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Silkroad Talent Management Software Review


SilkRoad Technologies Life Suite Review

SilkRoad’s WingSpan for Performance Management

As is often the case for talent management software providers that seek to offer an end-to-end solution, typically one or more elements of the solution suite is lacking. In SilkRoad’s Life Suite case, the weak link in the chain is WingSpan, the company’s answer to performance management. That said, it should be noted that in no way should this be an indication that the company’s performance management capabilities are sub-par, they’re just not nearly as developed compared to the relative strengths of the solution’s other components when reviewed individually. Perhaps this is by design though, as it would seem that SilkRoad actually characterizes the WingSpan module as being a “full-featured employee engagement software package” rather than one explicitly defined as a dedicated performance management application. And given the fact that Compensation Management plays a leading role in this module, this certainly gives an indication that WingSpan is meant to be more than just about performance.

As for the capabilities of this software module, feature sets tend to skew towards basic but solid offerings meant to aid in talent identification, goal setting, performance-based compensation practices, and integrated employee development. As is the case for other HR software vendor solutions, performance appraisals can be customized for content, distribution, and data interpretation; however these evaluations can be configured to handle not only linear relationships but also those that fall under the Project Management umbrella—a 360-degree feedback loop that is central to the WingSpan application. Similarly positioned as a core facet of the SilkRoad WingSpan offering are competencies, and the module provides a full library (with 40K+ behaviors/2K+ competencies) straight out of the box as well as a built-in Writing Assistant to help those organizations that have ad-hoc competency communication needs.

As mentioned above, WingSpan also carries with it functionality for Compensation Management that is seamlessly integrated back into performance. Administrators and employees have the capability (via the Employee Compensation Dashboard) to view, monitor, and adjust pay according to pre-defined performance objectives. This same administrative feature set also allows for workflows and communications to be managed—ensuring that both managers and employees take an active role in the performance management process through regular feedback (that just so happens to be updated in real time). All these performance management related capabilities are undoubtedly basic when taken by on their own, but with the introduction of SilkRoad Point, performance, succession, and employee development have the ability to give truth the adage that “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”.

SilkRoad’s GreenLight for Learning

One of the more lauded capabilities of the SilkRoad Life Suite is GreenLight, the company’s answer to learning and development that was acquired from VTN Technologies; integrated into the vendor’s fold; and re-branded from what was originally called the Olé learning environment. And while the features that this module brings to the table aren’t necessarily all that different from what we’ve seen from similarly-situated vendors, the fact of the matter is that these learning functionalities are rich, comprehensive, and robust enough to likely meet and/or exceed the needs of small organizations on up to the largest enterprises. More specifically, SCORM-compliant learning software GreenLight allows for organizations to be able to create customized content, assign courses, monitor compliance, track results, and generate learning management reports. Further, thanks to the partnerships that SilkRoad has cultivated in the learning and employee development niche market (particularly with SkillSoft, eJ4, and Medcom Trainex), customers have the ability to tap into 1400+ additional courses to help flesh out the training needs that are specific to their business.

Those elements aside, there are a number of other aspects about the SilkRoad GreenLight software that bear singling out. For instance, in addition to LMS and LCMS capabilities, GreenLight offers an e-commerce course management system facet that allows particularly-savvy businesses the chance to sell custom courses to suppliers, vendors, and other partners to generate additional revenue—supporting “paid-for” training by processing payments, chargebacks, dynamic price offerings, and tokens. Still, hands down the most compelling feature set that GreenLight can now tout is its newly-formed strategic partnership and integration with KnowledgeAdvisors. In particular, the most impressive aspect about this relationship (and consequently what sets it apart from the majority of its competitors) is that SilkRoad GreenLight customers now have the capability to leverage KnowledgeAdvisors’ Metrics that Matter analytics platform—functionality that allows: a 360-degree assessment of learning initiative effectiveness via GreenLight data analysis; a solid ROI calculation feature for courses; and even the ability to incorporate information collected from CRM applications, ERP systems, and employee surveys.

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