Google has a vision of offering the most complete and comprehensive data platform in the industry. It wants to provide a true end-to-end data platform across clouds, and the last two words there are key. Customers want an end-to-end multi-cloud data platform and Google is committed to delivering just that. As such, Google continues to invest in areas that enable it to further this goal, and this morning Google announced its intentions to buy Looker for $2.6 billion in an all-cash transaction. It’s a natural acquisition for Google as the companies have worked together for years and share hundreds of the same customers.
Looker provides Google Cloud arguably the final piece of the data analytics pipeline puzzle, enabling it to provide services across the entire data pipeline, from data integration, data processing and preparation, to visualization and insight. Once fully integrated, Looker will provide Google Cloud customers a single place to model data, create data definitions, and then blend and analyze data across data silos with a consistent set of business metrics. Further, customers will be able to augment business intelligence from Looker with Google Cloud’s powerful AI services to automatically build models. And finally, Google will be doubling down on its goal of delivering industry-specific applications by leveraging Looker to create data-driven applications for key use cases that can be enhanced with interactive visualization and machine learning.
In hearing from Thomas Kurian on the acquisition, he outlined and emphasized important areas where Google Cloud is committed to putting customers first. He stressed over and over again the importance of continuing to support Looker customers in other clouds and data that lives in other databases on those other clouds. This view tightly aligns to Google Cloud’s multi-cloud strategy, which I view as one of its most important differentiators. And on the topic of competition, customer choice will remain at the forefront, whether using Looker or any other competing data and visualization tools.
The acquisition is expected to close later this year, but no firm date has been set. The interesting piece here is that integrating Looker into Google's platform doesn’t have to wait. Their existing partnership has the integration already done. And if you’re wondering about a response from other cloud providers, I wouldn’t expect one (in the short-term anyway). Microsoft and AWS have tools available to do some of this already, never mind their myriad partnerships with other BI and visualization vendors.