack of buying diligence on to the vendor. Companies who are satisfied with their SaaS vendor are overwhelming those that went in with their eyes open, knowing what they would get, and how they would get it.

Just because one wants it cheap, easy, and effective doesn't necessarily mean one will get it that way. Unfortunately, this is the way most SaaS vendors sell. Why, because ignorant organisations continue to buy this way.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bios are not Talent Profiles!

In the latest Human Capitalist post ( Jason Corsello links to Michael Phelps' "Talent Profile." Well, if a short bio is a Talent Profile, than so are baseball cards, IMDB bios, and any number of things. For these things to be useful in Talent Management, you actually have to use them as a starting point to do something useful. This is easier said than done. Organizations should demand real utility out of Talent Profiles.

Similarly, the mere presence of loosely correlated, but highly incomplete and unvalidated, information does not make it necessarily useful. LinkedIn is the king of faux value in my opinion.

Actually, baseball cards contain a lot of useful information. It's a pity that the vast majority of jobs do not have unfied measurement methodologies like athletes do. Talent management would be a lot easier if nearly everyone had the same job functions.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I have finally had it...

This is the inagural post on my new HCM/SaaS blog. I had to do this as an outlet to challenge all of the ridiculous crap I hear in the HCM technology and SaaS community. I have made a few posts in the past on other industry blogs, but those were not sufficient to slake my need to vent, and at least challenge the crazy amount of propaganda and outright bullshit that is spewed in this market.

Now, to set a few things straight about this blog and how I intend to conduct it.

1. I intend to be brutally honest, and you should be as well if you comment on posts...bring it on. We are all allegedly adults, so we can take it.

2. I will use profanity from time-to-time. I will do so if only because it drives HR professionals nuts. Plus, it's just how I say things sometimes.

3. I will not propagate nor tolerate gratuitous personal attacks. Disagree if you like with me or anyone else, but don't disparage anyone without bringing specifics on your beef with that person, company, etc. Breaking this rule will get comments deleted.

4. I really think HCM technology, talent management, SaaS, Social Networking, etc. are great and valuable things, but the misinformation is killing me! So, when I viciously criticize things, remember it's love making me do it. That, and a general desire not to see companies and vendors waste money and time.

5. I really am a senior person in this industry. If you ask the real me if I am TechSphinx, I will deny it. Luckily, most everyone who isn't me will deny it as well.

6. I will try to post regularly, and improve the look and feel of the blog over time.

7. I respect a lot of people in the industry, including other bloggers, so please don't take any vehemently worded contrary opinions too personally. It doesn't mean I think you are a bad person. Feel free to blast me right back.

Alright, now on to the fun!