HRchitect Tech Vendor News: Skillsoft Announces Agreement To Acquire SumTotal Systems

August 22, 2014

DUBLIN & NASHUA, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Skillsoft Limited (“Skillsoft”), a pioneer in technology-delivered learning solutions, announced today that its subsidiary, Skillsoft Corporation, has entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition of SumTotal Systems, LLC from affiliates of Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”), a U.S.-based private equity firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Skillsoft has a long history of innovation and delivery of solutions for its customers worldwide, ranging from global enterprises, government, and education to mid-sized and small businesses. The acquisition of SumTotal expands Skillsoft’s solution portfolio and global reach.

SumTotal provides flexible, next-generation human resources (HR) solutions to 3,500 customers and 49 million users worldwide including many of the Fortune 500. SumTotal’s Talent Expansion solution provides personalized learning and HR processes to organizations of all sizes.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to bring together the experience and strengths of two proven leaders in the cloud-based HR solutions market,” said Skillsoft CEO Chuck Moran. “The integration of these complementary products – Skillsoft’s technology-delivered learning assets and SumTotal’s solutions for learning, talent and workforce management – will allow our customers to break new ground in implementing more comprehensive solutions for managing and expanding their workforce talent.”

“We are pleased to support the management team with such a significant and transformational transaction so soon in our tenure together,” said Frank van den Bosch, Partner at Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP, which acquired Skillsoft in April 2014. “Skillsoft’s acquisition of SumTotal brings together two of the most widely respected and experienced industry players and gives us the ability to present an exciting and compelling opportunity for the combined global customer base.”

“We look forward to joining the Skillsoft family,” said SumTotal CEO Hardeep Gulati. “This acquisition is a pivotal milestone in the 29-year history of SumTotal and a tremendous endorsement of our employees, as well as the differentiated solutions and services that SumTotal provides. I am very excited about the opportunity to provide more value to our customers, who now will benefit from a comprehensive content rich HR solution.”

“It has been our pleasure to work with SumTotal over the past five years to expand their portfolio of solutions and better serve their customers and the HR industry as a whole,” said Brian Sheth, President of Vista Equity Partners. “We are confident that SumTotal and Skillsoft together are well-positioned to deliver tremendous value to customers and we wish the company the very best during its next phase of growth.” As part of the transaction, Vista Equity Partners will maintain a small ownership stake in the combined company.

The closing of this transaction is subject to various conditions, including the expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Skillsoft. Committed financing for the transaction is being provided by Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal counsel to Skillsoft. Evercore acted as exclusive financial advisor to Vista. Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal counsel to Vista.

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To learn more about HRchitect and how we can help your organization, please visit www.HRchitect.com. HRchitect is the leader in HCM systems strategic consulting.  As the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) Systems consulting firm, we offer end-to-end HR technology consulting services focused around strategic planning, evaluation/selection, project management and implementation of HR systems, Talent Management Systems, Talent Acquisition Systems, and Workforce Management software. After more than 17 years in business working on over 2100 successful engagements for more than 900 clients across the globe, HRchitect is a name you can trust for all of your organization’s HCM technology-related consulting needs.

Matt Lafata, HRchitect

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HRchitect Tech Vendor News: Skillsoft Publishes e-book to Help Organizations Evaluate Cloud-based Learning Solutions

August 4, 2014

Guides readers in selecting solutions based on employee development objectives and business goals

NASHUA, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Skillsoft has introduced a new resource, Cloud-Based Learning Solutions: Making the Right Choice for Your Enterprise, to help learning and development decision-makers fully understand cloud-based learning and how best to leverage it to achieve specific business goals. Including contributions from industry thought leaders, checklists, and case studies, the complimentary e-book is an all-encompassing guide that educates organizations on everything from selecting a cloud learning solution to realizing improved business outcomes.

“Learning investment decision-making is quickly becoming about ‘future-proofing’ and choosing resources and technologies that will remain valuable even as the ways learners consume learning change over time,” said Pam Boiros, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Skillsoft. “It’s important for organizations to understand the benefits of partnering with the right provider so their programs can evolve along with the business and learning environments.”

Cloud-Based Learning Solutions covers today’s complex learning and development ecosystem and the ways businesses can best leverage cloud-based learning content and platforms. The e-book is intended for readers across human resources, IT and learning & development functions and walks them through the main considerations of making a decision around cloud learning solutions, including:

  • Why cloud-based learning? Explores the features, benefits and common myths surrounding cloud-based learning.
  • What cloud-based learning success looks like: Looks at the four building blocks of success—engagement, alignment, adoption and value—and how putting the right learning resources in place supports them.
  • Developing the business case for cloud-based learning: Addresses common barriers to adoption, and looks at best-practices for communicating the business case to stakeholders, for implementing a cloud-based learning solution.
  • Selecting the right cloud-based learning partner: Comprehensively assesses the criteria for choosing a cloud-based learning partner, including content, enabling technologies, service and experience.

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To learn more about HRchitect and how we can help your organization, please visit www.HRchitect.com. HRchitect is the leader in HCM systems strategic consulting.  As the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) Systems consulting firm, we offer end-to-end HR technology consulting services focused around strategic planning, evaluation/selection, project management and implementation of HR systems, Talent Management Systems, Talent Acquisition Systems, and Workforce Management software. After more than 17 years in business working on over 2100 successful engagements for more than 900 clients across the globe, HRchitect is a name you can trust for all of your organization’s HCM technology-related consulting needs.

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


HRchitect Tech Vendor News: Skillsoft Works with Sprint to Align Learning with Business Goals for Impressive Results

August 4, 2014

Closing performance gaps results in cost-benefit ratio five times better than classroom training

NASHUA, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Skillsoft today announced continued success with Sprint, whose collaboration with and use of Skillsoft has resulted in measurable talent improvement efforts. Throughout their long-standing relationship, Skillsoft and Sprint have been able to adapt and align targeted learning solutions to the changing business requirements of the world-class telecommunications firm of approximately 36,000 employees. Using elearning analytics platforms to then measure success against industry benchmarks, Sprint was able to realize a cost-benefit ratio with Skillsoft five times better than classroom training and an average annual rate of program improvement more than triple the industry rate of four percent.

Sprint partners with the business unit leaders and the front lines to identify performance gaps. Sprint University then defines solutions to close those gaps. As the University solves for those performance improvement opportunities, Sprint leverages their leading edge portfolio which includes Skillsoft’s elearning courses, targeted portals and online books. A priority for Skillsoft’s program with Sprint was the measurement of content effectiveness both for aligning and re-aligning program goals over time and for advising stakeholders on content performance. Sprint has received significant ROI from Skillsoft, realizing $90 in benefits for every $1 invested. Sprint recently received a 2014 BEST Award from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) for demonstrating enterprise-wide success as a result of employee learning and development.

“Ensuring that learning is both tightly aligned to Sprint’s business and continually improving as the workforce evolves is a primary goal at Sprint University,” said Jeff Coppley, HRD Manager – Performance Support, Sprint University. “Skillsoft’s resources and its approach to elevating talent have made them a key partner in helping us realize our goals and measure the ROI of the program.”

Similarly, an evaluation of Skillsoft’s content year-over-year revealed a 14 percent average improvement in effectiveness – well above the industry average of four percent – when gauging several aspects of a learning program. Some of the areas measured included:

  • How learners are developing new knowledge from the Skillsoft solutions
  • How learners are applying skills they developed from the Skillsoft training to their jobs
  • How much Skillsoft training improved learner job performance
  • How worthwhile the Skillsoft investment was for Sprint

“Skillsoft’s work with Sprint over a number of years has clearly proved the theory that ‘what gets measured improves,'” said Kieran King, Global Vice President, Loyalty Strategy, Skillsoft. “We’re thrilled to see that the learning improvement for Sprint continues to beat the industry norm, and that the program can continually change and adapt to new learning goals while still beating industry standards.”

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To learn more about HRchitect and how we can help your organization, please visit www.HRchitect.com. HRchitect is the leader in HCM systems strategic consulting.  As the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) Systems consulting firm, we offer end-to-end HR technology consulting services focused around strategic planning, evaluation/selection, project management and implementation of HR systems, Talent Management Systems, Talent Acquisition Systems, and Workforce Management software. After more than 17 years in business working on over 2100 successful engagements for more than 900 clients across the globe, HRchitect is a name you can trust for all of your organization’s HCM technology-related consulting needs.

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


HRchitect Tech Vendor News:Skillsoft 2014 Impact Analysis Reveals Insights into the Value of Learning

July 14, 2014

Findings detail the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations’ learning programs

NASHUA, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Skillsoft today announced the findings of its bi-annual Impact Analysis survey that measures the value of organizations’ learning investments. The Impact Analysis is a low-burden, estimate-based, rapid analysis designed to collect data related to three key areas for learning programs: operational efficiency, content effectiveness and business outcomes. The process delivers both quantitative and qualitative insights into the effectiveness of learning programs and provides a baseline from which to evaluate their impact moving forward. A core service available to existing Skillsoft customers, the Impact Analysis fills a critical evaluation gap for many organizations worldwide.

The comprehensive findings from the meta-analysis reflect 58,800 individual end users from across the world. The latest round of research, conducted over a 24-month period spanning 2012 and 2013, offers fresh perspective on end users’ experiences with Skillsoft learning solutions:

  • Learners cited better work quality and increased employee satisfaction as the leading outcomes of applying what they learned.
  • Learners achieved an average improvement in skill of 17 percent, which aligned to an average 44 percent of employees’ current job roles.
  • Learners indicated career development and continued professional development as the top motivations for engaging with the learning program.

“It’s important for learning programs to be properly monitored and measured to ensure they are aligned with employees’ needs, organizations’ business goals and their original objectives,” said Wendy Duffy, Senior Director, Consulting Services, North America. “Many learning and development teams are already stretched and likely do not have the resources to dedicate to the evaluation of their learning investments. The Impact Analysis gives them a great baseline for thinking about their programs in context of many others like them. It also helps teams package the insights for key stakeholders who are invested in the programs’ success.”

The Impact Analysis findings allow learning and development (L&D) teams to quickly and easily evaluate their current programs, to communicate outcomes internally to other stakeholders, and to create an action plan for achieving even more value in the future. Following the initial analysis, Skillsoft Learning Consultants work with L&D teams to identify the strengths and opportunities for improvement in terms of engagement, alignment, adoption and value, which Skillsoft has identified as the four building blocks of a healthy learning program.

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To learn more about HRchitect and how we can help your organization, please visit www.HRchitect.com. HRchitect is the leader in HCM systems strategic consulting.  As the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) Systems consulting firm, we offer end-to-end HR technology consulting services focused around strategic planning, evaluation/selection, project management and implementation of HR systems, Talent Management Systems, Talent Acquisition Systems, and Workforce Management software. After more than 17 years in business working on over 2100 successful engagements for more than 900 clients across the globe, HRchitect is a name you can trust for all of your organization’s HCM technology-related consulting needs.

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


HRchitect Tech Vendor News: Skillsoft Supports Learning Industry’s Transition to Mobile Learning

June 9, 2014

Skillsoft’s mobile solutions enable organizations to support continuous learning that aligns with business objectives

NASHUA, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As today’s workplace adapts to a more mobile generation of workers, Skillsoft is meeting the growing demand for on-the-go learning by driving mobile initiatives across a wide product portfolio. Skillsoft’s mobile solutions provide access to assets wherever employees learn best, ensuring content is available at the point of need – which is especially important for today’s 73 percent of organizations that are actively engaging in mobile learning.

Within its suite of mobile learning solutions, Skillport 8 Learning Management System (LMS) features a learning experience that is optimized for tablet delivery. The mobile backbone of Skillport 8 gives organizations confidence in devising and deploying mobile learning programs that can immediately drive the development of their workforce. Skillport 8 also provides access to a full library of mobile-friendly learning content and other assets – including more than 8,000 videos, 40,000 books and 1,000 tablet-friendly business skills courses. In addition to Skillport 8, Skillsoft offers full custom content capabilities and rapid content assembly tools, such as Skillsoft Dialogue Design, which allows organizations to quickly create and publish their own content for time-critical business initiatives.

“Today’s generation of workers is used to having information instantly available at their fingertips. Employees want to be able to use their tablets and smartphones and, as user preferences change, it’s important for learning programs to evolve in tandem,” said John Ambrose, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development, Skillsoft. “Mobile learning is key to breaking down barriers in participation and engagement of employees within changing workforces. Whether it’s sales teams working through development plans while in the field or traveling executives accessing on-demand content to refresh their skills before a big presentation, mobile learning enables a smarter workforce, no matter where they are.”

With Skillsoft’s mobile learning, users can start on one device and finish on another, allowing them to learn within their own workflow. The functionality of Skillsoft’s solutions transforms learners’ devices into both an office and a classroom. These solutions enable organizations to embrace emerging mobile learning initiatives while still meeting their overall learning objectives.

Skillsoft’s “Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Learning” offers further advice on the key considerations organizations need to evaluate as they plan their mobile learning initiatives.

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To learn more about HRchitect and how we can help your organization, please visit www.HRchitect.com. HRchitect is the leader in HR systems strategic consulting.  As the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) Systems consulting firm, we offer end-to-end HR technology consulting services focused around strategic planning, evaluation/selection, project management and implementation of HR systems, Talent Management Systems, Talent Acquisition Systems, and Workforce Management software. After more than 17 years in business working on over 2000 successful engagements for more than 900 clients across the globe, HRchitect is a name you can trust as your one-stop shop for all your HR technology consulting needs.

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


HRchitect Tech Vendor News: Skillsoft Announces Acquisition by Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP

March 31, 2014

DUBLIN & NASHUA, New Hampshire–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SSILuxco S.a.r.l., an indirect parent company of Skillsoft Limited (“Skillsoft”), a pioneer in the field of technology-delivered learning with a long history of innovation and delivery of solutions for its customers worldwide, ranging from global enterprises, government, and education to mid-sized and small businesses, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its subsidiaries to funds managed by Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP (“Charterhouse”). Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

“We have experienced great success during our four year run with Berkshire Partners, Advent International and Bain Capital, and greatly appreciate the support and guidance they have provided to our team,” said Chuck Moran, CEO of Skillsoft. “We are excited to continue the journey with Charterhouse. We believe that our commitment, ability to execute and proven track record of success, coupled with the experience, enthusiasm and resources that will be contributed by Charterhouse, will provide us with new and exciting opportunities as we continue to deliver significant value to our customers and partners.”

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Skillsoft,” said Frank van den Bosch, a partner of Charterhouse. “We see a tremendous future for Skillsoft and look forward to working with Chuck and the Skillsoft team to achieve our goals.”

“On behalf of Berkshire Partners, Advent International and Bain Capital, I would like to thank Chuck Moran and the Skillsoft management team for their partnership over the past several years,” said Michael Ascione, Managing Director of Berkshire Partners. “During our collective ownership, Skillsoft has grown significantly and we believe that the Company is very well-positioned to continue to enhance its leadership position in the field of technology-delivered learning.”

Skillsoft will continue to be headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and led by the current management team, including Mr. Moran as CEO. The closing of this transaction is subject to various conditions, including the expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Skillsoft. Ropes & Gray LLP acted as legal counsel to Skillsoft. Barclays acted as exclusive financial advisor to Charterhouse. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett acted as legal counsel to Charterhouse.

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To learn more about HRchitect and how we can help your organization, please visit www.HRchitect.com. HRchitect is the leader in HR systems strategic consulting.  As the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) Systems consulting firm, we offer end-to-end HR technology consulting services focused around strategic planning, evaluation/selection, project management and implementation of HR systems, Talent Management Systems, Talent Acquisition Systems, and Workforce Management software. After more than 16 years in business working on over 2000 successful engagements for more than 900 clients across the globe, HRchitect is a name you can trust as your one-stop shop for all your HR technology consulting needs.

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


HRchitect Tech Vendor News: Skillsoft and IBM Research Collaborate to Harness Big Data in Enterprise Learning

February 18, 2014

Big data to drive next generation adaptive learning and integrated development for improved user engagement and learning outcomes

NASHUA, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Skillsoft today announced a multi-phase joint development agreement with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to leverage the power of big data in enterprise learning. The goal of this collaboration is the development of an enhanced adaptive learning experience for users with a focus on productive data-driven learning outcomes. By combining IBM Research’s unrivaled big data and customer experience analytics capabilities with content interaction data from Skillsoft’s 50,000+ learning assets, new methods of creating and assessing optimal learning experiences at an individual level are possible.

Skillsoft is a pioneer in the field of technology-delivered learning with a long history of innovation and delivering solutions for its customers worldwide, ranging from global enterprises, government, and education to mid-sized and small businesses. As the data analytics market continues to experience exponential growth, companies seek new ways to maximize performance using big data technology and analysis. In 2013, Gartner reported that 64 percent of organizations invested or planned to invest in big data technology, a continual increase from previous years. The corporate learning market provides an ideal application area for big data analytics. As organizations continue to offer more online learning to their employees, they need to analyze which learning experiences are the most productive and apply that knowledge to continually improve business outcomes. This combination of business need, data and technology presents an industry landscape that is ripe for capitalizing on the full value of what big data and analytics can bring.

“Big data has the opportunity to transform corporate learning outcomes,” said Anshul Sheopuri, Manager and IBM Master Inventor, IBM Research. “We are pleased to work with Skillsoft to create new enterprise learning-based big data techniques that will drive personalized user interaction resulting in improved engagement. Our initial findings show insights that can make the learning experience customized to users’ preferences and drive next generation adaptive learning and integrated development.”

The first phase of the initiative not only identified the key drivers of engagement but also demonstrated their connection to improved learning outcomes for users as well as significant business benefits to Skillsoft. In the second phase, the focus is on realizing these outcomes by piloting and then deploying the big data models that are being developed.

“We are thrilled to explore new ways of leveraging data to boost learning outcomes,” said John Ambrose, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Corporate Development and Emerging Business, Skillsoft. “With IBM’s research scientists and technology, we now have the ability to holistically look at content interaction data and understand trends in user interactions and drivers of engagement. Together, we look forward to further harnessing the power of big data to define a more personalized, adaptive enterprise learning experience.”

The first phase of the research initiative is complete. Skillsoft and IBM will release future insights of data analysis and relevant findings as the agreement progresses.

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To learn more about HRchitect and how we can help your organization, please visit www.HRchitect.com. HRchitect is the leader in HR systems strategic consulting.  As the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) Systems consulting firm, we offer end-to-end HR technology consulting services focused around strategic planning, evaluation/selection, project management and implementation of HR systems, Talent Management Systems, Talent Acquisition Systems, and Workforce Management software. After more than 16 years in business working on over 2000 successful engagements for more than 900 clients across the globe, HRchitect is a name you can trust as your one-stop shop for all your HR technology consulting needs.

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


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