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M&A So Hot, It's Already Melting in our Hands

Welcome to the #HRTechChat Episode Eight Preview. The talent management technology space is so hot right now that the M&As are practically melting in our hands. Just this week, Talent Management Corporation acquired HR Integrations LLC. "This acquisition delivers a powerful cloud-based technology platform to connect candidates with a variety of HR services that to [sic] help hire the right people,” said Jade Bourelle, CEO of Talent Technology, in a press statement.
 
Promises, Promises
 
Every press release on the recent acquisitions in the talent management technology space has announced apparently promising, next-generation, landscape-changing capability. Most of it is in the cloud, and an important corollary to it is in social media and everything adjacent. Every acquisition, it seems, vies to make the cloud viable, once and for all, and the rest of the activity out there professes to harness social media properly, finally.
 
Yes, the cloud is viable, once and for all, and social media will one day be harnessed properly, but we'll see about all these acquisitions and whether or not (and how soon) they yield benefits to practitioners. We've already seen much these past three months, much that can't be unseen, and not every move will bear the fruit its movers envision. Let's see—here's a rundown of headlines:

Plus, look at Workday, the perennially efficient acquirer of venture capital (so far, $250 million). Some predict a meaty IPO just beyond the horizon. That's not M&As melting in our hands, but it sure is tasty.
 
How Much Was That?
 
For those of you keeping count, of the known price tags above, the sum is somewhere north of a cool $5.6 billion.
 
Everybody Come Dancing
 
And what do we make of the sideshow soap operas, anglings and downright aggressiveness? The entire marketplace is dancing. The Oracle–Taleo and SAP–SuccessFactors deals seem like chum in an in-ground pool–sized body of water….filled with sharks—but it's almost as if the sharks are the good guys.
 
For instance, in mid-February Jobscience (powered by Salesforce.com, no less), announced the Jobscience Social Recruiting FastPass for Taleo Business Edition customers impacted by Oracle. "It’s nice to see Oracle has conceded that Cloud Computing is the new way to operate, but Taleo customers have to be concerned about future product direction and support from a server company that builds massive databases, that doesn’t have social DNA," said Ted Elliot, CEO of Jobscience, in a press statement.
 
And in December, Halogen Software did something similar in response to SAP's acquisition of SuccessFactors, Halogen's largest competitor in performance management, announcing a special "switch program" for SuccessFactors customers unhappy with the takeover news. "We have already received feedback from a SuccessFactors customer with concerns about the deal," said Halogen CEO Paul Loucks, in a press statement. "We want to provide a cost-effective and stable alternative to their current situation."
 
It's as if these gargantuan acquisitions and broad overtures by several 800-pound gorillas have at once vexed and inspired the entire marketplace to dance a jig. Good-guy sharks dancing a jig in a small in-ground pool filled with chum -- now there's an image.
 
Join Us for #HRTechChat Episode Eight on Wednesday 2/29 @ 4pm ET / 1pm PT
 
Let's convene the minds and figure out just what M&A flavors we've tasted already in the talent management technology market space, and what flavors might be in store. Join us on this Leap Year Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 4pm ET / 1pm PT, to discuss the following questions.
 
Q1: Which acquisition, Taleo's or SuccessFactors', means the most for #hrtech? Why? #HRTechChat
related reading:
The End of the Résumé: Oracle's Big Plans for Taleo via ReadWriteWeb
Oracle-Taleo vs. SAP-SuccessFactors: a different feel via TechTarget
Post-acquisition, SAP and SuccessFactors outline where marriage is headed via VentureBeat
 
Q2: Are we poised for a slew of more acquisitions? Why or why not? #HRTechChat
related reading:
More Acquisitions May Be Ahead in Race to the Cloud via ERE.net
Whale Eats Fish via HR Examiner
Another Toracleo Post via TalentManagementTech
 
Q3: Let's get granular: What does SuccessFactors' acquisition of Jobs2web *really* mean? #HRTechChat
related reading (and a video):
Jobs2web + SuccessFactors = Next Generation Recruiting via YouTube
SuccessFactor’s Acquiring Jobs2Web is NOT about Social Recruiting via HR Tech Blog
 
Q4: What will be the result of some companies' efforts to poach their newly gobbled competitors' customers? #HRTechChat
related reading:
My Christmas Wishlist for HR Tech Vendors… via Fistful of Talent
Jobscience Offers Oracle Acquired Taleo Customers a Fast Track to Social Talent via RecruitingTrends
 
Q5: What are we to make of Salesforce.com's acquisition of Rypple? How does that fit into the storyline? #HRTechChat
related reading:
Rypple, hot off Salesforce acquisition, launches Android app for social management on-the-go via VentureBeat
Salesforce Embraces Social Media and the Cloud via InvestorPlace
 
BONUS QUESTION: How much did Salesforce pay for Rypple? (Yes, the answer's out there.) #HRTechChat