Consolidation and acquisition have emerged as prominent trends that are shaping the talent management market.
With vendors gobbling up piecemeal solutions and offering lofty proclamations about how their new combined system is going to change the world of work, it's becoming increasingly difficult to sort the reality from the hype and go beyond the buzzwords. Savvy buyers know that piecing together different software solutions is never as easy as it sounds.
Integrating software (and companies) is hard work
The biggest question of all for buyers might be: "Does your technology vendor provide a truly integrated solution or a post-M&A patchwork?" If the latter, then what does this "Frankenstein" approach mean for product and service delivery? Integrating multiple tools and technologies under the same platform is never easy. Converging and combining systems can take years. Even then, the final product is often a hotchpotch of different user interfaces and disparate data models, which diffuse customer support.
The lesson is simple: "buyer beware." That's why it's important for your organisation to ask the tough questions to find out what your vendors' current - and prospective - M&A activity really means for your talent management software. Here are some key questions to think about as you navigate the dynamic marketplace of HR technology:
|ISSUE||QUESTIONS TO ASK VENDORS|
|How are the various pieces of your talent management software connected? If your product's features and functions were created from different acquisitions, how well do they work together?|
|Does your talent management system offer a consistent user experience and interface, or does it change from module to module? Does the system provide a uniform functionality and interface?|
|How are legacy systems and products that are added by acquisition supported? Does each product or function require different support teams? How does this impact the overall costs of support and customer service?|
|Can consistent reports be generated from every part of the talent management system? Are reporting tools standardised across the system, and are there uniform data models underlying the entire suite of services?|
|How are product upgrades and enhancements impacted when the talent management system is pieced together? How are these different versions standardised and unified throughout the software suite?|
|What does a system created by mashing up different user and administrator interfaces, user models and customer support teams mean for back-end administrators or in-house IT support teams?
discovering the power of home-grown
The idea - and the power - behind organic (or "home-grown") software solutions is that the entire suite is developed over time by the same in-house team. From learning and performance to succession and compensation to enterprise social networking, there are plenty of reasons why organic matters when it comes to vendors - and to your business.
Implementing our organic approach provides you with:
- One customer support team for all products
- One system for tighter functional integration across processes and workflows
- One user interface resulting in lower training costs and a flatter learning curve
- One upgrade and maintenance path
- One reporting environment
- One data model
Evaluating enterprise software means buyers must be vigilant about not only individual vendors, but also the trends shaping the talent management market. Looking under the bonnet means asking tough questions and doing enough due diligence to get the real story about potential software partners.
With so many vendors providing nothing more than a mishmash of products created from a flurry of purchasing activity, no matter what questions you ultimately ask, the answer should be clear. When it comes to getting the most out of talent management software, it pays to go organic.