Cornerstone OnDemand, a cloud-based learning and human capital management software company, has been busy over the last year. In November, the company announced a $300 million strategic investment from Silver Lake (a global technology investment firm) and LinkedIn. At the same time, Cornerstone launched a new strategic plan that includes “leveraging its leadership position in global learning to expand its presence in e-learning content,” according to the press release. Jason Corsello, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Cornerstone, says the new plan is to support the “next phase of growth for the business, going from $500 million in annual revenue to a $1 billion revenue company.”
The plan includes several key components. First, following the model of many other large software companies, Cornerstone will start contracting delivery and implementation services to partners. “We believe our partner-first model will strengthen our extended ecosystem,” says Corsello, “and enable our clients to embrace our diverse and well-established partner network of global systems integrators such as Deloitte, IBM, Wipro and DXC Technology.”
Cornerstone is also expanding into new markets, including e-learning content. For example, the company strengthened its relationship with LinkedIn last month, announcing an agreement in which the two companies are collaborating to provide LinkedIn learning content to Cornerstone customers. The press release announcing the partnership described the partnership as allowing customers to “[weave] continuous, lifelong learning into daily employee activity while also addressing extensive organizational learning requirements.”
This type of learning strategy, which combines daily learning aligned with organizational needs, is increasingly important as companies compete for skilled talent and employees look more and more for employers who provide opportunities for professional development. As a 2018 World Economic Forum report stated, “As the types of skills needed in the labour market change rapidly, individual workers will have to engage in life-long learning if they are to achieve fulfilling and rewarding careers. For companies, reskilling and upskilling strategies will be critical if they are to find the talent they need and to contribute to socially responsible approaches to the future of work.”
This strategy is also behind Rallyteam, a startup founded by former Cornerstone employees and in which Cornerstone is an investor, participating in an $8.6 million Series A funding round last year. Cornerstone’s strategic venture arm, the Cornerstone Innovation Fund, invests in and collaborates with early-stage cloud startups, according to Corsello. He adds, “We believe Rallyteam is addressing a big opportunity as it relates to the ‘gig economy’ and mobilizing talent. Rallyteam intelligently matches employees to projects, tasks, ideas and people, enabling teams to quickly self-organize and companies to respond faster to change.”
What’s next? In 2017, Cornerstone launched its learning experience platform, which uses artificial intelligence to personalize learning, and a video-based subscription service, Cornerstone Content Anytime. Corsello says the company plans to add new capabilities this year, including playlists, intelligent search and discovery. He adds, “Our learning experience combined with modern content is geared toward closing skill gaps and developing both” hard and soft skills. In addition to its learning products, Cornerstone is investing in its recruiting and performance suites, “adding a new candidate experience, native mobile applications and AI-assisted career development applications that enable employees to control their career ambitions.”
Finally, Corsello says Cornerstone is partnering with Institute for the Future, a think tank, to prepare clients “for the future of work.” The two organizations just released a forecast report called “Future Skills: Get Fit for What’s Next,” describing “the monumental shift that needs to occur” in how we work and learn. As employees, organizations and entire economies prepare for what the World Economic Forum is calling “a reskilling revolution,” Cornerstone is positioning itself as a resource for companies looking to navigate that revolution with strategic talent development.