About 1,800 HR and learning professionals gathered this week in Los Angeles for Cornerstone Convergence 2016. CEO Adam Miller, as usual, opened the conference and got right into the story telling, using the creation of a new organization to show how the product can help us find the right person for the job, look at a pool of candidates to assess readiness, and finally evaluate how the organization is doing against a growth plan. This year Cornerstone released five new products that highlight its journey from a learning start-up to stand-alone talent management suite, and now contender as a full-suite HCM solutions provider. shutterstock_336254588

Three of these offerings are analytics related – View, Insight, and Planning. Together these products provide a powerful, visual toolset to use Cornerstone data to uncover employee information to guide promotion and career decisions, provide predictive capability to help drive readiness and career moves, and enable basic workforce planning.

The next product was discussed last year and finally rolled out this year: Edge, with three functions – Import, Integrate, and Build. These tools allow connection to other systems, importing of data and the ability to build tools on top of the Cornerstone platform. Integrate already enables rapid integration with a small set of current partners in their market place, with more to come. Another interesting point is that Import and Integrate allow Cornerstone customers to leverage data from other systems, enhancing the ability to provide better analytics capability and lowering the cost of integrating HCM processes.

Finally, CyberU was announced, providing a large library of video-based, crowd-sourced learning content aimed at individual development. This completes Cornerstone’s early vision of providing content for the enterprise, SMB, and individuals.

Clients seem relatively pleased not only with the advances in functionality but the ability of the company to listen and respond to needs. Both in product direction and service I heard that Cornerstone was responsive and making adjustments as possible to keep customer needs in mind. Of course, there are areas that need work. Despite the advances in analytics, reporting overall seems to be a spot that needs improvement, even while I heard some say that they are quite satisfied with the capabilities, others still struggle with getting information needed to run the business easily.

All together these capabilities give Cornerstone the ability to compete as a full-suite HCM provider, a point that was highlighted during the keynote. With a growing global presence, gains in customers across industry and company size, and the addition of new tools that compete with much larger players in the market, Cornerstone struck a tone of growth and a positive look on the future throughout the conference.

There is certainly work remaining to extend the functionality that exists today and deepen the capabilities of their new offerings. Reporting was already mentioned, and workforce planning that went beyond basic headcount would have been nice to see, but Cornerstone appears to have a good pulse on what their customers want, and an ability to provide.

Max Meadow, VP of Strategic Engagements

and Principal Advisory Analyst, Brandon Hall Group




Max Meadow

Max Meadow, formerly the consulting practice leader at Slalom Consulting and Bersin & Associates, has been named Vice President of Strategic Engagements and Principal HCM Advisory Analyst at Brandon Hall Group, the leading independent HCM research and advisory services firm.