SuccessFactors acquires Plateau for $290M

Faith Merino · April 27, 2011 · Short URL:

The learning management systems company is snapped up for equal amounts of cash and stock

Cloud-based business execution software company SuccessFactors announced Tuesday evening that it has agreed to acquire learning management system Plateau for $145 million in cash and $145 million in stock. The deal is expected to close in summer 2011.

 Founded in 1996, Plateau, a provider of enterprise-grade employee training and learning software, will bring its more than 350 customers—many of which are big name industry leaders, such as General Electric, the U.S. Air Force, and Capital One Services—to SuccessFactors. Upon the closing of the deal, Plateau’s unique learning management system will be integrated directly into SuccessFactors' BizX suite, a cluster of business solutions that help companies streamline their performance. Products in the BizX suite include Business Alignment, which essentially ensures that everyone in the company is on the same page; Team Execution, which includes collaboration software to improve company-wide communication; and People Performance, a product that helps business identify and retain top performers, as well as compensate them according to performance.

The acquisition of Plateau was a strategic move to ensure that SuccessFactors’ BizX suite encompasses the entire employee lifecycle by specifically addressing employee learning and training. Plateau’s learning management system helps companies deliver more effective training via both instructor-led and self-study training, and once incorporated into the BizX suite, it’s expected to help SuccessFactors’ clients more efficiently onboard, train, and certify employees while also connecting learning with employee performance and goals.

"Plateau will accelerate SuccessFactors' strategy markedly,” said Lars Dalgaard, founder and CEO of SuccessFactors, in a statement. “SuccessFactors' game-plan's four key drivers will all be strengthened substantially: 1) customers achieving better results through the SuccessFactors suite, expertise and commitment; 2) building for great cash profitability; 3) continuing to build towards one of the SaaS cloud-based HCM industry's strongest global customer and sales field force; and 4) offering a leading comprehensive suite of relevant and proven Business Execution applications. Like SuccessFactors, Plateau has had success with the biggest and most complex customers, including Plateau's long time customer General Electric, and this makes Plateau the best choice for SuccessFactors, and we believe an excellent choice for customers, and prospects.”

The acquisition will bring SuccessFactors’ user base to 15 million.

The news comes fresh on the heels of SuccessFactors’ other recent acquisition: Jambok, a SaaS social learning company. The acquisition was announced in March but the terms of the deal were not disclosed. Jambok’s solutions cover the “informal learning” gamut, which translates to keeping everyone up-to-date and on the same page, by allowing users to post videos and podcasts, participate in discussion forums, blog, and more. 


Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes