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Google-Looker Deal Aligns With Multi-Cloud And Enterprise Push, Partners Say

'This is a power move – acquiring new and expanding existing customers who were already using advanced analytical and visualization techniques provided by platforms such as Looker on top of Google Cloud data products, e.g., BigQuery,' says Tom Galizia, Deloitte Consulting's lead commercial partner for its Alphabet/Google alliance.d.

Google’s planned $2.6 billion acquisition of business analytics company Looker Data Sciences syncs with Google Cloud’s multi-cloud approach and courting of enterprise customers, according to channel partners.

The deal follows Google Cloud’s heralding of Anthos -- its new hybrid- and multi-cloud offering that allows customers to build applications on-premises and across Google and competing clouds -- at its Next ’19 conference in San Francisco in April.

The acquisition of Looker and its unified platform for business intelligence, data applications and embedded analytics reflects Google Cloud’s agnostic services strategy, according to Rick Erickson, chief cloud strategist for Agosto, a Minneapolis cloud services and development company and Google Premier Partner.

“This fits really well into that model and the belief that they want to avoid this kind of vendor lock-in,” Erickson said. “It supports their larger strategy of hybrid, multi-cloud and multi-vendor.”

While Google Cloud will deepen its integration of Looker into Google Cloud Platform, customers will continue to benefit from Looker’s multi-cloud functionality and its ability to bring together data from software-as-a-service applications including Salesforce, Marketo and Zendesk, as well as traditional data sources, according to Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian. That will empower companies to create a cohesive layer built on any cloud database, including Amazon Redshift, Azure SQL, Snowflake, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server or Teradata, as well as on other public clouds and in on-premise data centers, he said.

The blockbuster deal sends a signal to other cloud providers that Google Cloud is “going to continue to believe in this agnostic game now and in the future,” Erickson said.

Looker is considered a disruptor and innovator in the data visualization space, according to Erikson, compared to Tableau Software, which is used by AWS. Microsoft, meanwhile, has its own Power BI business analytics tool.

“It’s been very Microsoft-specific, but they’re also trying to take that tool and make it play nicer to with other platforms,” Erickson said.

As Google pivots into the enterprise space, Looker’s vertical business offerings will come into play.

“Looker has a number of industry-specific templates, and they have a community that contributes to those templates,” Erickson said. “Looker is providing more visually enriched vertical solutions into the Google ecosystem.”

Deloitte Consulting’s And SADA Systems’ Outlooks

Looker enhances Google Cloud’s full technology stack, providing the ability to perform advanced analytics, visualization and insight generation for all parts of an organization, said Tom Galizia, Deloitte Consulting’s San Francisco-based senior technology partner and lead commercial partner for its Alphabet/Google alliance.

“This is a power move – acquiring new and expanding existing customers who were already using advanced analytical and visualization techniques provided by platforms such as Looker on top of Google Cloud data products, e.g., BigQuery,” Galizia said. “It shows continued commitment and alignment to Google Cloud’s vision of democratizing and super-charging their customer’s data and information. Google organized the world’s information better than anyone else, and now they want to do the same for the enterprise.”

Acquiring Looker is another smart move for Google Cloud, both from a business and product completeness perspective, agrees Miles Ward, chief technology officer at SADA Systems, a North Hollywood, Calif., cloud technology consulting services company and Google Premier Partner.

"Many enterprises already use BigQuery and Looker together,” Ward said. “By bringing Looker's tech and their experience delivering value in the enterprise inside the Googleplex, that interlock only gets more frictionless. SADA and Google Cloud, now augmented by the Looker acquisition, can help customers radically accelerate how they analyze and visualize data, deliver business intelligence and build data-driven applications, with even better support for customers' hybrid- and multi-cloud strategies."

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