Saba reviewed on HRExaminerReview Saba

I’ve only seen half of the Saba enterprise suite and I’m blown away. If the company doesn’t emerge from this year’s HRTech with a pocketful of awards, it will have more to do with the show that the merit of the Saba offering. They have advanced the profession of HR by decades with their new tool set.

At its heart, the new Saba product line completely embraces all of the things that hold promise in social media. Collaboration, conferencing, multi-partner video conversation, cross-functional communications are wrapped around a single employee profile. With the profile at the center of the organization’s data, the combination of crowd sourced recommendations and certifications through the leaning management process make the Collaboration engine the ultimate knowledge management tool.

Saba is a publicly traded company, a survivor of the dot com era. Always cash flow positive, the 700 person firm is rooted in training and learning management. Recent years have seen them spread the offering into the rest of the HR stack and well beyond the normal confines. 51 of the Fortune 100 are customers. There are 19 million users across huge enterprises including extremely large government shops.

These days, Saba says that they are in the “People Systems” Business. That’s their terminology for the blend of learning management, talent management, real time collaboration tools and social software. Accelerated by their 2006 acquisition of Centra, Saba is changing the definition and practice of enterprise collaboration.

Viewed through the lens of Talent Management, collaboration is more than simply working together. As the system learns about its users, collaboration is increasingly about knowing how to vector the right resources onto the problem. Saba’s integration of idea management tools, social networking capabilities, network analysis and analytics creates a category of Human Capital management tool set that doesn’t have a name yet.

They’re bringing network analysis and forecasting to bear on succession planning. They deliver methods for accessing the best parts of the best people at the best time. It’s a comprehensive management and deployment tool for all of the human assets in the organization.

I like to think of it as Human Logistics. That gets you away from the old names and ideas into the new category that Saba is engineering. Human Logistics is the planning and study of the entire employee/department/division ecosystem through its lifecycle. Large scale logistics analyses in the defense complex cover the other side of this equation. Saba makes it practical to imagine effective and rapid redeployment of resources based on collaborative experience.

I’ll tell you about the Talent Management System in a couple of weeks

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