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Google buys Looker to deepen enterprise software arsenal

Google is set to buy business intelligence platform supplier Looker as it beefs up its cloud enterprise software stack

In a move that could signal the fleshing out of Google’s cloud enterprise applications strategy under former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian, Google has announced its intention to buy Looker, a business intelligence (BI) platform supplier.

On the close of the $2.6bn all-cash acquisition, Looker will join Google Cloud.

The addition of Looker to Google Cloud will add what the companies described in a joint statement as a “comprehensive analytics solution – from ingesting and integrating data to gain insights, to embedded analytics and visualisations.

Looker CEO Frank Bien has positioned his company as part of a third wave of BI more attuned to big data stores than what he has depicted as the first wave of reporting tools – such as Cognos, BusinessObjects, and Microstrategy – and the second wave of data visualisation software of Tableau and Qlik.

Google itself has been one of the Silicon Valley giants that has incubated big data technologies, such as MapReduce, which was an important part of the Hadoop family of data storage technologies.

“We are excited to welcome Looker to Google Cloud and look forward to working together to help our customers solve some of their biggest challenges,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google.

Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, said: “Google Cloud is being used by many of the leading organisations in the world for analytics and decision-making. The combination of Google Cloud and Looker will enable customers to harness data in new ways to drive their digital transformation.”

Frank Bien added: “The combination of Looker and Google Cloud advances our mission that we undertook from the beginning – to empower humans through the smarter use of data.”

Frank Gens, senior vice-president and chief analyst at IDC, said in the Google and Looker statement: “The data analytics market is growing incredibly fast as companies look to leverage all of their data to make more informed decisions.

“Google Cloud is one of the leaders in the data warehouse market, and the addition of Looker will further strengthenits ability to serve the needs of enterprise customers while also advancing its commitment to multi-cloud.”

The two companies claim to share more than 350 joint customers, such as Buzzfeed, Hearst, King, Sunrun, WPP Essence, and Yahoo.

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