Last week at the HR Technology Conference in Chicago, Workstream released their newest 7.0 version of their talent management suite. While I have not seen a demo of the product live yet, this promises to be one of the most intriguing releases of the year.
A month ago, I was very pleased when I saw Taleo get in the performance and talent management game with their long awaited performance application. Its heavy usage of Web 2.0 technologies drastically changed the approach to the user interface and user experience. At that time, I thought that Taleo might have found itself a nice market to play in where other vendors caught up to their technology as they re-engineered code.
Workstream has been fairly quiet for a couple of years now. The last time I reported anything about them (other than their entry into the mid-market space), I was very impressed with the depth and breadth of their product offering. However, this was quite some time ago. In the meantime, they have continued to have financial issues and a pretty low stock price. In 2007, things seemed to turn a corner. They secured additional funding from their current investors of around $20M, and they were able to secure a new SVP of Marketing. Over the last couple of years, they have also been making significant progress in their application development. What happened in 2007, leading up to their current release, is a great application, and the funding to market it well.
Back to the Taleo story. I thought that Taleo was going to be the only game in town for a while. Really the only vendor who re-envisioned talent management, and with a nifty and new codebase, it was possible that nobody would catch up with them in the short term. Without having touched the product, I’ll announce that I was wrong. Workstream’s 7.0 release is completely reengineered to include a new Web 2.0 UI, and on top of that, it is far more integrated that ever before. Combined with money and new direction from the top, Workstream now seems well positioned to be a market leader yet again.
It appears that Taleo has been joined by Workstream in the Web 2.0 talent space, but while Taleo has a great brand for talent acquisition, Workstream obviously has more presence in the overall talent management space. The winner so far is the consumer. Web 2.0 as brought forth by both Workstream and Taleo is making great strides for user experience and ease of use. And, I’m hoping to be able to announce more re-engineered and re-visioned offerings from other vendors soon.
For now, if you’ve written off Workstream, it’s time to take a new look at them.