Softscape Settles SuccessFactors Lawsuit

Today Softscape settled the lawsuit filed by SuccessFactors in March of 2008. This lawsuit, which we wrote about in a prior blog post, revolved around a contentious sales presentation which was developed by Softscape and leaked into the public domain. In the final settlement Softscape agreed that the presentation in question had some errors and should not have been distributed directly to customers.

As we discussed in our earlier post, this type of activity is very common in the enterprise software business. It is very common for almost every software company to create harsh and pointed “talking points” about competitive products and claims. In my days in the software industry I wrote many such documents and frequently used them in sales training and customer discussions.

In this particular case, the lawsuit, filed by SuccessFactors, seemed unnecessary and of little value. SuccessFactors has managed to grow at over 70% during the period since March and both companies have continued to grow and prosper as the market for talent management software continues. All the vendors in this market will continue to build aggressive sales presentations and I personally do not think lawsuits are a good way to promote healthy competition.

We continue to have great respect for both companies, and we firmly believe that the most important way to build a software company is to build excellent products, clearly segment the target market, provide outstanding customer service and support, and stay very close to evolving market needs. Both Softscape and SuccessFactors are successful, growing companies and both are executing well.

The Talent Management Software Market Evolves

We do see some major changes taking place in the talent management software market – and we will be explaining this further in the coming months. Not only is the market growing, but it is becoming more mature – organizations now realize that the “talent management suite” is not really a suite, but a complex set of enterprise software which must provide a complete solution for many elements of people management. The days of young, small companies entering this segment of the market are ending – and the players today are rapidly expanding the definition of “talent management” software to include much more than the traditional elements of performance, succession, and career development tools.

Watch for more from us in this exciting and evolving market in 2009.

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