Published: October 25th, 2013

Just this week, NetSuite Inc. acquired Kitchener, Ont.-based human capital management (HCM) software vendor TribeHR.

But unlike most deals where the technology and the talent would leave the area, NetSuite plans to expand its footprint in Canada’s Tech Triangle of Waterloo, Kitchener and London, Ont.

The executive who brokered the deal, Eric Gerstein, the senior business development manager for HCM partnerships at NetSuite, told CDN the TribeHR acquisition provides the company with a great opportunity to expand into the Waterloo area.

“The TribeHR product is fantastic and we thought we can do other things in the Waterloo area. There is a lot of talent in our office in Mississauga, Ont., and we plan on expanding to the Waterloo/Kitchener area because the Universities are great and there is a lot of talent there and a culture of innovation has been built there,” he said.

TribeHR worked with the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor for about a year and already captured 30 joint customers. What NetSuite really liked about TribeHR was the depth of its HR recruiting and social technology.

Gerstein said that HR solutions in the past were built strictly for HR people and not for the employees or for engaging talent. “With TribeHR, everyone in the company uses the solution and its part of the culture.”

He added that NetSuite plans to sell TribeHR as a standalone and do some minor integration.

Joseph Fung, the co-founder of TribeHR, said that the company did not have a formal channel strategy, but that he is looking forward to working with NetSuite channel partners in the future.

TribeHR did, however, develop a partner ecosystem of VARs and service practitioners along with a back office consultants. Working with NetSuite’s channel will afford Fung and his team to expand sales and it was one of the reasons for the joint venture.

“Part of the reason why the company is excited about joining NetSuite is the speed to market and scale they will provide for us. It’s a huge advantage for us. We aspire to be just like them with a SaaS, native cloud and top notch technical talent. We also pride ourselves on taking thoughtful actions with customers. With HCM in the early days companies built widgets on top of widgets, but we wanted to build a product that every employee in the organization could use,” Fung said.

The proposed acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. The terms of the proposed acquisition were not disclosed.

TribeHR is a start-up. It was established in 2009 in Canada’s Tech-Triangle. From there, TribeHR won more than 450 customers worldwide. The company signed on to be a NetSuite SuiteCloud Developer and it’s there where they created the TribeHR SuiteApp.