INDUSTRY NEWS ALERT: Cornerstone Announces Agreement to Acquire SumTotal from Skillsoft

Cornerstone OnDemand announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Skillsoft to acquire SumTotal, a learning and talent management software provider for approximately $200 million in a cash transaction.

The acquisition comes less than a month after the completion of Cornerstone’s acquisition of EdCast, an innovative learning experience platform. The deal is expected to close sometime in the second half of this year.

“The additional depth of SumTotal, particularly in high-consequence vertical markets, is an ideal complement to Cornerstone, CEO Himanshu Palsule said in a press release.

The acquisition fits well into a broader context of Cornerstone’s growth strategy.  Cornerstone is a pioneer in the learning and talent market. The SumTotal acquisition is a continuation of Cornerstone’s solidification as a market leader in the learning and talent technology space which comes on the heels of the Saba and Edcast acquisitions.  In particular, the acquisition of EdCast enables Cornerstone to accelerate its strategy for offering platform-agnostic innovation — across learning, skills, content, and mobility experiences.   In summary, the acquisition of SumTotal expands Cornerstone’s market reach and vertical expertise.  Cornerstone will also have a broader base of customers that can access its innovative technologies — a critical step in the company’s continued growth. 

Brandon Hall Group research shows that highly regulated industries are 31% more likely than other industries to say new technology is needed to develop highly engaging learning for the hybrid workforce. 

SumTotal, which has been owned by Skillsoft since 2014, offers a talent development suite that enables a learning-centric, comprehensive talent development strategy covering the entire employee lifecycle. 

SumTotal, in improving its functionalities in recent years, has done what Brandon Hall Group has advocated for years — connecting all talent processes in multiple ways. In doing so, it has designed an elegant user experience that is hyper-intuitive and highly configurable.

SumTotal’s Talent Development solution orchestrates the development of employee career paths by preparing managers for performance management discussions, establishing compensation models and succession planning throughout the employee lifecycle. The combination of onboarding, a robust LMS and talent management capabilities, on top of career planning/pathing and individual development plans, allows for a complete people development execution.“

The acquisition of SumTotal continues to underscore the fundamental growth thesis we see for Cornerstone as a leading talent management SaaS platform provider,” Clearlake Capital Group officials said in a press release. “We are excited to continue building on Cornerstone’s industry reputation for providing innovative software solutions to our customers through acquisitions and organic initiatives.”

–Michael Rochelle, Chief Strategy Officer and Principal HCM Analyst
–Claude Werder, Senior VP and Principal HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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