Cornerstone Acquires Sonar6
Yesterday Cornerstone Ondemand, the leading stand alone talent management suite provider, announced the acquisition of Sonar6, a popular performance management application for the middle market. While it does not surprise me to see continued M&A activity, I think anyone would be hard pressed to show evidence that they would have predicted this combination.
With the long awaited debut of the organically developed applicant tracking module, most of us (well... me anyway) are expecting a 1st generation ATS with limited capability that will pale in comparison to the established products. You would have thought Cornerstone might acquire some hot new social recruiting platform to accelerate the final pillar in the suite.
But this is a classic example of a company deciding to Zig while everyone else is Zagging! And I love it, here is why:
- Sonar6 has been a hot new performance management product with a unique and clear promise of value: "Your performance reviews won't suck!" With it comes a culture of innovation, and taking a fresh new approach to simplifying the complex. Exactly what we need in Talent Management.
- CSOD has a presence in US and Europe and this will give them a base in the Australasia market, a sector that is ripe for Talent Management solutions.
- They have stated definitively that there will be no integration of the solutions, they will keep their flagship suite pristine. They are staying true to their word to deliver a 100% organically developed talent management suite.
- I am not sure what impresses me more, the 100% organic, or the fact that they are keeping their promise. Both are unique in this industry.
- All the other acquisitions in the space are creating huge integration challenges and in some cases product re-writes. CSOD will avoid those headaches and just go about the business of making money with a solid product for the SMB market.
- They only paid $14 million, with the recent valuations you would have expected an extra digit. They have bar tabs bigger than that.
I am guessing this is just the first of several moves CSOD might make, but the one I am most interested in is the new Recruiting module. I will post a review just as soon as I see it.