IBM Gets Kenexa In Another Move Into Human Resources Software Services

An IBM data center. Its new purchase, Kenexa, provides could-based software services.

Where action’s at: An IBM data center.

Technology giant IBM is purchasing human resources technology provider Kenexa in a deal valued at $1.3 billion.

The deal,  announced 27 Aug. 2012, is the latest in string of acquisitions and mergers in the human resources technology realm. These mergers  have major implications for thousands of corporations, their employees and job-seekers.

Kenexa, based in Wayne, Pa., provides of recruiting and talent management software. It also provides the expertise to run its systems.

The deal is significant because Kenexa’s products are widely used by large organizations that combined  have millions of employees.

Kenexa’s software-as-a-service products are used by more than 8,900 businesses in  industries including financial services, pharmaceuticals, retail and consumer products. More than half of the Fortune 500 uses Kenexa software.

Kenexa itself is publicly held, has about 2,900 employees and has operations in 21 countries.


Kenexa’s systems also affect job-seekers. Kenexa provides online “talent management” software for recruiting and screening job applicants. Kenexa technology is often the first point of contact between many employers and job-seekers online — even though the job seeker is most likely unaware of the connection.

According to IBM’s official press release on the deal, Kenexa provides “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.”

The acquisition fits nicely with IBM’s ongoing strategy that combines providing computing and software services over the Internet – the “cloud” – and providing consulting and outsourcing services for large organizations.

IBM’s spin on the Kenexa acquisition: This is another move into what it calls social business technology, basically using social-media style online technology to manage employees.

IBM points out in the press release announcing the Kenexa deal that more than 60% of Fortune 100 companies already use IBM’s social business technology.

The deal is expected to close before the end of 2012.

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