Post Chronology

May 2024

InFullBloom Archives


Speaking Engagements

Predict and Prepare sponsored by Workday 12/16

The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #171, 2/15
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #160, 8/14
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #145, 1/14
Workday Predict and Prepare Webinar, 12/10/2013
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #134, 8/13
CXOTalk: Naomi Bloom, Nenshad Bardoliwalla, and Michael Krigsman, 3/15/2013
Drive Thru HR, 12/17/12
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #110, 8/12
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Business Value," 5/3/12 Audio/Whitepaper
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/7/11
HR Happy Hour - Episode 118 - 'Work and the Future of Work', 9/23/11
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #87, 9/11
Keynote, Connections Ultimate Partner Forum, 3/9-12/11
"Convergence in Bloom" Webcast and accompanying white paper, sponsored by ADP, 9/21/10
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #63, 9/10
Keynote for Workforce Management's first ever virtual HR technology conference, 6/8/10
Knowledge Infusion Webinar, 6/3/10
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/8/09
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Preparing to Lead the Recovery," 11/19/09 Audio/Powerpoint
"Enterprise unplugged: Riffing on failure and performance," a Michael Krigsman podcast 11/9/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #39, 10/09
Workday SOR Webinar, 8/25/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #15, 10/08

Keynote, HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, 10/25-26/12
Master Panel, HR Technology, Chicago, 10/9/012
Keynote, Workforce Magazine HR Tech Week, 6/6/12
Webcast Sponsored by Workday: "Building a Solid Business Case for HR Technology Change," 5/31/12
Keynote, Saba Global Summit, Miami, 3/19-22/12
Workday Rising, Las Vegas, 10/24-27/11
HR Technology, Las Vegas 10/3-5/11
HR Florida, Orlando 8/29-31/11
Boussias Communications HR Effectiveness Forum, Athens, Greece 6/16-17/11
HR Demo Show, Las Vegas 5/24-26/11
Workday Rising, 10/11/10
HRO Summit, 10/22/09
HR Technology, Keynote and Panel, 10/2/09

Adventures of Bloom & Wallace

a work in progress

Zombie HR Tech Vendors

Zombie Jamboree

What got me thinking about this was reviewing the list of exhibitors for the upcoming HR Technology Conference in Chicago.  There are vendors on that list who’ve been around at least as long as the conference (and some for much longer), never gaining much sales momentum, never gaining much financial scale, and never gaining much attention from the media/analysts/etc. 

These vendors have been kept alive by determined and hard-working staff even as they’ve been overtaken by the evolution of technology (most are really client server or possibly Web-based but definitely not built for the cloud), the advances in globalization (most are US or Canada only in terms of their products but also US or Canada only in terms of their thinking and organization), the generation of workers demanding that their technology be mobile/social/gamified and more, and so many of the other forces at work in the sea change that is going on in our industry. 

Many of these zombie vendors are entirely reputable in the same way that your FAX machine is entirely reputable (but long since overtaken, at a minimum by multiple function copy/scan/FAX machines, and those are now dusty).  They often have a very long-standing leadership team and staff who didn’t see the sea change coming or, even seeing it, just weren’t able to react in time.  They often have very loyal customers, at least until a change in management/ownership of that customer causes someone to hunt down and get rid of the zombie products and their vendors.  And they often have a warm spot in the heart of various professional societies because they can be counted on to take a booth, however modest, at each year’s conference. 

These vendors aren’t usually big enough to attract the attention of the ERP graveyards or other aggregators.  They’re frequently too closely held to be under any external pressure to sell.  And they’re often based too far away from Silicon Valley or other technology corridors to lose their devoted employees to the siren song of hot vendors and hot technology.   But these vendors are truly the walking dead.  Zombie Jamboree indeed.

[Written while singing one of my absolute favorite calypso songs]

3 comments to Zombie HR Tech Vendors

  • ‘Tech Vendors need to change as business changes. Your supplier can either be a “box supplier” or someone that offers expertise on helping you become better and different from your competitors. I continue to talk to companies that have spent $100k + annually on hardware and new IS administrators for outdated systems. A great vendor offers easy of use and freedom from expensive technology rather huge, proprietary, annual commitments and upgrades.

  • Doug Becker

    Would love to hear some examples of these zombie vendors?

    • Naomi Bloom

      Doug, Why don’t you bring that question with you to my “ask the expert” session at HR Tech Conf in Chicago or the separate Euro HR Tech in Amsterdam. Or, if you send me an email with the particulars of your situation, we can set up a call in Nov (I’m traveling almost continuously until then) to discuss your situation. Happy to do it.

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