Cornerstone OnDemand lays out multi-year innovation plan

The human capital management software provider plans to focus on three areas of innovation: employee training tools, AI-based personalized coaching and helping organizations collect and analyze more holistic personnel data.

With a recent acquisition giving it expanded reach and a stronger R&D team, Cornerstone OnDemand on Tuesday laid out a multi-year strategy for investment and innovation. The human capital management software provider plans to focus on three areas of innovation: employee training tools, AI-based personalized coaching and helping organizations collect and analyze more holistic personnel data. 

The strategy, Cornerstone CEO Adam Miller said, is grounded in the notion that the business world is becoming increasingly volatile. This makes it all the more critical for businesses and workers to be adaptable and able to change course quickly. Miller said the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for agility. 

"The emergence of this new world of work is proof that companies must be more agile than ever to succeed," Miller said. "The winners of tomorrow will be the companies that are 'unbound,' those that aren't confined by yesterday's conventions and are ready to adapt to changing environments. And at the heart of an unbound business is continuous people development."

Cornerstone is rolling out its new strategy after finalizing its $1.295 billion acquisition of Saba Software on April 22. Together, the companies have nearly 7,000 clients across the globe. The deal also gives Cornerstone an enhanced R&D team that is 60 percent larger. 

To explain its focus on holistic learning tools, Cornerstone pointed to its own research data showing that employee training has spiked during the pandemic. The company argues this underscores the need for companies to move beyond learning tools that meet compliance requirements, providing

In terms of the employee training tools it intends to build out, Cornerstone said it will focus on tools that are available from any device and easily accessible. It also plans on building learning tools that can be hyper-personalized and actually garner business-enabling results. 

In the area of AI-based personalized coaching, Cornerstone is working on providing digital coaching tools, as well as tools that help managers better understand their workers. 

As for providing more holistic "people data" and analysis, Cornerstone makes the case that a better understanding of employees will help organizations make better business decisions. To advance this line of product development, Cornerstone earlier this year acquired Clustree, a French technology company with an AI-powered skills engine and an extensive skills ontology.