EMC's Pivotal Initiative launches: Now comes the execution part

Paul Maritz, former VMware CEO and chief strategist at EMC, has a new mission. Take a collection of big data and cloud assets in the newly formed Pivotal spin-off and make it a family of products that IT buyers will want.

EMC and VMware officially launched the Pivotal Initiative, a big data and cloud platform company designed to go public at some point.

EMC's Tucci: Let's add another large public company to our family.

"We think this (Pivotal) has home run potential if we do it right. There's that little 'if' of execution," said EMC CEO Joe Tucci, speaking at a joint analyst day for his company and VMware. "We're not thinking anything close to an IPO, but it would be a great end game."

More:  VMware merges products to chase software defined datacenter  | EMC launches Hadoop distribution, takes aim at Cloudera  

Indeed, EMC's Pivotal spin-off may have some chops. The appetizer for the venture was a Hadoop distribution last month. At the EMC-VMware analyst day, the companies outlined the following regarding the joint venture.

  1. VMware and EMC see Pivotal as a $1 billion business in five years. But it will take a $400 million investment to make it happen.
  2. Paul Maritz, EMC's chief strategist and former CEO of VMware, is charged to grow Pivotal, create a suite and launch a platform. Maritz will focus solely on Pivotal. 
  3. Pivotal is 69 percent owned by EMC with the remainder owned by VMware.
  4. EMC reckons that Pivotal will have an $8 billion total addressable market in 2013 and a $20 billion one in five years.
  5. Pivotal's revenue will be about $300 million in 2013.

Here's the rub: Pivotal is a collection of assets from EMC and VMware that aren't exactly cohesive---yet. EMC included Greenplum and Pivotal Labs. VMware included vFabric, SpringSource and Gemstone as well as Cetas and CloudFoundry.

You can see how the parts come together in the Pivotal HD Hadoop distribution. 



Tucci said that it was the board of directors at EMC concluded that the "Pivotal assets would never make an impact" unless they were consolidated. By putting the Pivotal assets together in a family, they will have a better shot of becoming a big business.

In 2013, "Paul has to put together a family," said Tucci. Now all Maritz has to do is execute. When asked for his opinion, Maritz said Tucci said it all. Pivotal has great promise but today it's a nice slide deck, a collection of assets and a Hadoop distribution.


However, EMC and VMware think the Pivotal is the third big company in the federation or family of the storage giant. If Tucci has its way EMC's logo, EMC squared, will look more like EMC cubed to Wall Street.

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