Salesforce.com’s plan to purchase Rypple shows the importance of human capital management to the new cloud-savvy enterprise. The game plan calls for a new Salesforce.com HCM business unit and the relabeling of Rypple’s offerings as “Successforce.” The effort will be directed by industry vet John Wookey.

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, at Net:Work 2010

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, at Net:Work 2010Salesforce.com’s planned purchase of Rypple, announced on Thursday, shows the importance of human capital management in the new cloud-savvy enterprise. The game plan calls for a new Salesforce.com HCM business unit and the re-labeling of Rypple’s offerings under the “Successforce” brand.

The value of companies in the HCM (aka human resources management) space is clearly on the rise. Two weeks ago, SAP bulked up its own HCM stable with the acquisition of SuccessFactors for a whopping $3.4 billion in cash.

John Wookey, a respected industry veteran, will lead the new Salesforce.com business unit. Wookey led Oracle’s tricky effort to stitch together its applications strategy after Oracle acquired PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems and other enterprise software companies. After Oracle, Wookey joined SAP where he directed the ERP giant’s SaaS push. Wookey joined Salesforce.com  in November, six months after leaving SAP.

Rypple’s Software-as-a-Service offering aims to help teams work better together and help management better recruit and train employees, help  them set goals and recognize their contributions.

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has not been coy about his desire to fill in any and all gaps in Salesforce.com’s business services offerings. The company, which started out offering CRM and sales force automation capabilities, has expanded into  a range of business applications — both  homegrown and acquired. It has also added a full-fledged platform as a service with its Heroku acquisition.

His goal is to be no less than the SaaS-based equivalent of Microsoft, which was the gold standard of office productivity applications and tools in the pre-cloud era.

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  1. Smart move by Salesforce, human capital management (yuck, hate that phrase) is an essential part of every business. It’s ironic that people are the most important asset and most expensive resource of every business, yet software is rarely used effectively to help manage and develop people. The SuccessFactors and Rypple acquisition shows that this market is finally coming to life. Look out for my startup, Teamly http://teamly.com This is only the beginning of next generation people management.

  2. The movement of social goals and performance has been going on for several years now. But until this move, it’s been a couple of us marketing this space. We have all battled SuccessFactors, Taleo, Cornerstone, Halogen and bad performance reviews; and outdated unused HR software. As we all know , those approaches don’t engage, and simply don’t deliver on their performance promises. HR, CEOs, COOs, and People Managers should evaluate these social platforms if they want to engage their team and build results-driven cultures from the bottom up. These approaches help employees self-manage, connect virtual workers, and focus ease of use. But in the end, we are about foster better working relationships and connecting every coworker from any location on your mission, vision, and direction of your team, or organization as a whole. Your employees can help you build you recognition culture; they will feel good about every accomplishment, and better work conversations will take place in a matter of weeks. If you are thinking about this approach take a look at WorkSimple – http://getworksimple.com – we are the first bring Social Goals to market. We have an always free platform that you can use with unlimited users.

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