Saba Software: A 20-Year History of Strategy, Innovation And Great People

by Theresa Damato | Posted | Industry Buzz

Saba Software: A 20-Year History of Strategy, Innovation And Great People

At Saba, we believe that a company is as extraordinary as its people. As we celebrate Saba's 20th Anniversary this month, we do that by recognizing the people who have made it all possible - our employees, customers and partners. Whether they've been with Saba 20 years, or 20 days, every one of them has contributed to the success of our business, and have had a hand in shaping Saba into a leader in global talent management.

Today, through the power of people, Saba has earned the trust of more than 2,000 companies and 33 million users, in 193 countries around the world, and the recognition of the industry as a best-in-class learning and talent management platform.

Download Our 20th Anniversary Infographic

Saba Software: The beginning

As an organization, Saba's vision has always been around the transformation of the employee experience, embracing forward-looking trends to continuously improve the way people develop, engage and succeed at work. Our ability to see how new technology innovations support the changing dynamics of the workforce and the evolving expectations of employees has been key to our success over the years. Here's the story of how we worked together to make it happen:

Where It All Began...


Like other San Francisco success stories, Saba Software started in 1997, in a garage in the Bay Area. Saba's founders believed that to unlock the success of a business, people matter most. So they set to work in pioneering the Learning Management System (LMS) - software designed to help organizations develop and engage their people in learning. Naturally, our founders named the company Saba, which means "knowing" in many languages, to represent this new frontier of human capital management. Saba became a public company in 2000, and ever since, has been re-defining the experience of work for organizations and employees.


A future-forward foundation



In 2005 Saba saw the connection between employee training and career development and expanded into integrated talent management, with the development of performance management and goal-setting capabilities, introducing Saba Performance.

Then we saw the new ways people were connecting through technology, and in 2006, added the industry's first virtual classroom, now known as Saba Meeting, to the LMS experience. This innovation created the ability to truly have a blended learning experience within the LMS.

To help organizations identify and develop new leaders at all levels, we then added Saba Succession and Saba Workforce Planning in 2007.

Welcome to the cloud

In 2009, the world of technology became all about scalable, elastic infrastructure that could support rapid growth and improve performance and reliability. You probably all know this concept simply as "cloud computing." Saba led the way, by creating a cloud-based platform that enabled our customers to more rapidly scale and grow their people development programs along with their business.

Tech Transformation 2.0


As an organization, we are always looking for ways to make the employee experience better and the talent professional's job easier. As the years have gone by, Saba has tapped into some of the most advanced technology trends and introduced some of the most disruptive innovations to the world of talent.

In 2011, a year before Facebook went public, we helped organizations unlock the native genius hidden within their organizations and harness the power of peer-to-peer collaboration, sharing and recognition, by being the first to introduce the concept of social networking into the learning experience. Saba was recognized with a Stevie Award as well as many others for this forward-thinking transformation in talent engagement.

In 2012, we helped our customers accelerate talent acquisition and connect with the best and brightest like-minded candidates by creating seamless, predictive and collaborative Recruiting capabilities into our platform.

Like Netflix, but for learning

More forward-looking innovation for the employee experience was to follow, this time around the explosion of Big Data. In 2013, we pioneered a smarter and more personalized talent experience for employees, with the integration of machine learning. With this new level of intelligence, organizations could, just like Netflix, automatically serve up personalized, intelligent recommendations that enabled their people to connect, engage, learn and grow, in a way that suited them.

In 2014, we tapped into that Big Data concept to help our customers more accurately pinpoint at-risk employees and quantify the cost of replacing their most valuable people by adding Saba Compensation to our platform. And with that, we then launched the first and only fully unified people-centric platform that combined unified learning, real-time social collaboration and full talent management capabilities to the world.

Then in 2015, we added the ability for our customers to continuously improve business intelligence and visibility and drive better decision-making in talent management by introducing Saba Benchmark.

Always be innovating


At Saba, innovation never ends, and we are relentless in our pursuit in addressing this new and ever-changing world of work. Which is why, over the past few years, in partnership with our customers and partners, we've developed some of the most game-changing innovations in talent management.

As Millennials have overtaken Boomers as the largest age demographic in the workforce, the demand for anytime, anywhere, any way learning has surged. So Saba rose up to meet this need, by partnering with Panopto to bring together our broad e-learning capabilities with the video-specific functionality of the Video Content Management System. This gives L&D teams the tools they need to make video a central part of their employees' professional development.

Onward into the future

In 2016, we also addressed one of the most pressing imperatives for business-improving employee engagement. With the release of Saba Pulse 360, the industry-first, award-winning, fully integrated feedback and engagement solution, we gave talent leaders the ability to capture employee feedback in real-time, quickly identify and fix problem areas and, most importantly, prove the business impact of their talent programs and investments.

Which leads us to present day and Saba's latest innovation. With the all-new Saba Discovery, employees can now tap into the limitless world of learning opportunity on the web, and talent leaders can enable and expand the learning and development experience for users, while still keeping track of it all. With capabilities that enable users to easily discover, track and share "learning in the wild," as well as an integrated LRS (Learning Record Store), employees can bring their own learning, and administrators can more effectively track and manage more than they ever thought possible.

Over the past 20 years, Saba has made its way from a garage in San Francisco, to the leading provider of innovative solutions that are changing the world of work, for both employees and talent leaders.

We want to thank all of the people who took this journey with us - our employees, customers and partners who inspire us every day. We are grateful for your support, your insight and your partnership over the years. Now here's to the next 20 - sure to be packed with fun, innovation and continued success. The future looks bright indeed!

The Learning/Performance Nexus

Because the outcome of employee learning isn\'t knowledge, it\'s improved performance!

Download Free
Cover of the book
Cover of the book

The Learning/Performance Nexus

Because the outcome of employee learning isn\'t knowledge, it\'s improved performance!

Download Free

Related Articles

Close [x]

Get our Saba Blog Digest email delivered right to your inbox.

Join over 100,000 of your HR peers: