Google Acquires Qwiklabs
Google scores over its arch rival Amazon by acquiring a company called Qwiklabs, that provides hands-on training for AWS developers. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Qwiklabs was founded in 2012 to focus on teaching developers to create and run applications on the AWS platform. Though the original idea was to create a learning tool for cloud-based platforms, the focus quickly turned to AWS because of its dominance in the cloud market. AWS also started using Qwiklabs as its go-to service for providing self-paced labs for different developers.
All that is set to change with this acquisition. Clearly, Google acquired Qwiklabs with an intent to take on its competition head-on. Since the cloud attributes of Google and AWS are fundamentally different, it requires different development approaches. Given this difference, it won’t be a surprise if Qwiklabs transforms from a AWS-based service to a Google-based one, where Google’s own cloud tools and services are showcased to potential customers. It remains to be seen if Google will also allows AWS-based courses on Qwiklabs. Some experts though think Qwiklabs will continue to offer AWS courses, as Google’s cloud head, Diane Greene is a supporter of multi-cloud deployments.
At this point though, Google has announced no major changes to the operations of Qwiklabs, which means, Qwiklabs will continue to offer subscriptions and labs for AWS developers. However, we may not see new AWS courses on this platform, and also, there is no news on when Google’s programs will be included. It is expected that Google will use Qwiklabs to help people understand the Google Cloud Platform and G Suite productivity services better, so more apps can be based out of them.
This acquisition comes as a surprise for many reasons. Firstly, it’s not sure why AWS did not acquire this company before-hand, considering the fact that it sold only AWS-based courses. In fact, Qwiklabs says that more than half a million developers have used its platform, and have spent over five million hours learning about AWS. Secondly, it reflects the multi-pronged strategy that Google has taken over the last few months to get a firm hold on the cloud market. Thirdly, this acquisition can act as the perfect jump board for Google to reach out to more customers.
As for AWS, it has to find a new education partner to fill the absence of Qwiklabs. In September, AWS announced that it will give its Enterprise Support customers free Qwiklabs credits! That has to change now.
This acquisition goes to show the fickle nature of supporting tools. In the past, one company had complete control over all the tools and services that were related to its products, so there was greater certainty. Today, the market is a lot more fragmented, and this can be attributed to the nature of technology and the market itself. Though AWS and Google offer platforms, a host of services and tools from third-party companies are needed to make the most of these platforms, so acquisitions and mergers can significantly alter the market share.
It will be interesting to see the impact of this acquisition for both Google and AWS.