SAP acquires machine learning tech company SwoopTalent

SAP said the deal was focused on incorporating the company's data and machine learning intellectual property into their human experience management systems.

SAP announced on Monday that it is acquiring machine learning tech company SwoopTalent in a deal centered around the company's intellectual property. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. 

SAP SuccessFactors chief product officer Meg Bear said delivering individualization at scale requires a powerful data platform that extends across multiple systems. SwoopTalent's AI platform was built to manage data from different HR systems and workflows, combining and analyzing information that helps business leaders make more informed personnel decisions. 

"By making workforce data more reliable and accessible, we can help our customers gain powerful insights about their people to effectively upskill, reskill and redeploy talent and future-proof their business," Bear said. "The founders of SwoopTalent are industry thought leaders with proven expertise using data, machine learning and analytics to elevate HR and make organizations more competitive. We are thrilled to have them join SAP to further our HXM strategy."

In a statement, SAP said it wanted to embed SwoopTalent's tools across SAP's SuccessFactors solutions to beef up their human experience management systems (HXM). SwoopTalent's work is focused on data intelligence and machine learning, which SAP said would help support efforts to provide "individualized employee experiences" and "improve organizational agility."

In addition to obtaining the intellectual property of SwoopTalent, SAP said employees of the company would also join the SuccessFactors team. 

SwoopTalent CEO Stacy Chapman said it was a "pivotal moment" because the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an upheaval in how work is viewed and handled by companies. 

"With HXM, SAP has the right vision and strategy to deliver technology that enables individuals to upskill and create a career that aligns to their interests and skills," Chapman added. "SAP and SwoopTalent are a great cultural fit and share the same values. We are excited to continue advancing HXM together."

SAP's Amy Wilson wrote another blog post explaining the particulars of the partnership, noting that SwoopTalent co-founders Chapman and Satish Sallakonda will be joining SAP alongside the engineering team. 

Wilson said the two "bring decades of experience building solutions and leveraging the power of data and ML for learning, talent, recruiting and workforce analytics and planning."

SAP started its work on HXM about two years ago and invested heavily in improving the SuccessFactors HXM Suite with new features. As offices begin to reopen while embracing the changes incorporated during the pandemic, many companies are rethinking how they're organized. 

"With SwoopTalent's talent and machine learning algorithms, we will strengthen our adaptable, dynamic talent profile to gather information from different sources -- keeping in mind local regulations and the employee's consent and preferences about the information they'd like to share -- to continuously shape and refine a digital picture of an employee's whole self: who they are today and who they are becoming," Wilson said. 

"This talent profile powers a new solution planned to be released this year, that will serve up data-driven opportunities like recommendations for learning content, roles, assignments, dynamic teams, mentors, and more; all of which will fuel an employee's ongoing development and growth."

SAP wants to recreate the software used by recruiters to tie job advertisements to specific talent markets, Wilson explained, adding that as an employee progresses over months and years, "surfaced opportunities will become more individualized."

"A data-rich opportunity marketplace will empower people to grow their careers and give organizations the agility required to transform their business. Truly intelligent enterprises are powered by people, enabled by technology, and backed by a strong data foundation," Wilson said.