Saba Software, Redwood California based company with various offerings in the learning and talent management segment, takes a shot at the Social Business space with the announcement of Saba People Cloud. Thanks to large investments by companies like IBM and Salesforce and the associated amplification of the buzzword Social Business, the segment is turning competitive with old and new players trying to take advantage of the trend. But with their background on talent management, Saba is attacking the problem from a slightly different angle. If I use the words of my colleague Ray Wang, Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, Saba People Cloud is consumerization of IT in play because it appears like Klout for enterprises (I hope this comparison doesn’t hurt Saba’s offering as another fellow analyst, Esteban Kolsky points out in this tweet).
Essentially, for managers, Saba tries to help identify talented people based on their social participation inside the organization and, for employees, it helps them get noticed based on the quality of their interaction with peers. In a way it democratizes talent management and gives the workforce an opportunity to showcase their talent and get noticed. This trend is nothing new and organizations employing social techniques internally has been using this approach to spot talent but Saba’s differentiator lies in assigning metrics and making it easy to identify talent/influence. They have also put their existing capabilities in the web conferencing segment to use by offering unified real time collaboration. The Klout approach is interesting but the segment is already crowded with too many offerings and we will have to wait and see where this goes.
Saba’s platform is open and extensible and offers support to OpenSocial (see my post, Can OpenSocial be resurrected in the enterprise) and REST APIs. It also integrates with CRM, ERP, HR, Sharepoint, AD and various data warehouse systems already existing in the enterprise. With predictions about Social Business pointing a rosy picture, it will be interesting to see how Saba’s offering shapes up against the competing offerings.
- Meet Saba, the Social Network That Rates Your Job Skills (wired.com)
- Saba Software Misses on Revenues but Beats on EPS (fool.com)
- Salesforce Acquires Rypple For Social Employee Performance Management (informationweek.com)
- Consistent standards for defining ‘social business’ (zdnet.com)