Cornerstone Acquires EdCast to Pursue ‘Next Generation’

EdCast Tablet

Cornerstone OnDemand will acquire EdCast, the learning experience platform software provider. Cornerstone said the combination will align with its strategy of “transforming” the learning software market.

Cornerstone is known for its work in offering learning and talent SaaS solutions. With EdCast, it hopes to “reimagine the people growth experience” in a way that creates a “next generation technology blueprint for the future-ready workforce.” Together, the companies will develop innovative approaches experiential learning, content and skill building, Cornerstone said, as well as a unified, scalable talent infrastructure.

.@CornerstoneInc acquires @EdCast to create 'next generation technology blueprint' for the workforce. #HR #HRTech Share on X

Cornerstone CEO Himanshu Palsule said the current HR technology landscape “is ripe for reinvention as organizations seek new ways to unify people and business in areas most critical to growth: workforce engagement, talent retention, skills transformation and career mobility.” Cornerstone and EdCast, he continued, are well-positioned to deliver “a next-generation learning and talent infrastructure, rapidly innovate a connected people growth experience and create a new blueprint for the way organizations and their people grow and thrive, together.”

EdCast is known for its expertise in aggregating, curating, targeting and delivering personalized and contextual learning. The company’s platform is built around a skills engine, a content marketplace and an experience delivered in the flow of work.

Catching the Wave

The transaction comes at an opportune time, analysts say. “Once this merger is complete, every Cornerstone customer will want to look at EdCast, and every EdCast customer will want to look at Cornerstone,” predicts industry analyst Josh Bersin. “This alone is big news because corporate learning buyers today are flooded with tools and solutions, often ending up with 20 to 30 different platforms and tools. And the mess keeps getting more complicated.”

However, the deal’s potential goes beyond signing new customers for each product, Bersin said. By adding EdCast’s skills engine – “one of the most complete and advanced skills engines in the market” — Cornerstone will become “one of the most mature and end-to-end skills engine providers in the market, competing to a degree with Eightfold, Skyhive and other advanced solutions….”

Writing at Human Resource Executive, HR Tech Editor Phil Albinus said the deal hints at more consolidation in the L&D market, and “could suggest a great push by HR leaders to increase their educational options to retain employees in the current market.”

About 80% of employers have a learning management system in place. But just 20% maintain a learning experience platform, Stacey Harris, chief research officer and managing director of Sapient Insights Group, told HRE. That LXP number is sure to grow along with self-learning requirements, she said.

Gathering Momentum

The acquisition is Cornerstone’s first planned transaction since it joined Clearlake Capital’s portfolio last year. The company said its established strategic foundation, positive momentum across the business and flexibility as a private company makes it ready to accelerate its growth. Clearlake and Cornerstone plan to continue growing the company’s value through inorganic and organic growth, transformation and market consolidation, they said.

The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2022. Terms weren’t disclosed.

In November, Cornerstone launched new content offerings including a learning series, A Seat at the Table, designed for the skills-focused workforce. It also hired Emmy-winning producer Dave Grant and organized partnerships with Skill Pill and Sponge Compliance to support business performance skill-building.

The announcement closely followed the introduction of Cornerstone Xplor, which the company called “a holistic people growth experience.” Xplor delivers an integrated, personalized approach to learning, skill development, growth and career mobility, the company said. 

More recently, EdCast announced an integration partnership with Microsoft Viva Learning that, it said, “further demonstrates its commitment to Learning in the Flow of Work.” The company said combining its platform with the Viva learning ecosystem would allow Microsoft Teams users to “easily access the full EdCast toolset and library.”

Image: EdCast

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