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November 21, 2008

HR Fact Friday: HRN Secure in Era of Consolidation

Filed under: HRN News — Tags: , 2:25 pm

According to an article posted on dated 11/20/2008 the predictions are for continued consolidation and a lean year ahead for the Talent Management Software industry.

The economic downturn could speed consolidation in HR software, industry experts say. HR technology consultant Naomi Bloom expects consolidation not just among talent management players, but also in the broader realm of HR software and services.

It’s interesting that I read this article on the same day that myself and others of the HRN executive team sat down to solidify our corporate key performance metrics for 2009. Of course the current and predicted future harsh economic outlook was a factor and tempered our enthusiasm but despite the business climate, and due to our solid fiscal management, HRN is well positioned for continued growth in 2009. The fact of the matter is that HRN is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009 and proceeding full speed ahead on a complete version update of its flagship Performance Pro online employee performance management solution.

We at HRN have watched for the past 4 years as talent management vendors consolidate and reconsolidate. My competitor file is full of information about products that simply are no longer available. Do any of you remember KnowledgePoint or MindSolve? The SHRM conference each year has HRN, Halogen, Success Factors, Silkroad, and perhaps a few others as the only competing companies in this marketplace with the same name they had just a few years ago.

I recall salivating only a year ago when I would read about vast influxes of millions of dollars of venture capital going to this or that competitor. But then I would reflect and feel gratitude that HRN is beholding to no venture capital investors and actually uses it’s own profits and business investments to fund growth and development. We are steering our own ship and it feels good. I don’t know how good I would feel in our current business climate to be working at a competitor whose profits alone were not adequate to fund sustained business operations and would require additional venture capital to fund product development and marketing programs.

The ability of vendors to stay afloat and independent already has been a concern when shopping for HR software. In recent years a number of firms have been gobbled up, which can throw customers for a loop. Taleo, for example, bought Vurv this year and plans to shift Vurv customers to Taleo software.

So stay tuned. Will the big get bigger and gobble up the smaller vendors as predicted?  Or will the big need to sell or write off underperforming business groups and products teams as the marketplace tightens it’s belt and looks for lower cost solutions or defers purchases altogether?

It will come down to companies that possess product, HR industry, and business management excellence. HRN is well positioned in each of these areas to weather the economic storm and emerge stronger than ever.

Source:, Ed Fraunheim,


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