SSA Global Wastes No Time Integrating Boniva
September 6, 2005 Alex Woodie
SSA Global wasted little time incorporating technology from one of its most recent acquisitions, Boniva Software. Last week it launched the version 2.0 release of its Human Capital Management (HCM) suite. The new release of the Java-based employee management suite bears the employee recruitment, learning management, and performance assessment capabilities developed by Boniva, as well as new self-service capabilities and enhancements to payroll and benefits modules.
It’s been less than a month since SSA Global acquired Boniva Software, a Santa Clara, California, developer of Java-based e-learning, skills management, and performance management software. At the time, SSA Global chief executive Michael Greenough said his company would “quickly bring to market the new functionality” that Boniva brought, and that is exactly what the Chicago ERP software vendor did. This is a good thing, considering that the rapid and successful integration of acquired technologies is one of the most important tasks that ERP conglomerates like SSA Global can do to bolster their business.
The task of integrating Boniva’s offerings undoubtedly was made easier due to Boniva’s reliance on the Java 2, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) language, the same language SSA Global is adopting with its “Technology Architecture” middleware strategy for linking core ERP offerings, such as BPCS, PRMS, PRISM, Infinium, and Baan, with “extension” components like HCM, CRM, supplier relationship management (SRM), and others (see “SSA Global Updates Its ‘Technology Architecture’ with Version 5.0”).
HCM is a collection of six core components that include Human Resources, e-Recruitment, Benefits Administration, Payroll, Workforce Development and Training Administration, and Self-Service. Three optional modules, which include Workflow, Portal, and Corporate Performance Management, are also available. In its product announcement, SSA Global says the software runs on Windows, Unix, and IBM platforms. We assume “IBM platforms” means OS/400, although company officials did not respond to requests for clarification by our deadline.
In addition to the e-learning, skills management, and performance management capabilities in HCM 2.0, the release also features self-service capabilities to enable managers and employees to communicate in real time. It also brings enhanced functionality for automating core administrative processes such as benefits and payroll, the company says.
Considering that workforce-related costs can account for up to 60 percent of a company’s total expenditures, companies have a powerful incentive to make their human resources as efficient as possible, says Cory Eaves, chief technology officer with SSA Global. “With SSA HCM 2.0, we’ve combined both transactional and strategic human resources functionality with integration to our flagship enterprise and extensions solutions so our customers can align their human capital management initiatives with their overall business strategy,” he says.
Boniva Software was just one of the acquisitions SSA Global announced on August 8. It is also in the process of acquiring Epiphany, a publicly traded developer of J2EE-based CRM software, for about $330 million (or about $110 million after Epiphany’s $220 million cash horde is taken into consideration). The acquisition has not been formally completed.
SSA had its IPO in late May, when it sold 9 million shares at $11. The company will announce its fourth quarter financial results September 15.
This article has been corrected since it was first published. SSA Global has informed IT Jungle that we erroneously reported recent SEC filings by SSA executives as sales of stock. The transactions in question–by CEO Michael Greenough, by vice president of operations Ross Garrity, by CFO Stephen Earhart, and by executive vice president Graeme Cooksley–were not sales of stock. IT Jungle regrets the errors. [Corrections made 9/06/05.]