SumTotal Acquires GeoLearning

Here is some information from the announcement

Today, SumTotal announced the acquisition of GeoLearning. The combined company represents the largest and most complete talent management provider in the industry supporting every industry and every market segment.

GeoLearning is the leading provider of managed services and on-demand learning management software. Founded in 1997, GeoLearning has a recognized history of innovation with comprehensive software products to address the needs across both employee development and extended enterprise. Companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations rely on GeoLearning’s deep domain expertise to drive organizational performance. GeoLearning has been the ideal partner for organizations seeking to increase sales, accelerate time to market, raise productivity, generate new revenue streams, and reduce expenses.

This acquisition combines SumTotal’s proven leadership in Talent Management with GeoLearning’s comprehensive learning solutions specifically in the Mid-market, Government, and Extended Enterprise market segments. Our united global footprint provides unparalleled capabilities that cover the complete spectrum of Talent Management business needs across all segments and markets.

Some Q&A about the merger: (See Combined Company Represents Industry’s Largest & Most Complete Talent Management Provider for all the Q&A)

What is the timeframe for integration of the two companies?
As of January 5, 2011, SumTotal and GeoLearning are now one integrated company with a unified strategy and vision

Why is SumTotal acquiring GeoLearning?
SumTotal is acquiring GeoLearning to further extend its position as the largest and most complete talent management provider, fulfilling its promise to the market and delivering additional value to customers. The acquisition combines SumTotal’s proven leadership in Talent Management with GeoLearning’s on-demand learning management solutions and market reach into the SMB, government and extended-enterprise segments, offering the broadest and deepest product capabilities with expanded global services and support infrastructure.

Will GeoLearning management team and employees join SumTotal?
GeoLearning employees and management will be integrated into SumTotal, further expanding our industry-leading experience and expertise in delivering successful software solutions that meet the needs of customers of all sizes and across all market segments. The goal of this acquisition is to complement SumTotal’s Sales, Support, On-demand, Services, and R&D teams with GeoLearning’s teams to create the industry’s most experienced organization for delivering Talent Management solutions.

Will this acquisition impact the product roadmaps for GeoLearning and SumTotal solutions?
SumTotal plans to provide continuity in the current GeoLearning and SumTotal product roadmaps and will move forward with currently planned product releases. Out-of-box integration between SumTotal and GeoLearning will provide additional flexibility to easily implement both solutions.

Will SumTotal be eliminating or phasing out any of its current products or those of GeoLearning?
There are no plans to eliminate any solution offerings. As with our current “Unlimited” product programs, SumTotal will continue to enhance and support all current SumTotal and GeoLearning products to ensure that customers generate the desired returns on their investments and can leverage the platform that is most appropriate for their business.

So, from an industry perspective, what does this mean? I don’t think it means a whole lot. Good for SumTotal to expand, growth through acquisition is a growth strategy in a relatively mature market which I deem LMS to be and the consolidated services might help clients. In terms of employees, I can see some layoffs due to consolidation and “efficiencies” but an overall impact on the learning industry will not occur. This is simply a natural step in a technology cycle of learning management systems.

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Karl Kapp
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