IBM and the new Era of Social HCM
By Jim Lundy
Earlier this week IBM announced that it was buying HCM provider Kenexa for $1.26 Billion. We will be publishing our First Cut with detailed analysis of that deal tomorrow. We see this signaling the acceleration into the new era of Social HCM. There is a quiet race that is now on for HCM/Talent providers to offer Social applications. IBM’s move just put all the other vendors who don’t have a Social HCM strategy on notice.
Earlier this year we published a Special Report on the Social Enterprise. One of the key areas we focused on was Human Capital Management (see the Research Note titled: The Five Priorities of a Social HCM Strategy). Since that report published, a number of technology providers have made moves to prepare for the Social HCM era. Peoplefluent bought Socialtext for its Social capabilities and now IBM is buying Kenexa to leverage its HCM and Learning capabilities. IBM already has a Social Platform called IBM Connections.
One of the biggest areas of strategic importance for HCM professionals is understanding and identifying people. The Enterprise Profile is clearly something that should be owned by HCM, not IT. This makes the discussion around shifting from a Social Profile to an Enterprise one more strategic. See our related research on Shifting from a Social to an Enterprise Profile.
Social HCM – Who is in
Lots of vendors are jumping into Social HCM. IBM joins the traditional tech titans such as SAP and Oracle, who both have Social HCM capabilities, along with a host of others, such as Peoplefluent, Saba, Salesforce and recent entrant Silkroad. Note that capabilities differ quite a bit. Of these vendors, we evaluated Peoplefluent (it owns Socialtext), SAP (it owns Successfactors), Saba and Salesforce in our recent Aragon Research Globe for Enterprise Social Software. They were the only HCM/Talent vendors that qualified.
Social HCM – Social is more important than Cloud
Social HCM is the new set of talking points, it isn’t just about HCM in the Cloud anymore. The shift to Social HCM is more strategic and a lot more fun to talk about. It is still early days and there is much for HR executives to learn and understand about Social. Clearly, it is all about the applications. As a result, learning and recruiting quickly go to the top of the Social HCM priority list.
Stay tuned for our First Cut tomorrow and for continuing coverage this fall. We expect a number of announcements that will impact this Social HCM category.