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Taleo’s Planned Acquisition of Is Harbinger of Major Market Shake Up

Oakland, CA – September 2, 2010 -- Talent software leader Taleo’s planned acquisition of, a provider of a cloud-based learning management platform, foretells changes ahead for the learning management market, valued at just under $1B this year, and the overall talent management and HR systems market, estimated at $2.5B.  Bersin & Associates, a leading research and advisory firm makes this advisory based on ongoing quantitative and qualitative research into the LMS, talent management, and HR systems markets. 

These two technology markets, both of which have seen impressive growth year over year for most of the last decade, offer essential systems to help companies manage employee training, collaboration and knowledge sharing, performance, and other critical talent-related functions. 

“The official combination of Taleo and is part of a growing trend away from the standalone, one-size-fits-all LMS,” said Josh Bersin, president of Bersin & Associates.  “This acquisition reflects the corporate need for an integrated and comprehensive approach to talent management and learning.” 

Traditionally, vendors in these markets have tended to focus on either learning management and related functions or talent management and its related functions.  However, over the last two to three years, the lines between these two markets have blurred, with many vendors on both sides offering more comprehensive solutions in attempts to increase market share and lock out competition.  This year’s research shows further fragmenting in the stand-alone learning management system market, with providers meeting the needs of specialized corporate buyers, such as those in  verticals with stringent compliance requirements, extended enterprises, or those wanting to fully exploit social and informal learning. 

“Technology advances, dramatic workforce changes, and new approaches to learning make this a very exciting time for technology vendors.  Surprisingly, we’re still seeing many new market entrants,” said Bersin.

“While certainly isn’t the biggest LMS player in the market, the acquisition will add to Taleo’s portfolio a proven learning management solution.  Given Taleo’s technology track record, I predict that Taleo will rapidly add further improvements and integrate the learning platform with its talent management solutions.   The ability to offer an end-to-end solution to corporate customers will give Taleo a new competitive advantage.”

Bersin advises market watchers to keep an eye on major LMS providers such as CornerstoneOnDemand, SumTotal (which has acquired six companies over the last several years), GeoLearning, Saba, and Plateau.  He notes that the acquisition will increase Taleo’s competitiveness with other talent management vendors – most notably Stepstone, Halogen, and Softscape – that offer comprehensive talent and learning solutions.

Bersin will host a public webinar, The End of the Standalone LMS?, on Monday, October 18, at 2:00 p.m. EST.  The company’s detailed, annual analysis of the learning technologies market is scheduled for publication later this year.

For more information on Bersin & Associates WhatWorks® membership program and extensive research, including the annual Corporate Learning Factbook and Talent Management Factbook, email or call 561 455 0622.  For media queries, email or call 203 790 1591. 

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates is the only research and advisory firm focused solely on research in enterprise learning, talent management, and talent acquisition. The company’s WhatWorks® membership program offers actionable guidance, improves operational effectiveness, and delivers business impact to companies in all industry segments.

Bersin & Associates research members gain access to a comprehensive library of best practices, case studies, benchmarks, and in-depth market analyses and research-based services designed to assist professionals in making fast and confident decisions. Members also have direct access to analysts and a wide range of tested tools and models to address both strategic and day-to-day challenges. More than 5,000 organizations worldwide have used Bersin & Associates’ research and advisory services to guide talent and corporate learning strategies. Research areas include planning and strategy, learning programs and delivery, talent management, leadership development and succession planning, talent acquisition, technology and infrastructure, informal learning, social networking, measurement and analytics.

For more information, go to or call 561 455 0622.