Tech bubble, what tech bubble? Last week, Instagram, a photosharing app for mobile devices, was bought by Facebook for a reported $1billion. The app is less than two years old. If that isn’t a sign that there is plenty of money in the tech space, then I don’t know what is.
In learning, talent and workplace technology we are seeing a lot of activity that would reflect this broader technology investment trend. What is interesting is to see what companies are investing in, as it gives learning and development (L&D) professionals an insight into where the market is going and what one could potentially be buying and using.
Announcements from the learning technology sector in recent weeks show the following trends: a shift to cloud-based services and software as a service; investment in online collaboration tools; and integration of learning systems into enterprise-wide talent management systems.
This week, talent management service provider Lumesse announced the full integration of its learning management system into its enterprise talent management software. Lumesse customers using this software will also now be able to access learning content.
Enterprise social network Yammer has made its first acquisition, buying software engineering company oneDrum.com. The acquisition will see development of document sharing and collaboration for Yammer groups, according to ReadWriteWeb, so that “every Yammer group becomes, in essence, a shared folder that is synchronized through their cloud”.
Also on the collaboration front, workforce systems provider Citrix has acquired social business collaboration platform Podio.
Citrix already provides a range of online services, such as GoTo Meeting and GoToTraining, which L&D professionals may well be familiar with. Podio provides Citrix with the ability to provide more collaboration tools as well as activity streams for teams, clients and projects.
Citrix said of the acquisition: “It is a natural extension of the Citrix collaboration business, providing today’s mobile and distributed workforce an easy, secure and social way to come together and work as teams. Podio will be part of the GoTo cloud services portfolio, which includes GoToMeeting.”
And finally this week, talent management services company Kenexa has moved into the e-learning market with its purchase of OutStart. The move demonstrates the desire of talent management vendors to provide services that cover the entire employee lifecycle – from recruitment, through to learning and development, performance and reward.
Add to this week’s developments these recent moves in learning and talent management technology space – Oracle buying Taleo and SAP acquiring SuccessFactors – and it becomes clear that vendors are looking to integrate learning technology into the talent management mix. And, within that, tools that enable collaboration are flavour of the month.