Not even a month into 2018, and there is lots of activity in the HCM vendor space. In this edition we cover some important strategic announcements, partnerships and potential acquisitions, among other news. We’d love any commentary you have on any or all of these developments. Hit us up in the comments, or reach out directly. And away we go…

Is Cloud the Future at SAP? SAP caused much confusion and consternation with its January 9 announcement that it would support customers using on premise HCM through 2030. The many and varied reactions are chronicled well over on Diginomica. My take is that SAP is caught between “the customer is always right” and “friends don’t let friends stay on prem.” Even with SAP’s large resources, it’s difficult to support two major platforms. And many clients need guidance as much as they need technology. While there are potentially some legitimate reasons to stay on prem, inertia shouldn’t be one of them.

Board Changes at Cornerstone. On January 17, Cornerstone OnDemand announced some changes to its board, including the retirement of several longtime members, and a rule change that now allows the entire board to be reelected – or replaced – every year, as opposed to staggered three-year terms, meaning change can be swift. It also announced that co-founder Adam Miller, who currently holds chairman and CEO titles will remain as CEO but will be joined by a chairman to be named. This is on the heels of an announcement in November of a $300 million investment from Silver Lake and LinkedIn, which took the board from eight members to 10. Both actions were described as part of “an operating transformation” as a result of a strategic review by the board. Watch this space.

Putting a Price on Ceridian. On the same day, Ceridian announced the confidential submission of its registration for an initial public offering. This news is no surprise, as CEO David Ossip has stated in the past that a 2018 public offering might indeed be their path forward. But there is also speculation that the company may be sold to a competitor. Even activist investor Bill Ackman, during his proxy fight at ADP, suggested that ADP buy Ceridian. It will take deep pockets (to the tune of $4B plus), but one way or another, it appears that Ceridian will soon have new owners.

Adding Fuel50 to Mercer’s Fire. Mercer continued to build out its ecosystem under the Mercer Digital umbrella with the January 16 announcement of a strategic partnership with Fuel50. Focused on engagement and retention through its cloud-based solution for career pathing, Fuel50 is the brainchild of co-founders Anne Fulton and Jo Mills. These passionate founders and their solution should make a strong addition to the network of tools being infused with Mercer insight that make up the Mercer Digital offering.

iCIMS + TextRecruit = Moving Upmarket? Check out Madeline Laurano’s post on why talent acquisition innovator iCIMS’ acquisition of Text Recruit is a big deal.

ADP + WorkMarket = Future of Work? In case you missed it, here’s my take on ADP’s acquisition of freelance and contingent labor hiring hub WorkMarket.

Who’s exhausted already? 2018 is off to a busy start… Stay tuned to find out what you should know!