Market Watch for Talent & HR – August

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Executive Summary

In August, the HR technology explosion continues, organizations in the market are enhancing their product offerings, targeting market expansion, and creating a value proposition that combines technology, AI talent and market leadership.  

HR technology vendors realized that to become and/or maintain market leadership and be recognized and innovators, they need to innovate and make decisions in terms of “Build” or “Buy” capabilities that will allow them to invest, acquire and expand. 

Examples of this market trend include, Cornerstone, a leader in the LMS market, was acquired by Clearlake, and Medallia, a leading organization of employee and customer data-driven surveys, was acquired by Thoma Bravo.  Furthermore, Qualtrics, another leading organization in the employee survey space, was also acquired by Clarabridge to enhance its conversational analytics capabilities. Microsoft acquired SwoopTalent to bring AI and machine learning to enrich talent profiles to power employee experience decisions, personalized learning pathways, and talent mobility.

Market Insights

  • EdCast announced new features for its digital platformMy Guide” powered by advanced AI capabilities of IBM Watson to bring future-ready conversational capabilities to enterprises. Clients include Dell, Diageo, Schneider Electric, Etisalat and HP. See below some key highlights on this Accenture ecosystem partner:
    • EdCast is investing heavily in AI.  In June, EdCast launched Skills DNA to enhance its talent & learning experience platform.
    • Skills DNA provides the tools for a unified architecture that help organizations to edit, modify, aggregate, and integrate skills taxonomies from many sources in one central repository for learning recommendation, reskilling and talent mobility.
    • Competing solutions include Degreed, Valamis, Gloat, Fuel 50, and Eightfold. 
    • Impact: One of the biggest challenges organizations are facing is how to build a skills system of record that can modify, edit, and aggregate data from multiple skill taxonomies. Organizations are recognizing the need of creating a skill engine framework to enable end-to-end employee experience journeys including new skilling, learning and internal mobility.
  • Qualtrics announced the acquisition of Clarabridge, the leader in omnichannel conversational analytics, in an all-stock deal worth $1.125 billion. Clients include BMW, Under Armour, Goldman Sachs, Zillow, United Airlines, USAA, and Bank of America. Clarabridge brings AI-powered conversational analytics capabilities to analyze massive volumes of indirect customer feedback—captured from unstructured sources.
    • The Qualtrics platform offers four key dimensions of experience data: Customer XM, Employee EX, Brand XM, and Product XM. The system collects employee/customer feedback via surveys and translates it into analytics that predicts satisfaction and engagement for organizations to take actions based on recommendations.
    • Competing solutions:  Glint, Perceptyx, Medallia, Peakon, Yva, and Culture Amp. 
    • Impact: Employee listening is becoming a high priority for our clients who are increasingly recognizing the benefits of using technology and analytics for employee experience and engagement purposes. 
  • Cornerstone was acquired by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. The transaction has an enterprise value of approximately $5.2 billion. Upon the completion of the transaction, Cornerstone will become a privately held company and shares of Cornerstone common stock will no longer be listed on any public market. See news here.
  • Medallia was acquired by Thoma Bravo in an all-cash transaction that values Medallia at $6.4 billion. This move allows Medallia to accelerate growth, have access to capital resources, and expand its client base. See news here.
  • SAP acquired SwoopTalent, an organization that focuses on talent intelligence. SwoopTalent provides a platform powered by natural language processing, AI, and machine learning that combines, analyzes, and trains data from disparate human resource systems and workflows to create employee profiles. See news here.
  • Paradox acquired Traitify, to enhance current chatbot capabilities with mobile-first next-generation assessments that will help organizations, for hire-volume recruiting, to predict the candidate’s suitability for the role. See news here.
  • acquired the Novo Group; an organization that provides a wind-range of recruiting services to a wide array of customers, including life sciences, manufacturing, and consumer goods See news here.
  • raised $16 million in series A funding. The organization’s approach is to personalize learning plans based on the current level of an employee’s proficiency, thereby closing the skills gap via assessment on technical skills. See news here.
  • Talview raised $15M in series B funding. This investment will be used to enhance its AI-powered video interviewing capabilities to provide insights into talent, and make informed, data-driven, and unbiased talent hiring decisions. See news here.
  • Retrain.AI raised $7M in funding. This organization uses AI and machine learning to help governments and organizations retrain and upskill talent for jobs of the future, and help employees and jobseekers manage their careers. See news here.
  • WorkPatterns received investment from the Zoom Apps Fund. According to the news, the funding will be used to accelerate product development and bolster WorkPattern’s ability to build new features to help managers with tools to organize, motivate, and engage their teams. See news here.
  • Coursera launched Leadership Academy as Coursera for Business expands. See news here.

Relevant Articles

  • McKinsey published: Boards, talent, and culture. See article here.
  • Deloitte published: Digital workplaces and the hybrid work model. See article here.
  • Josh Bersin published two relevant articles: 
    • Workday Vs. ServiceNow: The Big Shift. See article here. 
    • Learning Technologies Group Acquires GP Strategies: Learning Consulting Is Hot. See article here.

Art of the Possible

  • Elon Musk reveals Tesla Bot. See video here.
  • Preparing the trusted internet for the age of quantum computing; reported by Deloitte. See news here. 
  • Boston Dynamics robot Atlas can do parkour and gymnastics. See video here.

More to come! Stay tuned.

Note: All views expressed on this article do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. My opinions are my own.

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Albert Loyola

Artificial Intelligence | Employee Experience| HR Transformation| Advisor| Speaker

Albert brings global market research experience  to help executives harness intelligent technologies, reinvent HR, re-skilling and employee experience across NAR, APAC, LATAM and EMEA regions.

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