SuccessFactors Buying Inform

San Mateo, California-based SuccessFactors said Thursday, February 4, that it will pay $25.5 million in cash and about $15 million in SuccessFactors stock for Brisbane, Australia-based Inform Business Impact.

Inform, which recently changed its name from Infohrm, offers consulting and software to help companies analyze and plan for the future of their workforce. The company serves 24 of the Fortune 500, including Comcast, Starbucks and Nike.

“All companies establish strategic plans. The critical challenge today is to execute on those strategies and improve overall business performance,” SuccessFactors chief executive Lars Dalgaard said in a statement. “With this acquisition, SuccessFactors is arming CEOs, CFOs and human resource professionals with actionable, high-value insights to perform better, gain competitive advantage, and lower costs.”

SuccessFactors’ roots are in performance management software. Tools for reviewing employees are one of the cornerstones of talent management software, which refers to applications for key HR tasks. Other talent management technology vendors include Taleo, Halogen Software and Plateau Systems.

Talent management has been a fast-growing market in recent years, as companies feared worker shortages and paid more attention to the value of their employees. SuccessFactors has stood out for particularly rapid revenue growth, an initial public stock offering that raised $124 million and heavy spending on sales and marketing.

Dalgaard’s firm also has been trying to distinguish itself from other talent management players by saying its tools are for a broader “business execution software” market.

Other makers of workforce planning applications include Vemo and Aruspex. Vendors in the field reported fast growth last year, possibly because companies were keen to get a better grasp of their workforces after tumultuous, recession-related restructurings.

SuccessFactors said the Inform acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

—Ed Frauenheim

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