Taleo introduces the Talent Grid

BOSTON – Taleo Corp., a talent management software vendor, used its annual Taleo World conference this year to explain the benefits of moving towards a talent and performance-based solution-set where more collaboration, integration and unified capabilities are present.

After acquiring Vurv Technology this past July, Dublin, Calif.-based Taleo was able to further extend its global footprint in the talent management sector. Before the acquisition, Vurv was Taleo’s number one competitor, said Ryan Hunter, an analyst at Englewood, Colo.-based Wedge Partners, an independent equity analysis company that focuses on the technology industry.

“Taleo (acquired Vurv) which now makes them a stronger company because they’re able to close deals more easily,” Hunter said. “Vurve also had more of an international footprint, so Taleo will also gain an even stronger presence worldwide.”

Michael Gregoire, chairman and CEO of Taleo, said the company’s go-to-market strategy is being carried out by what it calls, The Talent Grid. The Grid is designed as an open on-demand platform made up of a unified talent management solution, Taleo’s 3,600 worldwide customers, 100 million candidates, and its 50 partners and service providers.

“In order for performance management to evolve, we think it needs to be a part of The Talent Grid,” Gregoire said. “We’re taking our platform and opening it up. By having everyone on the grid and making everything work on the grid in an integrated and collaborative fashion, we think this will have a very powerful effect. We currently have 50 partners, and we want more.”

Taleo’s uses a software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model for its solutions, where businesses purchase products on a contract basis. Because the company’s solutions are Web enabled and are designed as open platforms, its partners can easily integrate their own solutions along with Taleo’s. While Taleo’s strategic partners do not make any margin when they sell Taleo solutions, they do gain access to Taleo’s entire customer base, says Didi D’Errico, a Taleo spokesperson.

Hunter says that while companies such as Oracle and SAP have talent management applications, their solutions are primarily delivered, on-premise, whereas Taleo’s is hosted through SaaS.

“There are different levels of adoption rates,” Hunter said. “Most of the market is more inclined to move towards Taleo’s solutions because these applications are easier to use and have more functionality. With other vendors, applications are a bit more complicated because more work is involved.”

As a testament to its expanding partnerships, Taleo today announced Worldwide Compensation, a company that focuses on performance driven total compensation software solutions, as its newest partner.The company also announced the launch of Taleo Business Edition Perform, a software solution that enhances its current Business Edition product, designed for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Business Edition Perform is a solution built from the ground up that helps to automate performance management roles for end-users, allowing employees to easily collaborate with one another via a customized intranet Web site. The suite is a predictive and functional solution that Taleo says works with Microsoft Outlook to allow executives to make better business decisions. Some features of Business Edition Perform include, cascading goal management, built-in competencies and an employee Web site, just to name a few.

For the 2009 year, Taleo will introduce the second phase of its flagship product, Monarch, a new Candidate Relationship Management module, and three different Exchange software solutions.

“Monarch is the next evolution of our talent management solution for recruiting,” Gregoire said. “It’s all about the new recruiting experience, where there’s more functionality and detail and it’s also built on an open platform so it’s easy to use.”

David Burlington, group vice-president of applications and technology at Taleo, said Taleo’s Monarch product will feature some of the design concepts taken from Web 2.0 and will feature an easy-to-use, walk-up user interface.

Taleo’s Candidate Capture solution is an enhancement to the vendor’s talent management solution that integrates with Microsoft Outlook.

“It’s an Outlook-based process that lets employees perform every day functions directly from Outlook,” Burlington said. “Employees can search for jobs, match candidates and can capture the source of the candidates, all without having to leave Outlook.”

Taleo customers will also next year see three different Exchange solutions, which include, Solutions Exchange for finding and viewing partner solutions and ratings; Talent Exchange, to submit, collaborate and exchange source talent from an open marketplace; and Knowledge Exchange, a solution that lets employees collaborate with one another to build out their own network.

“We believe leveraging these Exchange solutions will help (customers) take talent management to the next level and will therefore help them win the war for talent,” Burlington said.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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