The Fosway Group, the largest independent HR industry analyst firm in Europe, just published the 2019 Fosway 9-Grid report for Talent Management. AND… Saba is named a Strategic Challenger in the report! Read our news release about Saba’s ranking in the report, then read on to learn more about what that ranking means and how to leverage the report in competitive situations!
Check out the 9-Grid:
So, what is a Fosway 9-Grid report for Talent Management?
A Fosway 9-Grid report for Talent Management is a vendor assessment, similar to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant or the Forrester Wave. This one evaluates the talent management vendors with a significant presence in the European market.
It offers a multidimensional model that can be used to understand the relative position of solutions and providers in the European talent management systems market. It allows buyers to compare different solutions based on their Performance, Potential, Presence, Total Cost of Ownership and Trajectory across the market.
The Fosway 9-Grid TM for Integrated Talent Management is produced annually and this report replaced the one last released in October 2018.
New to this year’s report, Fosway divided solution vendors into two new broad categories:
- Suite solutions – Saba is in this category, which Fosway defines as solutions that: typically incorporate functionality that supports a wider range of talent management functionality – from talent acquisition, through to onboarding, learning, performance, appraisal, employee mobility succession, recognition and retention.
- Specialist solutions – A new category featuring vendors appearing in the report for the first time. i.e. Achievers, CultureAmp, Eloomi, Fuel50, Glint (LKND), IBM Watson Talent, Peakon and Workhuman (formerly Globoforce). Fosway defines this category as: These are solutions that support a narrower and more focused set of functionalities within a defined sub-area of the talent management cycle. For example, facilitating engagement, performance, recognition, and wellbeing. As such they offer component solutions or connect applications rather than a full suite. They typically integrate with other Talent or HR systems and are important differentiating components attracting, engaging, motivating and empowering talent.
How are vendors placed on the grid?
Vendors are evaluated on criteria and placed on a grid. Vendors score further to the right on the X-axis the better their performance (market and customer performance/references) is perceived by Fosway Group. Vendors score further up on the Y-axis the better their potential (scope, capability, and sophistication) is perceived. The size of the dot on the grid is based on the perceived vendor’s presence (size of the customer base within the enterprise marketplace, number of corporate enterprise scale customers and overall user numbers).
Based on the popular “9-Box” model for talent assessment, the Fosway 9-Grid TM model is made up of nine “zones.” There are three rows and three columns that make up the grid and vendors are assigned a zone after evaluation. The bottom row contains, from left to right, vendors identified as a Potential Performer, Solid Performer, and Strong Performer; the middle row contains those that are considered a Potential Challenger, Core Challenger, and Core Leader; the top row contains vendors who are a Potential Leader, Strategic Challenger, and Strategic Leader.
Fosway states there is a very important difference between 9-Grid™ and other analyst models. Instead of the top right being the “best location” or the only valid selection point, all of the nine zones have value and a relevant set of actions for readers to understand how to pursue a relationship with each vendor.
While we can debate whether this is actually true, we know for some buyers, evaluating vendors in top right may not even be desirable or economically feasible. Fosway believes that success with talent management is very possible in other zones and that TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is also an incredibly important factor in the buying process which they indicate in their report. Here, TCO means the full cost (both internal and external costs) of acquiring, implementing, and operating the solution typically over a 3-year period.
Also, unlike Gartner and Forrester, Fosway does not provide specific vendor descriptions with strengths or weaknesses/cautions.
Why does this report matter to Saba?
Many customers will reference reports like Fosway 9-Grid for TM during their decision-making process, particularly in the European market. You need to be prepared to emphasize Saba’s strengths including total cost of ownership (TCO) in order to position this for prospects and existing customers accordingly.
Where is Saba on the grid and what’s our point of view?
Saba has significantly improved its position on this year’s 9-Grid – we moved from a Core Challenger to Strategic Challenger (the top middle zone). Saba’s position surpasses Talentsoft, a European based vendor whose position remained unchanged from 2018 to 2019.
Saba’s increased emphasis on the European market, functional depth, lower TCO and the quality of our customer references over the past couple of years has helped improve our position within the grid.
David Wilson, CEO of Fosway Group, commented, “Saba’s position as a Strategic Challenger in the 2019 9-Grid reflects its additional capabilities to deliver across the full talent lifecycle. With the acquisition of Lumesse, Saba has significantly enhanced its presence and capabilities in Europe, as well as gaining an enterprise capability for talent acquisition and further strengthening its core talent and HR credentials.”
What about the competition and how do we compare in 2019 against the 2018 report?
- Saba: the only vendor who made the most significant and positive leap in this year’s report improving its overall 9-Grid position. David Wilson, CEO of Fosway, clearly indicated in his quote above that Saba has significantly enhanced its European presence and capabilities for talent acquisition, via Lumesse acquisition, and further strengthening our core talent and HR credentials.
- CSOD: position moved to the extreme left in the Strategic Leader zone, Fosway’s perception could indicate a decline in performance related to customer satisfaction.
- SAP: position moved down in the Strategic Leader zone, Fosway’s perception could indicate an increase in the level of complexity on how processes can be configured and higher TCO.
- Sumtotal: shared Core Challenger position with Saba in 2018 and made an incremental move just north of the line into the Strategic Challenger zone for 2019. Fosway’s perception could indicate being part of the Skillsoft family has strengthened their content strategy.
- Talentsoft: a French vendor with more customers in EMEA than Saba. Their position remained unchanged which Fosway’s perception could indicate there has been no improvement in either Performance (i.e. get short-listed, does it win, does it deliver and are customers happy) or Potential (i.e. scope and sophistication).
- Oracle: totally missing from 2019 TM report. Fosway indicated this was due to Oracle positioned as a Cloud HCM provider rather than a standalone talent solution supplier.
Who improved their position from 2018 to 2019?
- PageUp (Australian based vendor) and Haufe (German based vendor) both moved to the right and into the Core Leader zone. They were previously in the Core Challenger zone. Fosway’s perception could indicate they have improved in their performance likely due to improved references or UX investment.
Who moved lower or moved backwards in their zone position?
- Infor moved down on the potential axis and Cegid moved to the left on the performance axis. They both now share the Potential Challenger zone. Fosway’s perception could indicate weaker references or less product investment.
Whose position remained unchanged from 2018 to 2019?
Peoplefluent remained a Core Challenger and Kallidus, a UK niche vendor, remained a Strong Performer. Similar to Talensoft, Fosway’s perception could indicate there has been no improvement in either Performance (i.e. get short-listed, does it win, does it deliver and are customers happy) or Potential (i.e. scope and sophistication).
Who is new in 2019 report?
As mentioned earlier, Fosway introduced a new category of vendors – Specialist solutions – Achievers, CultureAmp, Eloomi, Fuel50, Glint (LKND), Peakon and Workhuman (formerly Globoforce). IBM Watson Talent is part of this group and IBM Kenexa was dropped in 2017. These vendors are still maturing, gaining market acceptance and expanding their global footprints.
How do you respond to this report in a competitive situation?
During a sales cycle, competitors may point out that there are several vendors that have similar potential and performance ratings (Cornerstone, SAP, Talentsoft, and Sumtotal) to Saba. In the case of the potential axis on the grid, only Cornerstone has similar rating and cost of ownership which will rule the others out quickly.
In the case of performance axis on the grid, Cornerstone and SAP both provide Core HR capabilities. Workday, ADP, and Ultimate have the most marketshare and we have or are currently working on connectors with all three. Try to minimize competitor’s capabilities here as many prospects, especially in the enterprise, will be using other Core HR systems. Integration with these systems rather than niche point solutions is key and supported by Saba.
- Cornerstone application offers limited self-service configuration changes. In most cases, customers are dependent on Cornerstone to make configurations changes – again added cost and time.
- SAP’s business rules based configuration is complex and requires technical skills to maintain which requires a dependency between HR and IT or SAP to make changes – which lead to additional costs and time. This all contributes to the reality of SAP’s high cost of ownership.
- Sumtotal is positioning themselves as an HCM player, which includes workforce management. SumTotal can’t be everything to everyone, suggest to prospects they need to understand what the future direction of Sumtotal’s is or is not.
- Talentsoft is another vendor that positions themselves as a European based HCM vendor. Though their solution includes a core HR component, the platform lacks embedded collaboration capabilities as well as features to support ongoing performance tracking and personal feedback.
- Again, Fosway recognized a new category of vendors, Specialist solutions, such as: Achievers, CultureAmp, Eloomi, Fuel50, Glint (LKND), Peakon and Workhuman (formerly Globoforce). These vendors are still maturing, working on gaining market acceptance and attempting to expand their global footprints. No evidence yet they have succeeded in this endeavor.
Need more information?
The Fosway 9-Grid report for Talent Management, 2019, can be found here. And, because it’s publicly available you can share it with customers and prospects.
SR. MANAGER, MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS