I’m recovering from another great HR Technology Conference. Bill Kutik and the LRP team pulled off another tremendous event that has become the standard in the HR industry. In brief, is my summary of the event…
Attendance - Pre-registration attendance was over 32% from 2006, a great signal that talent management momentum is showing no signs of weakness. I forgot the number of vendors represented at the show but I think the number was around 250. Two vendors conspicuously absent were Kronos/Unicru and Deploy Solutions.
Biggest Themes - Talent management of course is still topic de jour for HR. From a technology perspective, the consistent theme was “check out our new UI”. Seems almost every vendor was demoing a new user interface using AJAX/Flex technology. I had a chance to sit on the analyst panel this year with Naomi Bloom, Jim Holincheck and Lisa Rowan. Although lots of focus was on technology and technology innovation, I attempted to highlight that innovation needs to occur in the way companies prepare and deploy new technology, not necessarily in the technology itself.
“If Booth Traffic Had Any Representation…” - Workday, Taleo and SuccessFactors were the most popular in terms of traffic. Workday’s booth (pictured above) was overflowing much of the first day. Taleo’s Cirque De Soleil performers helped drive traffic (yes they actually had gymnast hanging from the roof and climbing the booth). Kenexa’s booth appeared like a ghost town.
Shootouts and Battles – Authoria won the recruitment and performance shootout. Congratulations to Tod and team. Although their was no voting in the HCM Battle, the overwhelming response was who lost – Oracle. Lawson did a great job thinking outside of the box and of course Dave Duffield showing his product helped Workday. I am typically not a big fan of these events because they often show demos that aren’t available today and may never be available. Nonetheless, it does help to show how the companies are thinking.
More Rumors – Some interesting rumors abound including an LMS vendor being acquired soon and a recruitment vendor going public. I witnessed many private equity firms walking the floor, a sign market consolidation may be on the verge of accelerating.