We join the conversation as our hosts discuss a surprise sale and what it means for all three parties involved. Listen to the conversation in full above or read an excerpt of the transcript beneath, which has been edited for clarity.
Kate Graham: Am I a bit surprised to see Cornerstone acquiring it? Possibly, yes.
But I think it’s probably more of a market play, the same as Saba really, in some respects, it’s more of a market play than a software play, whereas Edcast would have been more of a software play with an element of market domination as well. I think what it ushers is then is this maturity conversation, [and] a few people have written some really great things about it.
Madeline Laurano wrote a tweet saying, it feels like the recruitment tech space is more in its infancy and the LMS space is much more in a downward decline, David Perring’s written a really amazing piece – which I’m sure you can pop into the show notes – on this, but, it does beg that that time-honored question: Is it the death of the LMS? You and I have had this conversation probably a million times over the years.
Obviously, it is a mature market, but we’re still seeing these new learning systems, so called LXPs (learning experience platforms), pop up; the whole skills piece continues to be massive. I think that bleed across learning, skills, talent, recruitment, mobility, that’s all bleeding into one area, really.
And when we look at what we’re putting on the agenda for UNLEASH World in Paris in October, there’s very much a lot of crossover between all of those things and even down to where we are positioning the stages in the breakout rooms, on the floor plan, these topics are close together because we understand that people who are coming will want to be able to go in and out of the different areas. Talent, skills, mobility, it’s not just siloed in the way that it traditionally has been in HR for a while.
So I think in some ways, it opens the door to an interesting discussion about the learning systems market and where it is and where it’s going. And I think for Cornerstone, it just continues to consolidate their position. And again, just to reference Fosway, you think about the 9-Grid, you think about those strategic leaders in the top right, and Cornerstone have acquired both of their nearest competition, since the 2022 version was published, which is a pretty strong statement.
Jon Kennard: I agree. I would say this acquisition is more interesting in terms of what it does for Skillsoft than what it does for Cornerstone. We’ve seen consolidations all the time, historically since year dot, or since these things were possible; Cornerstone are just on the rampage, as it were, in terms of acquiring companies, but I think it shows, like you said, they’ve got Percipio (Skillsoft, this is), but it also makes them…in my mind, the very first thing I thought was that it’s very obvious that they seem to be focusing on the ‘skills’ part of being Skillsoft.
And that’s the very clear agenda item for a lot of companies over the last year or two. And it’s something that we’ve heard right across talent, and everything else. And so this is maybe Skillsoft saying ‘we don’t need this anymore’. I don’t know. I don’t want to put words in their mouth…
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