SumTotal Systems Talent Portal Review

A customizable, end-to-end solution for Performance Management, Learning, and Succession Planning


What is our primary use case?

SumTotal Talent and Learn provides a system where all talent modules like Performance Management, Learning, Talent and competency assessments, Recruitment, Succession Planning, and 360-degree feedback can be integrated seamlessly.

How has it helped my organization?

We are doing our implementation in phases and have implemented three modules so far. We have integrated the modules for performance management, learning, and succession planning on this system.

System usability has improved to a large extent and our manual effort has been reduced.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are:

  1. Continuous feedback feature in performance management.
  2. Ability to add custom fields to store customer-specific data points.
  3. Employee resume features.
  4. Ability to store division/department goals and cascading of goals.
  5. Consideration set feature in succession planning.

What needs improvement?

  1. There should be a feature for succession managers to add employee-specific comments so that it is visible only to the manager.
  2. Not sure how this can be made easier, but the development of interface from the core HR system to this system is a tedious and time-consuming process, involving multiple iterations of modifications and testing.
  3. Analytics is one area where this system really needs a large improvement because currently, it has only basic reporting features.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for two years.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to this solution, we used SAP on-premises for Performance management and learning.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing is quite flexible, but please ensure that you have the right team negotiating with them. They need to have a clear understanding of licensing for cloud systems and the different modules that are in scope for you.

Many vendors in this space will initially offer you only bundled licenses, and you may not have the need for all of the modules that have been bundled together. Carefully weigh the cost of bundled licenses against the cost of individual module licenses and negotiate accordingly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated SAP SuccessFactors, Oracle Fusion HCM, and Cornerstone OnDemand.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking for an end-to-end solution, this is one system that you can consider.

First identify the key module(s) on which your complete business case rests and choose the right product for you. Different products have different modules as their strengths. This point should be the key factor in your final decision.

Most of these vendors will also offer you support to develop a tangible business case. This is quite handy.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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