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IBM To Acquire HR And Talent Management Firm Kenexa

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IBM today announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kenexa Corporation, a publicly held company headquartered in Wayne, PA, in a cash transaction at a price of $46 per share, or at a net price of approximately $1.3 billion.

“Every company, across every business operation, is looking to tap into the power of social networking to transform the way they work, collaborate and out innovate their competitors,” says Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM, explaining IBM’s rationale for acquiring HR and talent management provider Kenexa Corporation for $1.3 billion cash earlier today.

The acquisition bolsters IBM’s leadership in helping clients embrace social business capabilities while gaining actionable insights from the massive streams of information generated from social networks every day.

The adoption of social business technology is supporting the growth of big data and the need for analytics in the enterprise. A recent global IBM study revealed that 57 percent of CEOs identified social business as a top priority and more than 73 percent are making significant investments to draw insights into available data.

The survey also reveals that 70 percent cite human capital as the single biggest contributor to sustained economic value. The combined strengths of IBM and Kenexa are key differentiators at a time when organizations of all sizes are looking to increase workforce efficiencies and gain more insight from their business information.

Kenexa: Providing World-Class Social Business Capabilities

Kenexa is a leading provider of recruiting and talent management solutions. They bring to IBM a unique combination of cloud-based technology and consulting services that integrates both people and processes, providing solutions to engage a smarter, more effective workforce across their most critical business functions.

Kenexa complements IBM’s strategy of bringing relevant data and expertise into the hands of business leaders within every functional department, from sales and marketing to product development and human resources. As a result of this synergy, clients will be able to attract and develop the right skills to build the right teams, for the right projects, the first time.

Social media has pervaded the lives of consumers, helping them connect with each other in new ways. However, a shift is occurring in the enterprise as business leaders look for ways to generate real value through the use of social technologies to evolve their front-line business operations.

According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016.

“Every company, across every business operation, is looking to tap into the power of social networking to transform the way they work, collaborate and out innovate their competitors,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM. “IBM is uniquely positioned to help clients generate real returns from their social business investments, while helping them gain intelligence into the data being generated in these networks to be more competitive in their markets.”

Social Business Creating Value In The Enterprise

Today, Kenexa supports more than 8,900 customers across a variety of industries, including financial services, pharmaceuticals, retail and consumer, including more than half of the Fortune 500.

With Kenexa’s world-class front-office process solutions, IBM will be able to offer strategic consulting, a social technology platform, and expertise on a global scale to help clients enable a smarter workforce and gain a competitive advantage in any market.

By creating a smarter workforce, employees can resolve problems before they arise to improve customer service, drive innovation to bring products and services to market faster, and increase sales by building new skills — linking the right experts to the right clients.

The Kenexa acquisition will complement IBM’s social business and HR business services leadership. More than 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have licensed IBM’s solutions for social business.

Through its combination of social software, analytics, content management, and deep industry expertise, IBM is uniquely positioned to help organizations capture information, create insights and generate interactions that translate into real business value.

With operations in 21 countries worldwide, Kenexa has approximately 2,800 employees. Consistent with its strategy, IBM plans to continue to support Kenexa clients and enhance Kenexa technologies while allowing these organizations to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.

IBM expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to Kenexa shareholder and regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

IBM Leads In Social Software

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Click to enlarge and view the full infographic. IBM announced earlier today that for the third consecutive year, IDC ranked IBM number one in worldwide market share for enterprise social software. According to IDC’s analysis of 2011 revenue, IBM grew faster than its competitors and nearly two times faster than the overall market. Currently, more than one-third of the Fortune 100 use IBM social business software.

It’s official: For the third year in a row, IBM has been found to be the most social enterprise company around.

Well, something like that.

For the third year in a row, IDC has ranked IBM number one in worldwide market share for enterprise social software.

According to their analysis of 2011 revenue, IBM grew faster than its competitors and nearly two times faster than the overall market (which grew approximately 40 percent).

IDC also forecast the enterprise social platforms market is expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2016, representing growth of 43 percent over the next four years.

Much of that growth comes with the continuing popularity of social networking, with more and more organizations looking for ways to adopt social business practices to integrate global teams, drive innovation, increase productivity and better reach customers and partners.

Using Social Software For Enterprise Transformation

While this demand is on the rise, organizations are still looking for ways to embrace social capabilities to transform virtually every part of their business operations, from marketing to research innovation and human resources, but lack the tools to gain insight into the enormous stream of information and use it in a meaningful way.

“Social software is gaining in momentum in the enterprise,” says Michael Fauscette, group vice president for IDC’s Software Business Solutions Group.

“Companies are seeing significant gain in productivity and increasing value from successfully deployed social software solutions including supporting ad hoc work by bringing people, data, content, and systems together in real time and making more effective critical business decisions by providing the ‘right information’ in the work context.”

Today, more than 35 percent of Fortune 100 companies have adopted IBM’s social software offerings including eight of the top 10 retailers and banks.

IBM Connections: Social Inside And Outside The Enterprise

IBM’s social business software and services is unique combining social networking capabilities with analytics to help companies capture information and insights into dialogues from employees and customers and create interactions that translate into real value.

IBM’s social networking platform, IBM Connections, allows for instant collaboration with one simple click and the ability to build social communities both inside and outside the organization to increase customer loyalty and speed business results.

IBM Connections is available both on premise and in the cloud.

In the past year, new IBM Connections clients include Lowe’s Home Improvement, Electrolux, TD Bank, Newly Weds Foods, Russell’s Convenience stores, Bayer Material Science, The Ottawa Hospital, Premier  Healthcare Alliance, Earthwatch, and the law offices of LaVan & Neidenberg.

“The opportunities for organizations to adopt social business processes to connect people and speed innovation is limitless,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM.

“A successful social business can break down the barriers to collaboration and transform the next-generation workforce, from device to delivery vehicle of your choice, to improve productivity and speed decision making.”

Learn more about IBM and social business technologies here.

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