The acquisition of Peopleclick and the creation of Peopleclick Authoria will enable Bedford Funding to elevate its profile and become a more significant competitor in the emerging talent management suite market.
On 5 January 2010, the private equity firm Bedford Funding announced that it has acquired Peopleclick, a privately held, Raleigh, North Carolina-based software firm that focuses on talent acquisition and workforce compliance and diversity solutions, for $100 million. Bedford Funding has combined Peopleclick with Authoria, a software firm which Bedford Funding already owns that offers talent management solutions. The combined entity will be called Peopleclick Authoria.
Bedford Funding has created a stronger product portfolio and removed Peopleclick as an acquisition target from competitors such as Taleo and SuccessFactors in the midst of a consolidating market. The firm plans to deal with the resulting product overlap in recruitment (see "Magic Quadrant for E-Recruitment Software" ) by continuing to develop and support both products in separate engineering and support teams. Gartner believes this dual strategy makes sense because the overlap mostly occurs within the mature functionality of salaried recruiting, which has few new requirements. Innovation in this market continues in candidate relationship management, social recruiting and onboarding capabilities — areas that can be leveraged across both product lines.
Private equity firm acquisitions typically have exit strategies that are financially motivated and timed to exploit market conditions, such as selling the combined acquired companies or taking the entity public. As part of the acquisition, Bedford has taken a more active role in day-to-day management; for example, the managing partner of Bedford is now the CEO of Peopleclick Authoria. Gartner believes that Bedford is taking a longer-term view and is trying to build a leading firm in the emerging talent management suite (TMS) market, which may also lead it to make other acquisitions. However, if Bedford decides to pursue exit strategies, this could affect short-term investments in R&D and in enhancing customer service, an area where Authoria has struggled and Peopleclick has excelled.
Authoria customers: Authoria Recruiting customers are the most likely to be affected by this acquisition. If you are satisfied with the solution, continue investments and evaluate potential edge solutions from the Peopleclick portfolio. If you are not satisfied, evaluate Peopleclick against other alternatives.
Peopleclick customers: Continue to invest in Peopleclick Recruitment Management System (RMS), as Peopleclick Authoria will likely continue to enhance it. If you are a Vendor Management System or Affirmative Action Services customer, continue your investment, but be aware that these products are somewhat peripheral to a TMS focus and could be a lower priority for R&D funding.
Prospective Peopleclick Authoria customers: Continue to consider Peopleclick Authoria. For stand-alone e-recruitment software selections, consider Peopleclick RMS. When evaluating integrated TMS solutions, identify what capabilities are critical to your decision. If integration is paramount, consider the full Authoria TMS. If recruiting functionality is a key driver, consider Peopleclick RMS along with the rest of the Authoria TMS.
"Magic Quadrant for Employee Performance Management Software" — In this still-consolidating market, ERP and HR management system vendors are competing against emerging TMS providers. By James Holincheck and Thomas Otter
"The Hype Around Integrated Talent Management Suites Outpaces Customer Adoption" — Despite the hype, few customers have bought a broad suite of talent management applications from a single vendor. By James Holincheck
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