Plateau as a Service for Talent Management

Being a human resources (HR) and customer relationship management (CRM) analyst is definitely a privilege. I get to follow the trends from these two different business areas, which (incidentally) have many things in common: employees are a company’s internal customers, recruiting is campaign management for the workforce, privacy data about customers and employees is equally sensitive, etc.

Another thing HR and CRM have in common is the rapid change from traditional tools—mostly used to create and manage information—to new products adapted to the newer ways of doing business (e.g., software as a service (SaaS), application exchange, social media, etc.).

What Does Plateau Have to do With This?

Plateau started as a learning management system (LMS) vendor fourteen years ago and realized that it was in a good position to move into the talent management space since learning/training is essential in human capital management (HCM).

Adapting to the changing needs of its customers and following a trend in the HCM space, Plateau launched its SaaS offering 5 years ago. It has the following core modules: performance management, learning management, career and succession planning, and compensation management. Applicant tracking—another important part of any HCM solution—is another of Plateau’s focuses where they offer integration with vendors like iCIMS.

Additionally, Plateau recently launched a platform as a service (PaaS), which not only allows users to manage securities and customize the software, but also to build extensions to enhance existing functionality. Future plans include an application exchange online marketplace where users can create and share widgets and tools.

How is Plateau Talent Management Suite (TMS) Different?

The first major thing that differentiates Plateau from other talent management vendors is the fact that it started with LMS, as opposed to other vendors who started with applicant tracking (e.g., Taleo) or performance management (e.g., SuccessFactors).

Since success in learning management is very much related to the quality of the content, Plateau has a strong offering for content management or content as a service (CaaS). This not only allows users to access or create content, but they can also test and validate courses and training materials. Furthermore, its iContent eCommerce Portal can be used to purchase over 20,000 existing online libraries authored by partners like Compliance Online, LearnWright, PureSafety, SafetySkills, WeComply, etc.

The Plateau Talent Gateway uses social networking and Web 2.0 tools to help users create communities, sites, and share knowledge and content. This encourages both formal learning (e.g., classes, training sessions, etc.) as well as informal learning (e.g., Q&A sessions, feedback, interactions, searches, etc.).

All of these modules are delivered and can be customized on a platform, which is not something unusual for SaaS vendors, but surely is exceptional for the HCM space.

Challenges for Anything as a Service ( XaaS) for Talent Management

By offering SaaS, PaaS, and CaaS, Plateau is one of the few (if not the only) talent management vendor to get very close to offering XaaS. Adopting XaaS brings a few challenges that companies need to take into consideration:
- User adoption is different for different generations of users (generation X is not always familiar and comfortable with social media or collaboration tools and concepts).
- The freedom to customize software solutions and build applications is great, but it also requires extra activities to manage what is being done, why, and who does it.
- There is a need to define what stays inside the four walls of the company and what can be shared (how and with whom).

The ways Plateau and other HCM vendors help their customer to address these challenges will be described in a future blog post. In the meantime, I welcome your thoughts on the pros and cons of talent management and XaaS.
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