Bankroll HCM: Follow the Money #SHRM13

Laurie Ruettimann HR Tech, HR Technology, HR Vendors, Laurie Ruettimann, SHRM

In December 2011, TechCrunch published a short-but-brutal article that will live in infamy as one of the most influential HR-related articles since Fast Company published Why We Hate HR back in 2005.

In what is perhaps the most boring piece of tech news to come out of this week, German software giant SAP has today announced that it will buy the US-based SuccessFactors, a company that “helps organizations align strategy with objectives and manage people performance to ensure execution & results,” IN THE CLOUD, OF COURSE.

I think this means that it provides enterprise software for human resources, but you can never be too sure with these incredibly dull companies. I am too bored to Google it. In fact, I am literally bored to tears writing this, like I am seriously crying here in my local coffee shop and everyone is looking at me weird and I just want to show them this press release so they’ll understand or something.

The deal is all cash, at $40 a share (a $3.4 billion valuation) and will most likely close early next year.

If you are actually interested in finding out more, or having trouble sleeping and need something to push you over the edge, SAP will be holding a conference call on Monday, December 5th, at 3:00 pm CET / 9:00 am EST where you can learn details about the transaction.


I think the article is genius, but it’s unfortunate that an $8 billion dollar industry doesn’t wow the author. That is about to change because large and influential marketing and PR firms have set their sites on the HCM industry.

In fact, some of the top advertising and marketing companies in the world attended the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition and confirmed what we already know: never has an industry been so full of cash and so devoid of creativity and the ability to sell itself.

They were in Chicago to follow. the. money.

Technology doesn’t change Human Resources, but money does. And while most marketing and PR firms are expensive and have no expertise in Human Capital Management, they do have “junior agency professionals” who need to cut their teeth. And those kids have had 200 jobs and already know how to take a rote product and make it sexy to a new buyer.

So I am excited. In the next 12-18 months, you will see a fresh approach to selling enterprise and boutique human resource software and services. The narrative will seem a little bolder, stronger and brighter.

Like Kelly Clarkson with a slight edge.

Get ready for HR technology to go mainstream and become a little more interesting. And maybe more fun. It is about damn time.