Not only are they looking at the entire performance management process differently, but Taleo has incorporated some design concept unseen in the market today.
1. The “Talent Card”. Taleo is using a “baseball card” approach to see the employee picture on one side, and their “employee stats” on the other side (see picture). Those stats include critical information on employees such as performance review information, career plans, goals and objectives and succession plans. All unified and dynamic, utilizing Adobe Flex technology.
2. “Total User Experience”. The product, from a UI perspective, looks like nothing else in the market. They call it “object-based navigation”. The application has moved from “transactions” to “interactions”. Taking a “less is more” approach, the solution buries a lot of the functionality into the platform, essentially taking the human element out of the interaction, and presenting what is only important to the manager and employee. The product has been completely designed with the end user in mind and making all interactions with one-click. According to our recent survey, usability (40%) ranked as the most important factor for considering a talent management suite. Taleo has really taking usability to the next level.
3. Modal Views and Interactive Breadcrumbs. Taleo Performance enables separate, distinct views of the application. Taleo Performance can be viewed similar to iTunes, where you can see a menu of songs, see the albums, or view specific lists. Similarly, the product has interactive or “smart” breadcrumbs, whereas interaction and views can be navigated within the applications breadcrumbs.
4. Integration to Microsoft Outlook. The ability to interact with the application within Outlook (via an Outlook add-on) and perform tasks within Outlook that replicate with the solution.
Although they are not calling it a “suite”, Taleo is selling 4 applications as part of their Taleo Performance solution — performance management, career planning, leadership and succession management, and goals management. Currently in limited release, Taleo Performance will be general availability in January 2008. As part of today’s announcement, Taleo also announced the plans to build a compensation management application as one of the next phases of development over the next 12-18 months.