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How Oracle Built up Its Human Capital Management Arsenal With Taleo Deal

In February, Oracle Corp. muscled its way into the cloud-based talent management industry by purchasing Taleo Corp. for $1.9 billion. One of many major acquisitions in the human capital management, or HCM, world this year, the move heralded Oracle's commitment to ramping up its cloud computing infrastructure and tapping into the innovative products that smaller, more-flexible HCM vendors are offering.

Oracles executives seem to agree. "Human capital management has become a strategic initiative for organizations," says Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle product development, in a written statement when the acquisition was announced in February. He added that Taleo's talent management cloud innovation would be "an important addition to the Oracle Public Cloud."

Cloud computing, at times called software as a service, or SaaS, refers to business applications delivered over the Internet and paid for on a subscription basis. It stands opposite to the on-premise delivery approach that Oracle and SAP have used for years, whereby clients buy a license to use the software and install it on their own machines. Computing in the cloud is seen as allowing for faster implementations and fewer maintenance hassles compared with the on-premises method.

For years, Oracle scoffed at the benefits of cloud computing, with CEO Larry Ellison referring to it as merely a passing trend, back in 2008. But, the purchase of Taleo, along with cloud-based software provider RightNow in October 2011, signaled a change in opinion for Oracle, and has helped catapult the company from a laggard to a leader in cloud-based offerings.

"The main thing now is to see where Taleo fits into that suite," Wang says. Oracle hasn't but stated which apps, if any, include the Taleo research.

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More information: Workforce