Oracle talks up Taleo

Even before the ink is applied to the deal, Oracle is talking up Taleo. Interesting times ahead.
Written by Dennis Howlett, Contributor

Earlier today, Oracle started talking up Taleo. It was the usual Oracle fare of scripted marketing yap that revealed very little beyond what was already expected. The LinkedIn HR specialist forum was scathing. Its instant verdict can be summed up as: anti-climactic, dull, safe and reactive. Was there any real meat?

In any acquisition there are always casualties but on this showing, it appears Oracle plans to roll out what some are dubbing as a 'mini Fusion' into the public cloud with a possible shuttering of Taleo Compensation. Quite how all the moving parts will work in the seamlessly integrated manner described by Thomas Kurian EVP product development Oracle, remains a mystery.

This is what we know so far:

  • Taleo Recruiting will be integrated into Oracle HCM Fusion.
  • Oracle remains committed to what in its eyes will be regarded as Taleo's SME market via Business Edition
  • Taleo Recruiting and Onboarding, Learning and Development plus Performance will sit atop Oracle HR.

What happens to Talent Management - will Taleo's solution be shuttered? Will Oracle solutions go on life support? We don't know.

During the presentation, Kurian highlighted five joint Fusion/Taleo customers. I expected to see the usual slide where the company splatters names left and right. That didn't happen.  According to Jim Holincheck, Gartner analyst, Oracle has around 50 customers on Fusion HR but most of them are not live.

It will be interesting to see how this will shake out once the transaction is completed. Bringing an on-premise and SaaS solution together is not an easy task since both are developed from different design principles.

The bigger question in my mind is whether this acquisition will accelerate customer acceptance for Fusion HR. Fifty customers is pretty anaemic and from what I hear, there is neither a great push to get Fusion into the market nor are customers that interested right now. Part of the problem is that Fusion is one heck of a complex solution and customers need to do a lot of rethinking during implementation.

The presentation was worryingly devoid of any passion. We have come to expect that when these events occur, there will be plenty of arm waving and high fives. I felt the delivery was almost antiseptic having been scripted within an inch of its existence. But then customers who might have been nervous will draw some comfort from the fact Oracle is not talking about all around annihilation of the Taleo suite but an opening roadmap that is relatively safe.

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