Cornerstone’s Continuing and Fruitful Journey

About 1,800 HR and learning professionals gathered this week in Los Angeles for Cornerstone Convergence 2016. CEO Adam Miller, as usual, opened the conference and got right into the story telling, using the creation of a new organization to show how the product can help us find the right person for the job, look at a pool of candidates to assess readiness, and finally evaluate how the organization is doing against a growth plan. This year Cornerstone released five new products that highlight its journey from a learning start-up to stand-alone talent management suite, and now contender as a full-suite HCM solutions provider. shutterstock_336254588

Three of these offerings are analytics related – View, Insight, and Planning. Together these products provide a powerful, visual toolset to use Cornerstone data to uncover employee information to guide promotion and career decisions, provide predictive capability to help drive readiness and career moves, and enable basic workforce planning.

The next product was discussed last year and finally rolled out this year: Edge, with three functions – Import, Integrate, and Build. These tools allow connection to other systems, importing of data and the ability to build tools on top of the Cornerstone platform. Integrate already enables rapid integration with a small set of current partners in their market place, with more to come. Another interesting point is that Import and Integrate allow Cornerstone customers to leverage data from other systems, enhancing the ability to provide better analytics capability and lowering the cost of integrating HCM processes.

Finally, CyberU was announced, providing a large library of video-based, crowd-sourced learning content aimed at individual development. This completes Cornerstone’s early vision of providing content for the enterprise, SMB, and individuals.

Clients seem relatively pleased not only with the advances in functionality but the ability of the company to listen and respond to needs. Both in product direction and service I heard that Cornerstone was responsive and making adjustments as possible to keep customer needs in mind. Of course, there are areas that need work. Despite the advances in analytics, reporting overall seems to be a spot that needs improvement, even while I heard some say that they are quite satisfied with the capabilities, others still struggle with getting information needed to run the business easily.

All together these capabilities give Cornerstone the ability to compete as a full-suite HCM provider, a point that was highlighted during the keynote. With a growing global presence, gains in customers across industry and company size, and the addition of new tools that compete with much larger players in the market, Cornerstone struck a tone of growth and a positive look on the future throughout the conference.

There is certainly work remaining to extend the functionality that exists today and deepen the capabilities of their new offerings. Reporting was already mentioned, and workforce planning that went beyond basic headcount would have been nice to see, but Cornerstone appears to have a good pulse on what their customers want, and an ability to provide.

Max Meadow, VP of Strategic Engagements

and Principal Advisory Analyst, Brandon Hall Group




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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.

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