Yet another one bites the dust...

Kenexa has sold out to IBM. There are now few large independent HR and Recruitment software companies left. What does this mean for choice and availability...?
Back in Feb I blogged about Taleo selling out to Oracle (see post: Another one bites the dust). SAP had also just bought Success Factors in December. Now Kenexa have sold out to IBM (announced on 27/8/12).

Arguably Kenexa is a bigger fish than Taleo or Success Factors. Its has considerable interests and itself acquired a fair few other HR software companies a number of whom, I at least, thought had leading edge products.

In the post I made in February Another one bites the dust I argued that big companies like Oracle and IBM have a history of focussing on the larger systems (clients) and frankly selling products for top dollar. You don’t expect anything from either company to be cheap. Indeed, perception from my experience in IT, is that once a product gets acquired by these companies it becomes priced firmly at the top of the market, especially when implementation consultancy is added in. For large multinationals and FT100 type organisations this may well be seen as good news. They are used to dealing with the likes of Oracle, IBM and SAP. Their systems are big in terms of scope and the costs are spread across a very big base. However for smaller organisations there will be less choice available at a likely accessible price point.

Kenexa also has done well on the services side through its HRO operations and this may be what IBM has really been after (been quite a bit of web chatter on this aspect). IBM is very much more a services organisation than it was and perhaps the Kenexa range will be now be focussed in supporting IBM’s outsourcing and service activities.

Our business is focussed more at the mid range and this may well mean we see less of Kenexa’s products as competition - we have certainly noticed there is less market talk about Taleo since the Oracle buy out. Interestingly we have been asked to spec out an Onboarding/HRIS system for one of our business partners. The thinking is that there may well be a gap in the market for a sensitively priced offer and perhaps this Kexexa announcement is further evidence that there are less quality players catering for the mid range...?!