Authoria, a provider of Talent Management solutions for human resources and workforces, acquired Peopleclick by the command of their owners Bedford Funding to form Peopleclick Authoria that will be approximately in the range of $100 million in revenue for 2009. Both enterprise software focused technology vendors had been advancing their solutions as part of the cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) movement. This is an important move for both organizations that needed to reach a certain size of customers and recurring revenue to grow and expand operations globally.
Authoria brought recruiting, performance, compensation, succession and communications and has been working to advance the depth of capabilities and make them more readily available from mobile technologies as pointed out from my analysis at HR Tech (See: “HR Tech Brings New Products but HR Budgets May Limit Potential“). Peopleclick also brings recruitment and onboarding but also complimentary vendor management and specialized capabilities for managing and monitoring large workforces with business intelligence for having insight to pre and post hire activities to ensure workforce compliance and diversity. In fact Peopleclick provided some critical information for large workforces across the world that needed to monitor a range of compliance information requirements. Peopleclick had been build good momentum with 7-11, BestBuy, GlaxoSmithKline, Home Depot, McDonalds, Motorola, Siemens and T-Mobile to name a few of their customers.
This organization will be led by Charles Jones from Bedford Human Capital Management Holding Corporation. Charles is an experienced software veteran from last several decades who knows M&A but also as being the CEO of Geac which is now part of what is known as Infor. Charles is now the Chairman and CEO of Peopleclick Authoria who leads the newly formed organization. I was fortunate enough to have an insightful interview with Charles to get a deeper perspective on the direction and intention of Peopleclick Authoria and where the customers, products and organizations will move forward. It was nice to reconnect with Charles who remembered our in-depth research and assessment of Geac. First the integrated organization will leverage the best of both teams to ensure that the existing customers and products can be managed to their maximum return which means to maintain and improve existing products for some time as both organizations service major global organizations. Next is to rationalize some of the technology and where complimentary synergies can be found that is no easy task as both organizations have different technology foundations to their product lines that will take time to work out.
I had seen little communications from either organization in 2009 and also they were not as actively engaged into new customer opportunities where I thought it made sense to be on short list of evaluations. In addition the steps and secret to being successful is not to spend all the time engaging with human resources who will only provide so much growth and support to suppliers like Peopleclick or Authoria. Only a small percentage of HR organizations have the competency and maturity to drive strategic improvement and transformational talent and workforce process improvements. The finance organization must fund improvements and operations that manage the workforce must embrace it as we have seen and validated in our research. The reduced communication and lack of breadth in addressing the executive and management buyers was a large concern of mine that I addressed to Charles who does understand this critical juncture for their organization and the industry. Only time will tell if he can drive change in both organization’s cultures and execution to be different than in 2009.
The combination of technology vendors brings a new force to the market or what I have commonly called workforce performance management. This segment has struggled in 2009 as human resources had to mostly maintain or reduce their software and application expenditures compared to previous years. It is also a diverse market of technology suppliers. Many in recent industry discussions from the acquisition point to major competitors being Taleo and SuccessFactors there are still the likes of Infor, Kenexa, Kronos, Softscape, Workscape and Plateau who all have presence and ability to grow significantly in 2010. I am also curious to see if Oracle and SAP can truly step up and play a larger role than they have been doing in the last five years where they left off with dominating the HRMS market as part of the ERP market.
Despite the complicated competitive environment the opportunity for Peopleclick to advance forward is quite straight forward. A lot of hard work and a more refined vision and strategy of why organizations need to embrace their approach compared to others and be embraced by finance and operations management with a clear cost and benefit value proposition. Let’s see if 2010 is the year of the workforce and if Peopleclick can help organizations truly invest into the most valuable asset.
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Mark Smith - CEO & EVP Research