The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

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Last month Kenexa invited a group of analysts and industry influencers to PA for a roundup and briefing of what they are up to. I’ll personally say that I’m not particularly interested in most of what other analysts are interested in: I can’t speak the language of financials, don’t really care about the volume of sales and how that correlates to profitability, etc. I’m more of a business user, I care about the levels of functionality, how good the service is, and what integration they have to make process and analytics better. All of that should translate to profits if they can market and sell product.

I’ll admit that I was impressed and impassioned by their stated vision (which I can’t find on their website).

At Kenexa, we believe that when people are in jobs they love, they are not only more productive employees, they are also better parents, friends, partners and neighbors. Our work is to make this happen for everyone. It’s our passion—our purpose—and it’s how we serve humanity worldwide every day.

It’s the idea that if you can improve the engagement of a person in general (enjoyment and fulfillment in life, work, relationships…) that they contribute to a better world, not just to a better workplace. Their CEO, Rudy Karsan, was the embodiment of this vision, evoking confidence as well as great faith in his honest approach to his business.

As we got into the business and products of Kenexa, a few things became apparent. First, they have the breadth and depth to compete in the talent market. Sales have been good for them, and they have made some good acquisitions like Brassring that have brought them good market share. Second, they are late with new functionality and new UI. While there is reason to be optimistic that they will remain one of the top 2-3 vendors in the space, they will need to execute development at the pace that their competitors are.

Kenexa is approaching the release of their 2X platform which will combine various modular offerings in their current suite into a completely rewritten platform and interface in a Web 2.0 delivery model. Unfortunately, they are anywhere between 6 to 12 months late for delivering a Web 2.0 platform. They are also rewriting the functionality which is probably a good thing. Rather than simply porting functionality over to a new UI, reengineering the back end means that eventually end to end processes will be smoother than other competitors who have simply slapped a new face on old product, still having the remains of old integration problems. Included in this is a new web services and SOA.

Regardless of any tardiness and functional breadth issues witn 2X, Kenexa is a vendor to beat in the space, one of probably 3 in the top end of the market. They have great product, and seem to be accelerating their development time frames. If they can deliver product to their vision of how they serve humanity and the world, I’ll be excited to see their continued success.

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6 responses to “The State of Kenexa”

  1. Systematic HRand Perceptive HR Technology, that HCM needs to get on the schtick for HR and the end users and go beyond UI, but no one’s talking about the

  2. <!–%kramer-pre%–>Add comment Written by Jason Corsello Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 7:38 pmSystematicHRand Perceptive HR Technology (a great blog by Larry Dunivan who lead Lawson’s HCM strategy) have some great blog posts recently regarding their view of “web 2.0?. While both bloggers are extremely smart and knowledgeable about the topic, I<!–%kramer-post%–>

  3. […] frontline positions. MarketWire Tags:   knxa,talent management,kenexa,hr,hcm • The State of Kenexa The State of Kenexa Source:   Google Blog Search: kenexa Posted on May 21, 2008 (166 […]

  4. […] frontline positions. MarketWire Tags:   knxa,talent management,kenexa,hr,hcm • The State of Kenexa The State of Kenexa Source:   Google Blog Search: kenexa Posted on May 21, 2008 (168 […]

  5. […] posts recently about Web 2.0 and Human Capital Management (HCM) vendors saying it is more than a fancy user interface (UI), which seems to be all HCM vendors are promoting at the moment. On that front I […]