February 23, 2019
Google Cloud officials continued to make a push this week for more enterprise business with the acquisition of a startup whose technology make it easier for businesses to migrate their data into the company’s public cloud.
Google’s George Kurian
The purchase of Alooma comes just a week after Thomas Kurian, the former longtime Oracle executive who in November became senior vice president of Google’s cloud division, told attendees at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference that the company will compete more aggressively and accelerate growth faster than in the past as it looks to better compete with market leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
It also comes the same week that Google Cloud introduced its Cloud Services Platform, which advances its hybrid cloud efforts by giving customers a way of running Google Cloud services and applications in their own on-premises data centers.
Kurian noted that included growing the sales team, but the comments also set off speculation that Google Cloud could be in the market to make some major acquisitions to more quickly grow its capabilities and make it a more attractive alternative for enterprises. The deal for Alooma wouldn’t qualify as a major deal — the five-year-old company has raised $15 million — but making it easier for businesses to move their data into the cloud is an important feature to offer.
“As organizations modernize their infrastructure to digitally transform themselves, migrating mission critical systems and the data that powers their business success can be daunting,” Amit Ganesh, vice president of engineering, and Dominic Preuss, director of product management at Google Cloud Platform, wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition. “No matter where your data is stored — on-premises, in our cloud, or multiple clouds — we want to make that information accessible, valuable, and actionable. … Alooma helps enterprise companies streamline database migration in the cloud with an innovative data pipeline tool that enables them to move their data from multiple sources to a single data warehouse.”
Alooma, which had been a partner of Google Cloud, offers a platform that brings data from a variety of sources — such as databases, applications and APIs — into a single data warehouse in real time and gives enterprises a pipeline for migrating the data into multiple clouds.
“It’s a way for your data workflows to get connected in a cloud endpoint or a cloud framework, and connected into a cloud pipeline,” IDC analyst Deepak Mohan told ChannelFutures. “It’s a way to work across multiple cloud providers.”
Other providers have similar tools, and the Alooma deal comes on the heels of AWS’ acquisition last month of cloud migration, backup and disaster recovery services vendor CloudEndure. It also complements Google’s acquisition of cloud migration startup Velostrata last year, Mohan said.
As more organizations look to leverage the scalability, agility…
…and cost advantages the cloud provides, making it easier for them to migrate their workloads and data will be important to cloud providers. That’s true of Google Cloud, which in its messaging and product and services lineups encourages businesses with data-intensive applications to take a look at Google, the analyst said.
Beyond giving Google Cloud even greater data migration capabilities, in the larger picture, the Alooma acquisition is “a step toward a broader set of things that Google needs to do to capture more cloud share,” Mohan said.
In the global cloud space, Google is a distant third to dominant market leader AWS and behind second-place Azure, according to Synergy Research Group analysts. The company has a number of well-known corporations as cloud customers, including bank HSBC, Target department stores, Bloomberg and 20th Century Fox, but its presence among enterprises lags that of AWS, Azure and IBM. An analysis by Reuters found that of 311 that disclosed their cloud vendors in regulatory filings, 35 of those said Google was their cloud provider. However, AWS had 227 of those companies as clients, while Azure had 69.
Mohan said collecting more enterprise customers is one of Google Cloud’s largest challenges, adding that “they have not been the biggest player in the past. Historically, they have not had enterprises as one of the targets in their go-to-market-focused areas.”
In their blog post, Google Cloud’s Ganesh and Preuss noted Alooma’s “deep expertise for both enterprise and open source databases,” which will help Google as it builds additional migration capabilities. Google Cloud is “committed to helping enterprise customers easily and securely migrate their data to our platform. The addition of Alooma … is a natural fit that allows us to offer customers a streamlined, automated migration experience to Google Cloud, and give them access to our full range of database services, from managed open source database offerings to solutions like Cloud Spanner and Cloud Bigtable.”
Google Cloud was smart to gain those capabilities through the Alooma acquisition, IDC’s Mohan said. Enterprises on a daily basis are moving data and workloads to the cloud, which makes speed a critical factor when adding expertise.
“Buying an existing player was definitely the better choice than building it themselves,” he said.
Along similar lines, Mohan said that if Google is serious about becoming a larger cloud provider to enterprises, the company may want to consider buying an established enterprise IT vendor. Beyond major companies like Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM, “there’s a very large number of smaller companies that are important players in the traditional IT space” to choose from, the analyst said.
Through such an acquisition, Google Cloud could gain a strong go-to-market channel and show that they are serious about both the cloud and enterprises.
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