sabaSaba chose Las Vegas as the backdrop and its annual Saba Summit to officially announce that Vector Capital has taken the company private. The persona of Marilyn Monroe singing happy 18th birthday to the software company was a sort of surreal topper.

Vector Capital has pulled Saba out of the dark morass created by its financial restatement issues. To be honest, Saba looks to be in really good shape. Vector has put money where its mouth is, paying an honest price for the company and leaving the management team largely intact. They have the utmost confidence in Saba’s potential growth and are not looking to make a quick buck.

So with this renewed confidence, Saba rolled out some pretty interesting product news this year. It’s added a compensation module to round out the talent suite and has seen strong momentum as it moves existing Enterprise customers to the cloud. But that’s small stuff. Here are some more notable announcements:

SDK. Saba announced a software development kit that allows partners to create their own apps that plug right into Saba’s Marketplace. It’s just like the iTunes or Google Play concept where developers create apps, the platform owners review and approve them, and they become available in the marketplace. Saba promises three-field integration in the marketplace. This means that if you drag the Get Abstract app from the marketplace and drop it into Saba Cloud, you only need to fill out three fields to enable the default integration.

Extended Saba Cloud. Companies that have been perhaps reluctant to move from an installed version of Saba to Saba Cloud can use their infrastructures to host a version of Saba Cloud that is managed by Saba. This may be the development that shifts the tide fully toward the cloud.

Saba Benchmark. Saba says it is finally reaping the rewards of its Big Data strategy. The most visible reward will be Saba Benchmark, which will aggregate data from all the Saba users (anonymously on an opt-in basis) and allow companies to see how they compare across key metrics.

Saba’s intelligence engine TIM (The Intelligent Mentor) has been getting smarter since its creation, and is now able to make even better recommendations across all the suite modules. It will also be able to point out where companies may be falling behind based on the benchmarks and make recommendations as to how to get better.

Saba has also made significant investment in the architecture of the platform that allows very simple integration, whether through actual modules or app plug-ins. In other words, even though Saba wants to be your end-to-end talent solution, the system is not closed off. Users will be able to configure the platform to their liking, even redesigning the UI if they so desire.

Things are looking good for Saba as it aims to climb to the top of the talent technology mountain. Saba put forward a sincere focus on the customer experience, saying it is the only way to achieve its goals.

David Wentworth, Senior Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

David Wentworth

David Wentworth has been a senior research analyst in the human capital field since 2005 and joined the Brandon Hall Group in 2013. He has authored reports and articles on various human capital subjects with an emphasis on workforce technology. He has contributed to several reports published by ASTD, including authoring Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, and Instructional Systems Design Today and in the Future. His work has also appeared in Compensation & Benefits Review and T+D Magazine.

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