Salesforce and Google Data Goldrush Continues with Tableau and Looker Acquisitions

In this day and age, I’ve learned that summer is not a time for business to slow down, and that is proving right as top technology firms are rushing to keep pace with their clients’ Big Data needs.

Within the last two weeks, Salesforce, which acquired Tableau, and Google, which bought out Looker, have scooped up two data leaders for nearly $20 billion.

“Data is the foundation of every digital transformation, and the addition of Tableau will accelerate our ability to deliver customer success by enabling a truly unified and powerful view across all of a customer’s data,” said Keith Block, co-CEO of Salesforce, in the announcement of the deal.

At $15.7 billion, the Salesforce/Tableau deal ranks one of the highest-valued high-tech acquisitions of all time.

Great Combination

It is undoubtedly a best-in-class combination. PC Magazine ranks Tableau Desktop its Editors’ Choice for self-service business intelligence tools, while it ranks Salesforce’s Sales Cloud Lightning Professional an Editor’s Choice for CRM software.

While Salesforce has been making great strides in the data space with its Einstein AI platform to help with more predictive analytics, and Datorama, which it just acquired a year ago to beef up the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the concept of “Self-service business intelligence” remains a holy grail with any firm looking to raise its data-driven game.

Self-service business intelligence is precisely what you think it is supposed to be. It allows your marketing and analytics teams to quickly “visualize” your data without substantial investment in IT or data programming. It enables you to consume data from a wide range of sources, from your marketing automation systems to CRM, two key areas where Salesforce plays in the big leagues. Tableau has about 86,000 business customers, including JP Morgan Chase, Pfizer, Charles Schwab, Verizon, Lufthansa Airlines and Netflix.

Google Acquires Looker as it Plays Catch Up in the Cloud Market

Meanwhile, Alphabet’s (Google’s parent) $2.6 billion Looker acquisition one week earlier has the same goal in mind.

“A fundamental requirement for organizations wanting to transform themselves digitally is the need to store, manage, and analyze large quantities of data from a variety of sources,” said Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, who just joined Google last year, after serving as Oracle’s president of product development.

“The addition of Looker to Google Cloud will help us offer customers a more complete analytics solution from ingesting data to visualizing results and integrating data and insights into their daily workflows,” he added. Key will be how Google integrates Looker with other Google Cloud services such as Google BigQuery for Enterprise Data Warehouse services. The race to own the cloud is in full steam, and Google is playing catch up. According to Canalys, the cloud market grew to $80 billion in 2018, with Amazon leading the way with 32% of the Cloud market, Microsoft holding steady at 13.7% and Google’s at 7.6% of at the end of 2018.

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