The extent to which the acquisition will shore up Google's device-management shortcoming remains unclear.

February 16, 2018

3 Min Read
Data Cloud

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting merger and acquisition news from January.**

By Christopher Tozzi

With the goal of improving enterprise cloud data services for the IoT, Google says it will buy Xively, an IoT PaaS and consulting company, from LogMeIn.

Xively provides a platform as a service (PaaS) for connecting smart products to the internet and managing the data they produce. The company also offers consulting services for businesses interested in building and deploying smart devices. Its website highlights use cases such as building smart devices for consumers to control in-home heating systems.


Google Cloud’s Antony Passemard

Founded in 2007, Xively was acquired by LogMeIn in 2014.

In a blog announcing the planned acquisition, Antony Passemard, product management lead for cloud IoT and Pub/Sub at Google, said the deal “will complement Google Cloud’s effort to provide a fully managed IoT service that easily and securely connects, manages and ingests data from globally dispersed devices.”

Google Cloud already is a strong contender in data analytics and management, offering a suite of IoT services called Cloud IoT Core. The Xively acquisition will help Google to expand its features and deliver a more complete IoT offering for enterprises, Ovum analyst Alexandra Rehak told Channel Partners.

“Google’s obviously got lots of experience and credibility with analytics and data management and usage, which is going to be more and more important for leveraging the IoT,” Rehak said. “However, Google’s ability to complement this with advanced device management, messaging and dashboard capabilities from Xively’s platform is going to enable it to provide more of an end-to-end IoT service for would-be enterprise adopters, and integrate that with its other capabilities.”

Catering to enterprises is crucial for succeeding as an IoT service provider, Rehak said.

“A lot of IoT success depends on the ability to make things simple for the enterprise. Google can use the Xively platform as something of a testbed for getting a better foothold in understanding and supporting enterprise IoT devices and applications, and helping enterprises make better use of IoT data.”

That said, the extent to which the acquisition will shore up what some analysts see as the greatest shortcoming in Google Cloud’s IoT offerings – device management – remains unclear.

“Xively does not have strong IoT device-management features, which is the single biggest weakness of the Google IoT Core platform,” Samuel Hale, MachNation’s head of IoT platform testing, said. Hale called the acquisition “curious.”

Dima Tokar, head analyst at MachNation, said the purchase is about acquiring “some experienced IoT developers, consultants and a bit of recognition in the IoT space,” not the functionality of the platform itself.

The acquisition, which will bring 45 Xively employees to Google, also will help Google Cloud keep pace with …

… Azure and AWS on the IoT front. Those competitors offer their own platforms for connecting and managing IoT devices in the cloud.

Should Google Cloud’s competition see a need to beef up their enterprise IoT data-management offerings, they might consider acquisitions of their own. Xively’s platform has been “replicated by many new IoT players,” Rehak said, leading to the development of a crowded marketplace and other possible acquisition opportunities.

The planned acquisition will cost Google $50 million. LogMeIn paid $12 million when it acquired the company a few years ago.

This month marks a clear shift in strategy for LogMeIn, which appears to be honing its focus on the unified communications and collaboration part of its business. Just last week it said that it’s buying UC provider Jive Communications for $357 million.

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