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Kenexa Breaks Even and Makes 2x Splash

A year after posting a $34 million loss, Kenexa reported today that it broke even for the first quarter of 2010. Technically, the company reported an $18,000 loss, chump change on $39.7 million in revenue.

That news, and the splash Kenexa made yesterday promoting its long-awaited 2x platform, weren’t enough to keep the company’s stock from closing down on the day. Kenexa closed at $15.15, off 2.57 percent on the day. The Dow Jones was off 2 percent.

Still, Kenexa CEO Rudy Karsan said in the financial release that the company expects to grow revenue in the current quarter and could end the year with revenue in the range of $162 million to $169 million.

“While we remain somewhat cautious from a near-term perspective,” he said, ” our longer-term optimism continues to grow.”

Monday, after some 18 months in development, Kenexa made a splash promoting its 2x platform. This is the promised integration product that will eventually link all the talent management modules that Kenexa offers.

For now, the new platform brings together the BrassRing, Recruit, Onboard, and Mobile products. The announcement says that performance management will be offered in the third quarter.

“Kenexa 2x is a secure SaaS based platform that integrates five individual solutions together into a Unified Talent Record,” says Derek Bluestone, vice president of product marketing. The employee record ties together the various talent management tools and, when the performance element is added, will produce a fairly comprehensive lifecycle view.

“Kenexa’s key differentiator is the integration across Recruitment, Onboarding, Mobile, and Performance management business processes,” adds Bluestone. “Additionally, 2x Mobile is the first ever talent management application designed specifically for BlackBerry and iPhone smart phones.”

Kenexa 2x Mobile is the newest of the components. Natively designed for the iPhone and Blackberry (no mention of Android), it allows these device users to handle routine, if pressing tasks, such as approving job reqs and job offers. Smartphone users will also be able to manage candidate contacts and handle similar communication while on the go.

The 2x platform has been in development since at least 2008. Gartner’s Jim Holincheck blogged about it during Kenexa’s user conference in September 2008. He said an early customer of the (then)-unreleased 2x platform and 2x Recruiter was impressed. A learning management tool, which Kenexa had just acquired, was optimistically predicted to be 2x ready by the end of 2009.  It still will happen, says Bluestone.

Kenexa is positioning the 2x platform for large and mid-size employers, with around 2,500 employees and up. Customers can choose the complete suite or a la carte the components they need.

“Existing 2x BrassRing (formerly Kenexa Recruiter BrassRing) customers,” Bluestone adds, “get the latest version of the 2x BrassRing solution free of charge and there is no impact to or migration work required.”

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