SuccessFactors has purchased Software-as-a-Service-based learning management system provider Plateau for $290 million in cash and stock in a bid to build out its talent management system and compete more effectively with on-premise vendors.
The acquisition will be integrated with Jambok’s SaaS-based social video learning system, which SuccessFactors acquired in March, as well as its own BizX talent management offering, with the aim of boosting the functionality of its existing career and staff development planning offerings.
The goal is to enable customers to implement a "comprehensive social and traditional learning strategy that includes evangelising internal experts, utilizing easy-to-use video creation and sharing tools as well as managing, developing and deploying online, instructor-led and self-study training," the company said.
The new addition should also help create a more comprehensive product set that the firm hopes will enable it to compete more effectively with on premise talent management application suite vendors.
Lars Dalgaard, SuccessFactors’ founder and chief executive, explained: "I first met Paul Sparta, CEO of Plateau, 8 years ago, and what struck me, and has stayed with me, more so than any founder or CEO whom I have met in our industry, was how seriously and incredibly committed he was to two key drivers: 1) his customers’ success through superior product and domain expertise; and 2) building a financially strong and profitable business. With more than 15 million combined users, and the biggest R&D budget and largest domain expertise, in the HCM cloud-based SaaS industry, we can compete more effectively with some of the incumbent HCM vendors’ total suite, and continue to surprise and excite customers with the next decade of innovations."
Dalgaard said there were very specific goals for this latest acquisition: "Plateau will accelerate SuccessFactors’ strategy markedly. SuccessFactors’ game-plan’s four key drivers will all be strengthened substantially: 1) customers achieving better results through the SuccessFactors suite, expertise and commitment; 2) building for great cash profitability; 3) continuing to build towards one of the SaaS cloud-based HCM industry’s strongest global customer and sales field force; and 4) offering a leading comprehensive suite of relevant and proven Business Execution applications. Like SuccessFactors, Plateau has had success with the biggest and most complex customers, including Plateau’s long time customer General Electric, and this makes Plateau the best choice for SuccessFactors, and we believe an excellent choice for customers, and prospects."
The company had been "overwhelmed" by customer demand for learning management functionality and 80% of its sales force had identified "active opportunities" in the space, he added.