Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Oracle Beefs Up HR Management Portfolio With Taleo Acquisition

Oracle this week revealed plans to acquire Taleo, a vendor of cloud-based human resource management software, in a $1.9 billion deal that serves as an answer to SAP's pending $3.4 billion acquisition of SuccessFactors. Dublin, Calif.-based Taleo, whose SaaS apps help businesses and organizations manage employee recruiting, performance management, training and compensation, has approximately 5,000 customers.

Oracle plans to add Taleo software to the applications it will offer through its Oracle Public Cloud service, which it debuted at Oracle OpenWorld in October.

Amazon Gets Aggressive With Cloud Storage Price Cut

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently cut its Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) prices by as much as 13.5 percent.

With the cloud storage price change, all standard Amazon S3 storage customers should see "a significant reduction in their storage costs," AWS evangelist Jeff Barr said in a blog post. He noted that users who store 50 TB of data will see a 12 percent price reduction for cloud storage, and users who store 500 TB of data will see a cut of 13.5 percent from their Amazon S3 cloud storage costs.

"As you can tell from my recent post on Amazon S3 growth for 2011, our customers are uploading new objects to Amazon S3 at an incredible rate. We continue to innovate on your behalf to drive down storage costs and pass along the resultant savings to you at every possible opportunity," Barr said in the blog post.

Lenovo Reports Solid Q3 Despite Global PC Slump

Lenovo continued to show impressive momentum in its fiscal third quarter despite sluggishness in the global PC market. In the third quarter, Lenovo's profit jumped 54 percent to $153.46 million, compared to Wall Street's forecast of $130 million. Lenovo's revenue rose 44 percent to $8.37 billion.

Lenovo, the No. 2 PC maker, still has ground to make up in tablets and smartphones but its ability to prosper in the face of PC market headwinds are a sign that it may yet become a mobile force to be reckoned with.

Cisco Gets Back On Track In Q2, Plans More Acquisitions

Cisco this week reported solid if unspectacular fiscal second-quarter results, but the really promising news was that the networking giant reached its goal of trimming $1 billion in operating expenses a quarter earlier than expected.

CEO John Chambers said that following a year of "curtailed M&A activity" while Cisco was busy with restructuring, the company expects to resume its usually robust M&A activity. "We expect to be more active with acquisitions in the quarters to come," Chambers said.

Microsoft Snags Cisco Exec To Run Public Sector Business

Microsoft this week named former Cisco exec Laura Ipsen to head up the software company's $8 billion worldwide public sector business. She fills a role that has been vacant since last September, when Linda Zecher, Microsoft's former public sector chief, left to become president and CEO of education products and services company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

As corporate vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Public Sector organization, Ipsen will lead the company's sales and marketing efforts to customers in government, public safety, national security, education and nonprivate health care in more than 100 countries. She will report to Susan Hauser, corporate vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise & Partner Group.