Schwarz Group, the parent company of German discounter Lidl, is launching its own cloud services, which will compete directly with Amazon's Web Services. The distribution group already has Rewe and Siemens as customers, and now wants to turn its IT services into a strategic branch of the company.
At the beginning of the month, Schwarz Group acquired the software specialist Camao IDC and it currently is developing its IT division into a strategic branch in its own right: just like AWS, Lidl's parent company will now offer its IT services to external customers. The group is committed to the digitisation of businesses and, as a European player, wants to distinguish itself from Amazon by focusing on privacy and data protection, a point on which Amazon is regularly criticised - particularly in the European Union.
The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the plan rather than hindered it, Lebensmittel Zeitung reports: because of the need for teleworking solutions for tens of thousands of employees, the service immediately increased the number of mobile workstations tenfold. "The Corona crisis accelerates digitization", a spokesperson told LZ.
It was also a good stress test for Schwarz IT, which already has 3,000 employees and 20,000 servers. With this acquisition, seventy more cloud specialists will join the company. In addition, the group plans to open more data centres, including one of 10,000 sqm that is currently under development. Although the company itself gives no information on its cost, experts estimate it at several hundreds of millions.