This weekCornerstoneOnDemand, the largest provider of learning management systems, introduced its “New System of Work” vision. While the details are not yet announced, I know for a fact that a major new Cornerstone platform is coming. So since this is the month of the HR Technology Conference in Vegas, let me give you some thoughts.
First, it’s clear to everyone that the pandemic, coupled with economic growth, has totally changed the way we work. For the 30% of workers who have desks and offices, we are working in virtual, hybrid, and often highly stressful experiences. For the 70% of us who are deskless, we work in high-risk, high-stress, and rapidly changing plants, stores, and vehicles. So the old-fashioned HR software that looks and feels like a payroll system just simply will not do.
All the vendors understand this. Workday is redesigning its entire Employee Experience stack. Oracle and SAP introduced entirely new HCM Platforms. And vendors from Namely to Paycor to ADP are now selling easy-to-use apps, self-service tools, and new applications for wellbeing, learning, career mobility, and more.
In fact, as I’m going to discuss next week at the HR Tech show, the entire HR Tech market has flipped upside down. We now want “employee experience first,” and “core HR second.” Of course, we will always need robust transactional systems for payroll, compliance, recruiting, and pay – but these capabilities are more commodity-like than ever, moving all the action to the employee-facing systems.
Cornerstone, which built a billion-dollar business around automating and managing learning and career solutions, is joining this parade. While the new products are not yet announced, I know that the company is working hard on a new employee-facing system that intends to make work easier, more fun, and more engaging than ever. And that’s what this vision announcement is all about.
While there are a lot of vendors piling into this space (including Microsoft, Google, ServiceNow, and Salesforce), I think Cornerstone has an interesting opportunity. The company has more than 6,000 customers and 75 million users, which makes them even bigger than Workday on user count. So if the company truly introduces an AI-driven platform, it could be pretty powerful. And the company’s focus on content has also been interesting: Cornerstone sees itself as a new, hipper version of Skillsoft, which is an interesting aspiration to consider.
This is not to say Cornerstone won’t have competition. Vendors like Eightfold.ai, SkyHive, iCims, Degreed, EdCast, and many others (I’ll discuss more next week) are all working on similar things. And some of these vendors are many years ahead of Cornerstone in their implementations. In fact, the big 600-pound gorilla is still Microsoft (and LinkedIn), which is getting very well organized around its integration between Viva and LinkedIn.
But let me give Cornerstone a vote of confidence in their mission. This is a company that has grown and outperformed almost every LMS vendor for years, and its upcoming status as a private company gives it lots of elbow room to build, acquire, and innovate.
Stay tuned for more from this company: I have a feeling you won’t be disappointed.