In its first half 2014 Technology Value Matrix for Human Capital Management (HCM), Nucleus Research finds leading vendors are increasingly consolidating core Human Resources (HR), talent management and workforce management (WFM) functions onto a single platform.

It also found that, where mid-market vendors are innovating to develop new functionality from the ground up, larger, established vendors are looking to acquisitions and integration of their existing point solutions to build out their platforms.

There is nothing ‘magic’ about the Nucleus Value Matrix, which categorizes vendors according to usability and functionality. This determines which solutions provide the most value to organizations. While large vendors such as IBM, Oracle and SAP have kept pace with each other by acquiring smaller entrants in traditional and non-traditional labor management since last year, flurries of new investments have helped to establish smaller, mid-market vendors as capable challengers. Ceridian, Infor and Ultimate are competitively positioned to potentially overtake Oracle and SAP as HCM leaders while Cornerstone and Sum Total Systems continue to challenge, gaining ground in the leader quadrant.

“Competition is reaching a fever pitch as vendors shift from point solutions to the end-to-end human capital management platforms customers are demanding. And with the establishment squaring off against some well-financed midmarket players, it’s a battle of acquisition versus new innovation, making HCM one of the most exciting and driven areas in enterprise software,” said Zachary Chertok, analyst at Nucleus Research.

The Nucleus Matrix additionally finds vendors are linking HCM with Big Data analytics and business intelligence (BI) focusing their efforts on providing integrated functionality across the core competencies of HCM while integrating HCM into the bigger picture of operational analytics. Many are integrating their data sets across multiple solution offerings to compile analytics into common dashboards that make data more accessible, and that provide new and adaptive insights and visibility for real-time problem solving. Nucleus has recently seen increased interest in new innovations and new strategies exploring cloud capabilities and social collaboration.

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