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Exclusive: EMC Buys Pivotal Labs

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EMC Corp. (s EMC), the Hopkinton, Mass.-based storage and cloud hardware company has bought Pivotal Labs, a San Francisco-based consulting firms well known for its tool Pivotal Tracker and also for its pioneering work on agile development methodology. I have confirmed the news after talking to sources familiar with the company. I had first reported on this earlier this week.

Pivotal has been involved with many web and mobile startups, including Twitter. The company’s agile development chops made it a favorite hunting ground for other companies such as Square. It is not clear to me why EMC acquired Pivotal, though a reasonable guess would be to take agile development and Pivotal methodology into the enterprise.

Changing Landscape

It would a different — and a smart — kind of services division for a company like EMC. As I have said before, large hardware vendors are facing a unique and new challenge from the likes of Amazon (s AMZN), Microsoft (s MSFT) and Google (s GOOG), who are getting the attention of the next generation of businesses. In order for these hardware vendors to stay relevant, they need to offer their hardware as a service – storage or computing for example – and then attract others such as startups and enterprises to their platforms.

PS: EMC Greenplum’s Scott Yara will be speaking with me at our Structure Data conference in New York on March 21st & March 22nd. I guess he and I will have something to talk about!

7 Responses to “Exclusive: EMC Buys Pivotal Labs”

  1. Sputnik

    My team is an avid user of Pivotal Tracker. We’ve been using it for a couple years, but we we’re acquired by a big bluish company and it now violates corp policy for us to use it. And I am a former employee of EMC, departing my position shortly after being acquired. I can’t even begin to explain how Wrong this acquisition is. The institutional guys on Pivitol’s board really whimped out on this one.

  2. billsaysthis

    EMC owns SpringSource, which is a development tools and consulting outfit, and this acquisition is probably intended to drive the growth of that business unit.

    • Habibullah Khan

      A critical part of the journey to the cloud for an Enterprise is to put core applications in a hybrid cloud. Perhaps Pivotal can help EMC turn that into a more standard or a quicker go to market offering.

  3. David Vellante

    Om – I don’t see how this offering is hardware as a service? PL is a consultancy with a traditional “belly-to-belly” service model – versus an amazon-like swipe your credit card, pay as you offering. What it does imho is allow EMC customers’ IT organizations to stay relevant in the face of being outsourced to the likes of Amazon and Azure. Good move by EMC but for different reasons than you cite.

  4. Sunil Kanderi

    Very interesting. I have looked up to Pivotal Labs while building my own Mobile Solutions Company. I am a bit sad at the demise of an innovative company, hope the deal was lucrative enough for the founders and the employees. In a way, this works well for us.