1. Why HCM May Be The Next Wave We See From Salesforce

    Why HCM May Be The Next Wave We See From Salesforce

    The HRTech Expo is the see-and-be-seen annual event for the Human Resources community and was held the past week in Las Vegas. Why would we report on an event like this that is so far afield of where we traditionally find Salesforce.com stories? One simple reason: that’s going to change.

    Salesforce and longtime talent management leader Lumesse made a brief but potentially game changing announcement at HRTech2014. They have joined forces to transform the face of Human Capital Management; that intersection of people, processes and technology that help organizations optimize their workforces. They are collaborating to create TalentObjects by Lumesse, a full suite of talent acquisition and talent management modules built on the Salesforce1 platform. Some will remember that Salesforce made an effort in that space a few years back that fizzled before it popped, but this time it feels different. Why?  There are several things that jump out at us.

    • Strength of the partnership.  The team is going far beyond a re-hosting of industry-leading applications to a cloud platform. They are starting with a blank sheet of paper and building a fresh set of applications that draw on Lumesse’s considerable experience in the Talent Management space. The company has 600 domain experts, 2300 customers and arguably more experience than any company on the planet as to what it takes to serve globally deployed, locally executed HR practices. This is a big deal.
    • Assets in the mix.  This is a true OEM relationship, meaning Lumesse is OEM’ing the Salesforce1 platform, adding its IP on top and then delivering as a single, TalentObjects-branded package. But that isn’t what makes this special. Salesforce has also decided that Lumesse is the right partner to provide and help incorporate its Work.com objects into applications and has included those in the OEM relationship. This is a major commitment of IP.
    • This is a Salesforce1 native build.  This is a smart move on the part of Lumesse. By doing a native build, the company accomplishes a couple of key things. First, it hugely shortens the cycle time on innovation by allowing its domain experts to focus solely on capabilities and user experience, leaving the plumbing to Salesforce. Second, it gains access to all the Social, Mobile, Communities, and Collaboration capabilities of the platform. And these are all core to any Talent Acquisition or Talent Management process today.
    • Vision meets Innovation. It is worth noting that Lumesse is recognized as a visionary in those vaunted Gartner Magic Quadrants. And Forbes has recognized Salesforce as the top innovator for the fourth year running in its annual rankings. Allen Johnson is Marketing Head for TalentObjects and he sums it up like this. “When you put Vision together with Innovation and then execute, you get disruption. You get Disneyland. Southwest Airlines. 1000 songs in your pocket.” Lofty objectives, but we like that.
    • Logic is a good indicator and this is logical.  Salesforce wants to drive itself to the top of the Enterprise Software market. To do that, it has to go broader in the Enterprise. And it’s clear that company leaders recognize it can’t do it alone. “Organic” is nice for veggie plates, but not great for rapid growth. Clearly, they need to make investments with key partners that can give them platform reach. Lumesse is just that for Human Resources. In fact, it’s worth noting that in a week where last minute preparation for Dreamforce is at a fever pitch, Salesforce SVP Ron Huddleston who is the executive behind Partners and the AppExchange made the trip to Las Vegas to share the news with press and analysts.
    • Market extension on two axes.  From the Lumesse side, company representatives say this is a growth engine the company wants beyond its traditionally strong European market and an accelerator for U.S. business. Beyond that they point to something that shouldn’t be lost on anyone----TalentObjects by Lumesse is likely to create tools that serve not only the HR practitioner, but introduce Talent Acquisition and Talent Management tools to the very large Sales, Marketing and Services base that is core to Salesforce. That may be the biggest contributor of all to the shared vision of transforming HCM. 

    In fact, the words “Connected” “Collaborative” “Secure” and “Agile” come  into the conversation pretty frequently when you talk to the TalentObjects team.

    The first module, TalentObjects:Recruit will be available in Q1 2015 with Perform, Rewards, Succession and Learning following.

    All in all this was a quiet but impactful announcement at HRTech.

    But the companies tell us to stay tuned at Dreamforce 2014 for chapter two in the story. In other words, they have some sort of announcement they will make.

    We will be listening.

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