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Peopleclick and Authoria Combine In Merger

Peopleclick authoriaIn the first HR merger of the new year, Peopleclick and Authoria are combining to create a new company that will integrate the offerings of both companies into a comprehensive talent acquisition and management software suite.

The merger was announced this morning by Bedford Funding, a private equity fund specializing in IT services and software. Bedford paid $100 million for Peopleclick. It owns Authoria, which it bought in September 2008 for $63.1 million.

Named Peopleclick Authoria, the new company says it’s the largest privately-owned talent management company in the world with $100 million in revenue, and some 2,400 customers worldwide, including almost 60 percent of the Fortune 100.

The combination propels the new company into the company of industry revenue leaders Taleo, Kenexa, and SuccessFactors.

Bedford Funding managing partner Charles S. Jones will become chairman and CEO of Peopleclick Authoria. Ron Kupferman, former chairman and CEO of Peopleclick, and Jim McDevitt, former CEO of Authoria, become vice chairmen responsible for business development activities in talent acquisition and management respectively.

Bedford pledged that the new company will support and continue to sell the full range of products “independently or as part of a suite offering.” Existing Peopleclick and Authoria customers will be offered discounts and other purchase incentives through a forthcoming “Appreciation Program.”

In time, says Bedford, “All aspects of the Peopleclick business, including the Vendor Management System and the Compliance and Diversity businesses, will be integrated, along with the Talent Acquisition products, into a comprehensive Talent Management offering with Authoria’s existing suite.

That integration may prove a daunting task, suggests Jason Corsello, VP at Knowledge Infusion. In a posting on his blog, The Human Capitalist, Corsello says that “On paper, the merger makes sense.” But, he notes, “Although they are now have arguably some of the deepest best of breed solutions for talent acquisition and talent management, the two products couldn’t be more different.”

“Peopleclick products and Authoria products look different, act different, deploy different and demand a completely different user experience,” Corsello observes, explaining the two companies have built their products on different programming structures. That, he adds, means “the distinct architectures will have integration challenges and longer-term cost implications.”

Nevertheless, Josh Bersin, President and CEO of HR research and talent management consulting firm Bersin & Associates, is quoted in the Bedford press release describing Peopleclick Authoria as “the union of two strong players in the fast-growing talent management systems market.”

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