Google has announced plans to buy Looker Data Sciences as a way to expand its offerings to help customers manage data in the cloud.

The acquisition announced on Thursday gives Google a new tool in its campaign to sell more cloud storage and software. Google plans to buy Looker for $2.6 billion in cash.

The deal will blend Google’s in-house analysis tools such as BigQuery with those built by the Santa Cruz, California-based Looker. It also sets up a new competitive front with Microsoft and its Power Platform/Dynamics.

This marks Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s first major acquisition in his tenure. The former longtime Oracle executive replaced Diane Greene in November 2018.

“For any business that is looking for a partner to help drive digital transformation, the combination of Google Cloud and Looker will offer an incredible data management and analytics platform,” Kurian said in a Google blog post announcing the deal.

He added that Google intends to use Looker’s tools alongside its BigQuery database to offer “customers a more complete analytics solution from ingesting data to visualizing results and integrating data and insights into their daily workflows.”

Since taking control of Google’s Cloud computing division, Kurian has unveiled plans to double down on enterprise sales and will now extend Google’s overall enterprise software pitch with Looker.

Earlier this year, Kurian said he plans to invest and expand the business significantly, adding, “You will see us accelerate the growth even faster than we have to date.”

Google parent company Alphabet has already invested in Looker through its venture fund, Capital G. This purchase will be Google’s biggest acquisition since it bought smart home company Nest, another Alphabet-funded company, for $3.2 billion in 2014.

Google has been trying to gain market share from industry leader Amazon Web Services, which reported $7.7 billion in revenue for the last quarter.

“When Thomas Kurian approached us to become a cornerstone of his new path forward, a light bulb immediately went off for Lloyd (Tabb, founder, chairman, and CTO) and me,” Looker CEO Frank Bien wrote in a blog post about the deal.

Google held 7.6% of cloud market share at the end of 2018 compared with 13.7% for Microsoft and 32% for Amazon, according to a report from Canalys.

Analysts commended the sale and credited it for providing “a unified platform for business intelligence, data applications, and embedded analytics.”

Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to be completed later this year.

Google shares were down less than 1% to $1,037.83 Thursday morning in New York.

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