Saba @Work Summit: Empowering Leaders Through Intelligence
By Jim Lundy
There is definitely a close link between leadership and employee engagement. In other words, employee engagement depends on strong leadership. Strong leadership depends on having keen insights into employees, their needs, requirements, and how they work.
At the Saba @Work 2015 Summit in Las Vegas, there was a strong focus on getting intelligence through analytics to empower leaders.
Refocused Business Direction
Saba took the opportunity at the summit to officially announce that Vector Capital has taken it private. With Vector Capital’s acquisition, I do think Saba will be in good shape. They didn’t make any drastic changes to the management team which is a good sign.
Saba made several announcements on product enhancements to its portfolio. It announced the new Compensation@Work module (released at the end of last year) to complete its talent suite and Saba Benchmark, which will aggregate user data and enable leaders to visually compare the data against key performance metrics.
As Saba presented its portfolio of offerings, there was a clear focus on showing how all the components and modules in Saba Cloud were connected and worked together. Seamlessly throughout the platform was the analytics engine for helping leaders be more predictive and prescriptive.
It’s not enough just to be able to predict outcomes; how prescriptive you can be to determine the right course of action from a business decision-making perspective is extremely important.
TIM (The Intelligent Mentor)
Saba’s predictive analytics capabilities are encapsulated in TIM. Saba Benchmark will work with intelligence from TIM to visually show key performance metrics and provide visibility into where issues are. For example, with the Recruiting@Work module, TIM enables HR and business leaders to gain insight into candidates for potential hires and also the overall employee lifecycle from onboarding through succession.
Mind you, as with any predictive analytics engine, TIM will need to be tuned to begin making recommendations on business processes such as recruiting. Once tuned, business leaders will be able to get clear recommendations, but also see side-by-side comparisons of candidates. This is a key feature for making better decisions.
Integration, Customization, and the Saba Marketplace
Saba also made announcements around its architecture. The platform will be flexible from an architecture perspective to support integrations via APIs. This also comes alongside the new Saba SDK which will enable partners and developers to build their own apps to be placed in the Saba Marketplace.
This is a clear app ecosystem play from Saba and it will be interesting to see how the strategy unfolds. It does fit with the overall trend of technology providers creating their own app stores and app marketplaces.
Saba Cloud Momentum
Saba has added various incentives to entice customers to move to Saba Cloud. All signs show that it is working, as there has been progress in moving customers to the cloud. Customers who made the move were showcased at the summit. Notable enterprises such as Dell, Aflac, McDonalds, and Intel were on stage discussing their respective moves to the cloud.
As I interacted with Saba customers at the Summit, moving to the cloud was the number one topic of discussion by far. The good news is that customers are evaluating and preparing to migrate to Saba Cloud. However, it’s also scary for them and comes with a lot of hesitation and uncertainty. Saba has to be very proactive here in alleviating fears as customers try to chart a path toward Saba Cloud.