The Talent Management Shootout – Why It Doesn’t Matter

Oct 17, 2008 Posted by

shootout Are you one of the many asking this morning, “…who won the talent management shootout yesterday?”  I have received many inquires already and, in our live blog yesterday, that’s all the audience wanted to know at the end. 

Don’t get me wrong, Bill has created something unique in the shootout and it always makes for great theatre.   It is an event favorite that creates buzz.  And buzz is good. 

Although I love the session, I hate the resulting effect.   Many of our enterprise clients see one of the participants products on stage, and then, a few months later when they demo the product in person, see something completely different.  “Where is that product we saw in the shootout?” is a typical question that arises. 

One of the great benefits of SaaS is that you can show live, without interruption, what and how actual customers are using the system.  The world, with SaaS as the new foundation, has become a perpetual beta.  Those in attendance at our New Technologies session yesterday saw that in person with our ability to launch a video Skype call directly from our Center of Excellence.  We built it 24 hours prior to the session (with no IT resources), it is now in a live environment, and clients are already using it.  In fact, you can “Skype Me” now if you would like!

So…my recommendation to make the shootout better in the future…

  • Anything demoed on stage must be in production, generally available, and live in at least one customer.  Sure it takes away from the coolness of the event and having a look into the future but, as we’ve seen more often than not, the stuff we see on stage never makes it into the product.
  • As Jim Holincheck suggested last year, have a customer on stage to demo what they are doing with the respective product.  Yes…this takes away from the showmanship but I really think that’s what the buyers in the audience want to see.
  • Use scenarios that customers actually use.  I get it…iPhone demos are hip, but there is not one client we are working with right now that wants to use the iPhone to do talent management!

For those scoring at home, Authoria yet again won the shootout (congratulations to them for winning all three scenarios) with Cornerstone OnDemand, Softscape, and all tying for second place (the first time in 12 years) . If you are asking me to score at home, though, I think they all won.  Authoria has already built a marketing campaign around their win (rightfully so).  Softscape, often a company of mystery, came out of their shadows to show a feature-rich product and Cornerstone OnDemand and became “recognized” as a worthy and viable solutions in talent management.

A live blog recap of the event can be viewed in our Center of Excellence Event Center.