What’s Up With Workstream?





Earlier in the week we talked about the Authoria acquisition and the infusion of capital by a private equity firm. It was another clear sign that the Talent Management space is really, really hot.


However, the picture isn’t rosy for all vendors.


Take Workstream, an Ottawa, Canada based company with stock pricing issues over the past few months. They received a delisting notice from NASDAQ in late September (which they have appealed) for failing to file its annual report. Couple that with the fact that they have been facing the very real possibility that their shares will be taken off the exchange for trading at too low of a price. They have been given until November 17 to regain compliance with a $1 minimum bid price that has been set forth by NASDAQ but things are not currently looking good as they have been trading at less than 40 cents a share since June and are currently under 10 cents a share.


Workstream also pulled out of a planned merger with HR and Payroll vendor Empagio in June which resulted in litigation between the two companies.


Let’s back up a little bit and take a look at who Workstream actually is, and how they got here.


Workstream was founded in 1996 by Michael Mullarkey and originally started out by pulling together several distressed niche players in the talent acquisition space (Icarian, Perform, and Pure Carbon), which helped them gain market share. They expanded into other Talent Management areas with further acquisitions such as Kadiri for compensation planning, HR-Soft for performance management and Exxceed for competency management. With more than 14 acquisitions, Workstream ended up with a mixed bag of non-integrated applications in a market that was increasingly demanding integrated solutions. As a result, their revenues grew only 1-2% for 2005-2007.


This led to a multi-year integration effort on their part where the first phase culminated in the release of TalentCenter 7.0, which unified their best-of-breed talent management solutions through a Web 2.0 user interface, while providing built-in advanced analytics and dashboards, out-of-the-box multi-language and multi-currency support, a common reporting engine, a common security infrastructure, and user-definable, personalized workspaces.


So what does all this mean? Well, for starters, I don’t believe Workstream is going anywhere as they have over 400 customers including some big names such as Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, Wells Fargo, Verizon, Dell, and Nordstrom. They also claim a 96% retention rate so they must be doing something right.


Add to that the fact that a few months ago they were claiming growth in their business with fourth quarter revenue (their fiscal year ended in May) up 13% over the previous quarter and annual bookings growth of 50% year-over-year, and you have some of the right ingredients for success.


Further, Workstream also owns 6figurejobs.com and combined with their TalentCenter solution should be an attractive solution for the right company or investor to come along and put some money behind what looks to be a company that is on the path to turning things around. Of course you never know what will happen in this dynamic and changing world of Talent Management solutions and our continuing word of caution to companies looking to purchase Talent Management solutions in these uncertain times is to hire HRchitect to help take the risk out of your evaluation and selection and choose the system that is right for your firm…the first time.

Solving a piece of the puzzle… 
Matt Lafata, HRchitect 


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