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Google may swallow Apigee, but API management on their radar is good

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Suraj Kumar of Axway isn't too positive about the acquisition of Apigee. But while Google may be acting like the Borg, it may indicate a needed shift in Google's attitude.

Google's acquisition of the API management solution provider Apigee may not have been a blockbuster market deal in terms of the value of the sale, but many have been left wondering what exactly Google has in store for the acquired company, its customers and its competitors.

According to some of Apigee's competitors, this acquisition creates a large amount of uncertainty for Apigee customers and the developer communities it is associated with. Suraj Kumar, vice president of platform as a service at the digital transformation solution provider Axway, one of the major implications of this deal is that Apigee will lose focus on its hybrid and on-premises applications, leaving behind the customers reliant on those products for regulatory and other purposes.

Kumar also likens this acquisition to a similar one made by Microsoft in 2013 in which the API management solution provider Apiphany was pulled off the market as an independent product and essentially absorbed into the Azure platform.  

But Kumar's outlook is not all doom and gloom; he says that this acquisition suggests that the cloud giant is taking API management seriously.

Suraj KumarSuraj Kumar

"I guess the only positive here is that Google, a big company, is looking at APIs seriously," Kumar said. "So I think that's validation that APIs and the API economy are extremely important and critical for enterprise customers."

However, it is not clear if this is an attempt by Google to make a hard march towards becoming an enterprise-grade software provider, or if this is more of an attempt to become a complete package for their smaller customers. Kumar believes it is possible Google is trying to attract more enterprise customers, but the fact that they have historically not focused on the enterprise with their investments suggests the latter is the case.

I guess the only positive here is that Google, a big company, is looking at APIs seriously.

"I think they're enterprise from the perspective of infrastructure and some of the Google cloud," Kumar said. "But if you look at the focus of the company -- even things like where they are investing in the robots [and the] Google Labs projects -- none of those are what I would say are enterprise software-oriented solutions."

Listen to this podcast to learn more about Kumar's take on this acquisition and how things might play out for Apigee, its competitors and the API development community.

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