Especially in the past five years, there has been a feeding frenzy of consolidation in the human resources software world. The bigger fish have gobbled up smaller ones, redefining the market again and again for tools to manage people. This past year marked the entry of the biggest fish in the water, as IBM Corp., Oracle Corp. and SAP all swallowed up vendors of "talent management" products—meaning applications for key HR tasks such as compensation, learning, performance management and recruiting.
More mergers and acquisitions can be expected in the HR technology market, which Forrester Research Inc. forecasts to grow 6 percent in 2012 to $12 billion. Vendors will continue to try to accommodate customers' interest in the "cloud" (software delivered over the Internet rather than installed on customer computers), as well as products that run on mobile devices and that build in social networking features. A number of vendors—among them Halogen Software Inc. and Workday Inc.—prefer to swim alone. Such players generally have avoided acquisitions and touted the benefits of building an integrated set of products from the ground up. But as demand for HR software remains strong and spills into the related fields of collaboration tools and applications to analyze "big people data," don't be surprised to see more fish getting eaten up.
Workforce Management, December 2012, p. 12-13 Subscribe Now!