You know a company’s trying hard to promote a new version of its software when it puts together an acronym to describe it. SuccessFactors, provider of hosted enterprise software for “performance and talent management”, has opted for ULTRA: User Delight, Leading-Edge Innovation, Technology Agnostic, Results-Focused Capabilities, and Advanced Integration.
I’m not entirely sure what those all mean, but the basic idea is that SuccessFactors has become even more “Web 2.0” with its latest release, the 71st since its founding in 2001. Employees can use SuccessFactors to track their professional goals, and companies can use the software to conduct performance reviews and assess competencies. There’s a bunch of other capabilities built-in that help with recruiting and the distribution of stocks and bonuses as well.
From the looks of things, SuccessFactors tries to do a lot of things at once. Not only does the software intend to help with employee management, it also serves as an employee directory and organizational mapping service. If I were an employee of a company that used SuccessFactors, I think I would actually find it much more useful for finding information about my colleagues than for charting developments in my career. But perhaps others are compelled to structure their goals explicitly and use it to determine whether they are competent enough to fill a new position.