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10/8/2012
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Saba Updates Enterprise Cloud For Talent, Learning

Saba promotes the "people-centric enterprise" potential of its talent and learning management products and the integration of HumanConcepts for organizational planning.

Enterprise Social Networks: Must-Have Features Guide
Enterprise Social Networks: Must-Have Features Guide
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Saba Software says the update to its Enterprise Cloud platform announced this week at the HR Tech conference can help companies create a "transformative workplace" that revolves around people.

Saba uses "Enterprise Cloud" as an umbrella term for its suite of established Talent Management and Learning software products, which are now being sold primarily as cloud services even though they are still available for on-premises deployment, Chris Trauter, senior director of product marketing, said in an interview. Saba has also been promoting a People Cloud as its next generation, pure cloud architecture product with enterprise social networking features, although that is so far being targeted at smaller organizations.

The Fall release of the Enterprise Cloud, which Saba said was available as of Monday's announcement, includes tighter integration with the organizational planning and modeling capabilities Saba got with its HumanConcepts acquisition announced in March. This added org chart views of employee data, which can be rearranged and otherwise manipulated to form succession or reorganization plans.

"This lets you plan and visualize all of your people data, and then do transactions in the Saba enterprise cloud," Trauter said.

[ Decision time: What's Your Unadoption Strategy For Enterprise 2.0?. ]

Saba doesn't provide a complete human resources information system, but it integrates with other vendors who do, such as Workday. To expand the options for HRIS and ERP systems integration, Saba said it is also introducing a service bus for application integration through standards, including Web services protocols.

Software products for learning and talent management are one front in the competition to create more social software. Interest in this Human Capital Management market is high, driving a series of recent acquisitions including IBM's purchase of Kenexa and Oracle's acquisition of Taleo.

Saba argues that enterprises can be more effective if they transform themselves by organizing around people, rather than information, and prescribes three steps--unlock your people profile, modernize your people processes, and elevate your people experience.

At the same time that it promotes its cloud vision, Saba is operating under a cloud. Last week, Saba announced it received an anticipated letter from the NASDAQ exchange, warning that it could be delisted for missing a quarterly financial filing deadline. The company is working to restate earnings after an audit turned up discrepancies, including premature booking of revenue. Saba is asking for more time to resolve its issues with the Securities and Exchange Commission and scheduled an Oct. 30 conference call to discuss the issues.

Trauter said the whole issue resolves around a "minor restatement" required as a result of an internal audit. "It really had no effect on our business," he said.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)

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