The History of Saba

From our humble beginnings in a San Francisco garage to present day where Saba is recognized as an industry-leading provider of innovative talent management solutions, the story of Saba is an amazing one. Find out how, in the span of 20 years, Saba has earned the trust of the market and some of the world’s most iconic brands.

Saba Software

A 20-Year History of Strategy, Innovation, and the Power of People

For 20 years, Saba’s vision has been focused on the transformation of the employee experience, embracing forward-looking trends to continuously improve the way people develop, engage and succeed at work. This is the story of how we made it happen.

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Saba’s founders believed that to unlock the success of a business, people matter most. So they set to work in a tiny San Francisco garage in 1997 pioneering the Learning Management System (LMS). Naturally, they named the company Saba, which means "knowing" in many languages, to represent this new frontier of human capital management.

In 2005, Saba enabled organizations to make the connection between employee training and career development. Saba expanded into integrated talent management with the launch of Saba Performance, which offered performance management and goal-setting capabilities.

Saba added the industry’s first virtual classroom, now known as Saba Meeting, to the LMS experience in 2006. This innovation created the ability to have a truly blended learning experience within the LMS.


To help organizations identify and develop new leaders at all levels, Saba Succession and Saba Workforce Planning were introduced in 2007.

In 2009, the world of technology became all about scalable, elastic infrastructure that could support rapid growth and improve performance and reliability. A pioneer in cloud computing, Saba created a cloud-based platform that enabled customers to more rapidly scale their people development programs along with their business.

In 2011, a year before Facebook went public, Saba was the first talent management software provider to introduce the concept of social networking into the learning experience, helping organizations harness the power of peer-to-peer collaboration, sharing and recognition.

Saba introduced collaborative Recruiting capabilities in 2012, enabling organizations to more effectively attract and engage with top candidates.

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

That same year, Saba tapped into the big data concept to also help customers more accurately pinpoint at-risk employees. With the addition of Saba Compensation, organizations could quantify the cost of replacing their most valuable people.

And with that, Saba launched a fully unified people-centric platform that combined learning, real-time social collaboration, and full talent management capabilities to the world.

The demand for anytime, anywhere, any way learning surged, and Saba rose up to meet this need. Partnering with Panopto, Saba brought its broad e-learning capabilities together with the video-specific functionality of the Video Content Management System. This gave L&D teams the tools they needed to make video a central part of their employees’ professional development.

In 2016, Saba 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, talent leaders were able 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.

With the release of Saba Discovery, organizations were finally able to find, track, and manage all of the learning and development that their people experience – whatever and wherever it is. With the addition of a learning record store (LRS) and browser-based bookmarklet, Saba Discovery significantly extended the value of Saba Learning, enabling all learning sources to be discovered, experienced, tracked, rated and shared almost anywhere.

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