Salesforce buys Rypple, enters HR software biz

Acquisition marks software-as-a-service vendor's first foray into human resource software market, as it battles larger rivals also buying up cloud software companies to win over enterprise customers, including SAP and Oracle.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor on

Salesforce.com says it is buying cloud-based human resource (HR) software maker Rypple, marking its first foray into the human capital management space as it elbows bigger rivals to woo enterprise customers on all fronts.

Rypple, a three-year-old company, is behind its namesake cloud-based social performance management app, and counts companies such as Facebook, Spotify and Gilt Group as its customers. Under the acquisition, it will be re-launched as "Successforce", Salesforce.com said in a statement Thursday.

The software-as-a-service vendor noted that the acquisition signaled its entry into the human capital management  market. Along with the purchase, it will create a new HCM business unit, run by John Wookey, Salesforce.com's executive vice president of advanced applications.

The company added that it has plans to expand into other areas with a new social model that it said will "revolutionize" the way companies recruit talent, build teams, empower employees and achieve results, and Rypple's technology will extend the value of Salesforce's existing products.

Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close by Apr. 30, were not disclosed.

Salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff said: "Salesforce.com and Rypple share a vision for extending the social enterprise to transform the way we work. The next generation of HCM is not just about a cloud delivery model, it’s about a fundamentally better way to recruit, manage and empower employees in a social world."

The move comes after rival SAP said it had acquired SuccessFactors, a cloud-based employee management software maker, for US$3.5 billion.

It also adds to the growing list of cloud acquisitions by enterprise software companies, including giants SAP, Oracle and IBM, all of which recently announced purchases of smaller, Web-based software businesses.

Wookey, incidentally, is a former SAP and Oracle executive.

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