Oracle fluffs up its cloud in $1.9 billion Taleo buy

Oracle’s “Lumberjack Larry” Ellison has green lighted an Oracle plan to buy talent managing software company Taleo for $1.9 billion. Taleo shareholders will receive $46.00 per share.

Oracle’s big idea rests with Taleo’s cloud-based talent management software, which Oracle hopes will allow it to further build on its own cloud business. Bloomberg reports that Ellison, in addition to arguing about cutting down trees, has been on a $40 billion buying frenzy in what has been a cloud software variety of Supermarket Sweep. 

Buying over 70 companies to put it on its way, Oracle is hoping to bolster its operational cloud strategy to help it provide services which manage staff and keep corporate cogs turning. Much like others wheeling and dealing in enterprise software, Oracle’s grand vision is to win over customers by pushing management up into the cloud.

Taleo says that after the acquisition, the collaborative efforts of both of the companies will create a cloud service for customers to manage human resources, and “improve the employee experience through faster on boarding and better collaboration with team members via social media”.

The entire enterprise management space is spending right now. Analyst Tim Jennings, at Ovum, says rivals like SAP and Salesforce have also been picking up companies in the Human Capital Management sector. They acquired Success Factors and Rypple, respectively.

HP, meanwhile, paid arguably over the odds for Cambridge-based company Autonomy – with a price tag at $10 billion. 

Ovum believes the string of buys is indicative of a larger trend. The enterprise is increasingly accepting Software-as-a-Service. More visibly, Jennings suggests, the industry is aggressively battling against each other to appear like it is the top dog on cloud nine. They aren’t interested in migrating their own services to the cloud, and are instead happy to splash out on companies so they can supply their own flavours.

Taleo’s board of directors unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close in the middle of this year, as long as it jumps through the hoops of all the regulatory approvals. Which it most likely will.