A Few More Thoughts on SF/Plateau

Earlier today I was able to grab a few minutes with Josh Bersin, president of Bersin & Associates, at Bersin & Associates’ IMPACT 2011 conference in St. Petersburg, Fla. In his post earlier today, my colleague, Andy McIlvaine, included a brief sound bite from him on yesterday’s announcement of SuccessFactors’ acquisition of Plateau. Figured I might as well take the opportunity to ask him to elaborate.

Echoing the quote from him that was featured in SuccessFactors’ press release, Bersin sees the acquisition as a win-win for both companies, since it fills the learning- management hole in SF’s product line with a “strong” LMS and puts Plateau’s technology in the hands of an “aggressive marketer.”

“This deal definitely puts SuccessFactors in a much more dominant position,” Bersin says.

What’s more, Bersin adds, the deal says something about the value being placed on the space, adding nearly $300 million more to Cornerstone OnDemand’s recent IPO, which today had a market cap at around $900 million. That’s for an estimated $1 billion market! he says. (Not too shabby.)

So what’s next? Bersin suggests two prime candidates include developers of collaboration tools (along the lines of Jambok, which SuccessFactors also recently acquired) and workforce planning/analytics tools. If the last few months are any indication, we might not have to wait too long to find out.