Cornerstone-Saba Acquisition: What Does it Mean for LMS Customers?

Have you heard the news? A week ago – under two months into 2020 – perhaps the greatest obtaining in learning frameworks history was declared. Foundation intends to gain Saba for a heavy $1.395 billion. Yawn.

As you may have perused in my yearly industry patterns examination, the speed of acquisitions and key value ventures has been quickening for quite a while. Various arrangements are meeting up – and each arrangement is driven by extraordinary elements. For example:

In some cases a purchaser looks for innovation that is corresponding or better than its own.

In different cases, a buy can take out rivalry.

A securing may mean moment admittance to a monstrous new client base or worthwhile dissemination channels.

Likewise, this sort of move is regularly determined by monetary contemplations – for instance, to expand productivity or drive down working expenses.


In any case, here’s the rub:  Although a procurement might be useful for organizations and financial specialists on the two sides of the arrangement, it’s seldom a treat for clients of the obtained business.

This time is the same. Why? Prior to hopping into my examination, we should venture back and take a gander at a few pertinent realities:

What Does Cornerstone Say About This Deal?

The short official statement says that the joined organization will serve 7000 clients and 75 million clients around the world. Noteworthy. Yet, what’s driving this procurement?

“The joined organization will be all around situated to convey a profoundly separated arrangement of individuals improvement and ability experience programming arrangements by utilizing the current item portfolio, just as through quickened item advancement empowered by a bigger consolidated R&D group, more prominent monetary assets and a shared vision for what’s to come.”

Golly. That sentence is a significant piece. Be that as it may, subsequent to perusing it a couple of times, I get it. Anyway, what subsequent stages would it be advisable for us to foresee?

“Throughout 2020, Cornerstone intends to incorporate and improve the aggregate arrangement of items with a steady obligation to customer achievement. AlixPartners has been held to help uphold the incorporation of the two associations, zeroed in on operational greatness and boosting customer esteem.”

Procurement Upside: My Snapshot

When talking with industry experts, Cornerstone underlined 3 key advantages of this arrangement. Here’s my outline:

1) Faster Innovation:  Blending R&D from the two organizations will make it conceivable to grow more stuff, all the more rapidly, across the item suite.

2) Broader Reach:  The joined client base will drive more grounded content, uphold, frameworks reconciliation and innovation organizations around the world.

3) Increased Cash Flow:  By taking out duplication, Cornerstone hopes to let loose enough assets to take care of the procurement obligation, with a lot of additional money accessible for extra speculations to develop the business.

My View From the LMS Customer Front Lines

So what’s my opinion on this uber consolidation? Call me insane, yet I’m disappointed. Here’s the reason:

Foundation is stirring up the lives of more than 3000 Saba clients, principally to siphon up income for its financial specialists. This will come from killing Saba-related item and operational excess while at the same time depending on the current Saba client base to bear proceeded with development and promoting reach. Doesn’t seem like Saba clients will see a lot of potential gain at any point in the near future.


I’m certain my take is somewhat not the same as other learning tech industry onlookers. It very well might be more dubious, yet as a recuperating LMS deals fellow, I’m not handily convinced by cleaned showcasing pitches.

That is on the grounds that I invest my energy on the bleeding edges of learning frameworks purchasing and selling movement, where exchanges are continually occurring. Consistently, I tune in as clients respond to LMS merchants previously, during and after an agreement is agreed upon.

I see which learning frameworks they pick and why. I screen the hole between smooth promoting and reality. Furthermore, I know how purchasers feel about their choices long after the gleam of a buy wears off. That is the point at which the sting of a harsh usage, a frail rollout thus so client assistance is here and there the solitary thing that remains.

Along these lines, in light of this pragmatic perspective on the learning frameworks market, here are my best 10 perceptions about this arrangement…

The Cornerstone-Saba Acquisition: 10 Takeaways

1) Good for Vector Capital!

For quite a long time, Vector has most likely stressed in the event that it could actually have the option to escape its $300 million Saba venture. Fortunately P.T. Barnum was correct and Vector is at long last leaving with $1.38 billion.

2) Death of the Talent Suite LMS Draws Closer

After hearing the news, my first idea was that this is the almost quiet last heave of once-brilliant ability suite LMS suppliers. Throughout the long term, I’ve been vocal about how soaked this market has become.

All huge organizations have conveyed an ability the board arrangement. Furthermore, now, hardly any observe any monetary, practical or business esteem in exchanging sellers.

Subsequently, ability the board stage suppliers have been compelled to swim downstream for mid-market bargains. Yet, that is an issue since this section doesn’t consider coordinated ability the executives significant. In addition, contrasted and cloud LMS arrangements, ability suite learning stages are excessively massive and costly for most mid-market purchasers.

Foundation needs new clients, however there aren’t sufficient to win in the open market. So evidently, Cornerstone’s answer is to occupy itself with post-procurement business joining for the following not many years.

3) What About Extended Enterprise?

Do you see any notice of broadened endeavor needs in the obtaining declaration? Probably not. Neither do I. However as I’ve been stating for quite a long time, client training is the quickest developing learning frameworks portion. Furthermore, it very well may be profoundly productive.

Both Cornerstone and Saba serve many associations that train clients as an essential piece of their business, yet these associations don’t depend on Cornerstone or Saba to help client preparing. Also, without even a gesture to expanded undertaking market development, Cornerstone actually doesn’t get it.

4) What About Extended Enterprise (Part II)?

Throughout the long term, we’ve helped numerous associations move from Cornerstone to learning stages that are more qualified to expanded endeavor needs.

For what reason do these clients look somewhere else? Their objections are consistently the equivalent. The client and administrator interfaces are annoyingly awkward. Furthermore, no imaginative broadened undertaking abilities have been included years.


Many organizations right now pay a premium to utilize Cornerstone or Saba as an all-encompassing venture learning stage, yet they’re holding back to see more esteem add. It would appear that they’ll have to continue pausing.

5) What About Migration Services?

A year ago, Cornerstone disposed of the vast majority of its expert administrations group in lieu of outsider accomplice usage administrations. Presently it’s pursuing huge number of outsider Saba-to-Cornerstone movements.

That doesn’t sound modest, simple, quick or a good time for Saba clients.

6) Beware of Sales Deck Sleight-of-Hand

Probably, Cornerstone is as of now refilling deals slide decks to guarantee 100s of customers (in each industry) that it never really won in open rivalry. All things being equal, these are existing Saba clients with no powerful urge to move to Cornerstone.

7) Saba is the Better LMS. (Abnormal)

As I would see it, Saba is a more grounded learning the executives framework. I’ll wager I’m by all account not the only one who thinks so – and I envision that is one motivation behind why Saba is a particularly appealing obtaining objective.

It will be hard to fold the entirety of Saba’s best usefulness into the Cornerstone stage. In any case, since the disposal of excess is integral to the obtaining technique, Saba clients should see a relocation attempt to seal the deal not far off. Simply remember that this relocation way will likely lead just to an identical arrangement, best case scenario.

8) Existing Customers, Look Around!

This obtaining news isn’t all pessimism. Truth be told, it’s an extraordinary open door for a large number of destined to-be bothered Saba clients to reexamine their LMS choices before their agreements lapse.

In case you’re among the individuals who will be compelled to move, you should examine the more extensive range of arrangements that could suit your requirements. On the off chance that you haven’t returned to your prerequisites and alternatives lately, you’re route past due for a rude awakening, in any case. What’s more, I speculate you’ll be agreeably shocked by what you find.

Simply make sure to give yourself enough runway. Preferably, you’ll need to begin investigating your alternatives in any event one year before your agreement termination date.

9) Active LMS Buyers: What Should You Do?

In the event that you’ve been intending to choose either Cornerstone or Saba as an all-inclusive endeavor learning stage, you should respite and chat with me first. You may discover safer choices that could serve you better over the long haul.

10) Learning Ecosystem Partners: What’s Your Next Move?

Is this cutting edge investigation provoking further inquiries regarding your association’s future with Saba or Cornerstone? Don’t hesitate to reach me for a telephone interview, so we can start to weigh key factors that issue to your organization.


I wish both Saba and Cornerstone well. All the more significantly, I wish their clients well. Be that as it may, in the learning frameworks industry, clients merit a solid supporter for their inclinations. Also, this obtaining makes me anxious.

In case you’re a Saba client – particularly one engaged with broadened undertaking learning – I don’t perceive any meat on these bones for you. However you’ll have to suffer a lot of disturbance. So since you’re confronting critical change at any rate, this appears to be an ideal chance to think about different arrangements.

One thought on “Cornerstone-Saba Acquisition: What Does it Mean for LMS Customers?

  • August 6, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Great one there wikimass


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