Category Archives: Pivotal

Ford invests $180m in Pivotal to bolster software capabilities

Ford carUS automotive giant Ford has invested $182.2m in cloud software company Pivotal, in a continued effort to diversify its business offerings.

The company has stated it is ‘aggressively’ pursuing emerging technologies as it aims to become a company known as much for mobility as it does for cars and SUV’s. Ford’s ambitions are targeted towards becoming a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

“Expanding our business to be both an auto and mobility company requires leading-edge software expertise to deliver outstanding customer experiences,” said Mark Fields, Ford CEO. “Our investment in Pivotal will help strengthen our ability to deliver these customer experiences at the speed of Silicon Valley, including continually expanding FordPass – our digital, physical and personal mobility experience platform.”

The relationship itself dates back to February of this year, as the team announced a new partnership to deliver FordPass, a platform which offers customers remote access to vehicles through a smartphone app, and mobility solutions, such as parking and car sharing. As part of the new relationship, Pivotal’s cloud and analytics capabilities will be incorporated into new projects such as its Dynamic Shuttle service, which offers employees on-demand ride sharing around its Dearborn campus in Michigan. The team have plans to expand the service to new locations and applications, including delivery services and emergency medical transportation, in coming months.

“Today we are at a major inflection point in global business, and Pivotal is at the fulcrum of that change,” said Rob Mee, Pivotal CEO. “We are collaborating with iconic companies like Ford to help transform their businesses with our unique software development methodology and modern cloud platform and analytics tools. We are thrilled to create a deeper partnership with Ford through this investment as we drive its evolution to becoming both an auto and mobility company – reinventing yet again how the world moves.”

Ford already uses Pivotal’s software in its EcoBoost engines, the SYNC 3 connectivity system and driver-assist parking technologies. The company also claims the F-150 model features more than 150 million lines of code, compared to a typical smartphone operating system has approximately 12 million lines, demonstrating the growing trend of software within the automotive industry.

With autonomous vehicles one of the industry’s growing trends, companies such as Google and Microsoft have made healthy investments in recent months, some corners of the industry will be less surprised with Ford’s moves. Customer experience has long played a role within the automotive industry, though the growth and normalization of cloud technologies, combined with increasingly demanding, digitally orientated customers, Ford’s financial moves could demonstrate the beginning of a new trend of investments for car manufacturers.

Cisco to resell Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry service alongside Metapod

Cisco corporatePivotal and Cisco are to jointly will jointly offer an enterprise cloud service designed to help developers work quicker.

A global agreement between the two will see Cisco partners resell Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry services blended alongside Cisco’s own Metapod offering. The selling point for the combined service is the promise that it will help companies set up cloud native applications quicker, from a wider choice of hosted, public and private clouds.

While Cisco’s OpenStack-based Metapod is designed to run on company premises the Pivotal Cloud Foundry is available to clients as an externally hosted system. Cloud Foundry’s main promise is to improve the productivity of developers, fine tune operations and provide IT systems with enterprise grade security, scalability and availability. Both system take different approaches to a common delivery goal, to help companies get their software to market faster.

Under the terms of the Cisco Solution Partner Program, which is part of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, Cisco and third-party independent hardware, software and technology vendors integrate various IT systems and offer them to clients. As a Cisco Solution Partner, Pivotal has already been granted Cisco compatibility certification and offers 24X7 customer support.

Cloud Foundry has five major elements to its service. Microservices help developers to move faster by using composable services designed for independent deployment, scaling and recovery. Containers help create a flexible, secure and manageable workload which can be distributed and scheduled in order to create greater efficiency. Cloud Foundry’s Open Source is backed by contributions from over 40 members of the Cloud Foundry Foundation. A short software delivery cycle is the aim of the Continuous Delivery element of Cloud Foundry, while the DevOps element can provide a structured platform for app creation.

The integration of Cisco Metapod and Pivotal Cloud Foundry marries the top managed private cloud with the leading Cloud Native developer experience, according to Peder Ulander, Cisco’s VP of Cloud and Managed Services. The goal is to help customers “quickly and easily modernize their IT,” said Ulnder.

The combination of Metapod and Clod Foundry gives companies the clout of an enterprise but the stealth of an SME, according to James Watters, senior VP of Products at Pivotal. Enterprises can use the cloud service to build “next generation applications that rival that of Silicon Valley’s most renowned start-ups,” said Watters.

EMC Dell in rush to go public with Pivotal in early 2016

Dell office logoSoftware company Pivotal could be subject to an initial public offering (IPO) in early 2016, according to web site Recode, which claims to quote sources at parent company EMC involved in planning the launch. The IPO is being pushed forward to take place before the Dell acquisition of EMC goes ahead next year, with the anticipated billions raised to be used to service debt.

Big data analysis specialist Pivotal made $227 million in revenue in 2014 but posted a $106 million operating loss on revenue of $118 million for the first half of 2015, according EMC’s filed reports.

Pivotal’s joint owners, EMC and GE, are to offer a minority stake in the software company to public shareholders, says the report. This would be a repeat of a tactic previously used by EMC when it sold 19% of its shares in VMware in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007. Sources expect EMC is planning to sell around 20% of its Pivotal shares but retain the rest.

The plan involves Pivotal filing for its IPO confidentially under the auspices of the US Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, with the IPO concluded before the proposed $67 billion acquisition of EMC by computing giant Dell.

Both EMC CEO Joe Tucci and Dell CEO Michael Dell have supported the idea for a Pivotal IPO in the past. Speculators say the IPO may have been expedited because it would help to pay off some of the estimated $50 billion debt that Dell will have once the EMC takeover closes. A successful Pivotal IPO could potentially raise billions in new capital.

Meanwhile new capital from the Pivotal IPO would supplement some of the funding lost by the decline in VMware shares since the Dell-EMC deal was announced. In August, VMware shares were around $90 each but since the Dell-EMC deal was announced, their price has fallen by a third to $60.15.

Spokespeople for Dell, EMC and Silver Lake, the private equity firm that co-owns Dell, declined to comment.

Mercedes-Benz and Pivotal forge smart car apps on Cloud Foundry

connected-car-normalUsing your mobile phone while driving could become compulsory, thanks to a new connected car application being jointly developed by Mercedes-Benz and Pivotal.

The Mercedes me app will give drivers real-time information about the status of their cars through their smartphones and smart watches.

Pivotal and Mercedes-Benz are working on the app on Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry and Spring in a bid to give Mercedes drivers information about their car’s vital signs (such as oil, water and petrol levels) and remote control of everything from heating and locks to navigation. The system will work with a navigation tool via iPhone and Apple Watch.

According to Mercedes-Benz by 2020 all vehicles will be emission-free and will feature autonomous driving and deep levels of Internet connectivity. To support these initiatives, it is using Pivotal Labs’ cloud native platform, Pivotal Cloud Foundry with the developer framework Spring Boot.

With Daimler and Mercedes-Benz both anxious to meet emissions targets, their developers were keen to explore all the possibilities of Pivotal’s modern agile software development methods, said Scott Yara, Co-President at Pivotal. “They are now also a great software company,” said Yara.

Daimler’s work with Pivotal’s cloud platform minimized its innovation cycle by helping it develop a system faster than ever, according to Christoph Hartung, Head of Connected Cars at Mercedes-Benz. “Our collaboration with Pivotal will define a new digital driving culture with state of the art information technologies, online communication systems and automotive services,” said Hartnung.

Pivotal teams with Telstra on enterprise big data

Telstra and Pivotal are teaming up to push Cloud Foundry and big data services in Australia

Telstra and Pivotal are teaming up to push Cloud Foundry and big data services in Australia

Pivotal announced a partnership with Australian telco Telstra that will see the two firms jointly marketing Pivotal’s big data development services to Telstra enterprise customers.

Pivotal will also offer enterprise customers training at its newly established Pivotal Labs office in Sydney, Australia, its 16th globally.

The company said the move would help it reach a broader enterprise customer base in the region by leveraging Telstra’s existing local relationships and experience in the ICT sector.

“The arrival of Pivotal Labs in Australia presents a great opportunity for local organisations. Pivotal Labs will quickly become a software innovation hub for Australia’s largest enterprises in all industries to transform into great software companies – taking digital disruption to the next level,” said Melissa Ries, vice president and general manager APJ, Pivotal.

“Pivotal has a great relationship with Telstra, which is built on a foundation of shared visions. With Telstra’s involvement in the Cloud Foundry Foundation and our joint venture, we’re partnering to help Telstra’s customers transform into great software companies.”

The companies said that by using tools like Pivotal CF, the Cloud Foundry-based platform as a service (PaaS), and Pivotal Big Data Suite (BDS), enterprise customers will be able to improve how they develop their web and mobile services.

Kate McKenzie, chief operations officer at Telstra said: “In conjunction with our new Gurrowa Innovation Lab, Pivotal Labs will enhance our innovation offering for our customers and create a pipeline of skills to grow our development capabilities. Innovation at Telstra is about helping our customers get the best out of technology for the future and ultimately providing access to the best networks from which they can innovate, and the partnership will allow us to do just that.”

EMC, Vodafone partner on Internet of Things platform

EMC and Vodafone are teaming on a €2m IoT platform

EMC and Vodafone are teaming on a €2m IoT platform

Storage giant EMC is teaming up with Vodafone to develop and offer a platform for industrial Internet of Things (IoT) service development and testing.

The IoT development platform, known as Infinite, is spread across three datacentres – one hosted by EMC, another by Vodafone, and another by datacentre and cloud provider Cork Internet eXchange (CIX).

The companies said the platform can be used to develop a range of IoT services, particularly those to support industrial automation in fields like manufacturing and fleet management, but also healthcare and higher education.

EMC and Vodafone said the companies are investing about €2m in the initiative.

“EMC Federation is leading an industrial partnership encompassing rich data and Internet of Things. The digital age’s IT transformation – cloud, big data, social, mobile and Internet of Things, is continuously and increasingly changing the way we live and work,” said Orna Berry, corporate vice president innovation, EMC Centres of Excellences (CoE). “EMC Federation and Ireland’s CoE are excited to take a dynamic and influential part in this important eventuation, with the creation of the Infinite innovative IoT platform.”

This is also the first large scale project approved for use by the Industrial Internet Consortium, a membership group of telcos, research institutes and technology manufacturers created last year and focused on developing interoperability standards and common architectures to bridge smart devices, machines, mobile devices and the data they create.

The move means the offering adheres to a range of interoperability standards being proposed or consolidated by the group.

“Infinite will prove to be a valuable Industrial Internet testbed for a countless number of industries including smart cities and healthcare. As the need for more dynamic systems continues to grow, organisations will turn to utilising mobile networks to connect to virtual systems,” said Richard Soley, executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium. “This testbed is going to prove the viability of doing all this with systems that require the utmost security – such as those used by hospitals and emergency medical services.”

Anne O’Leary, chief executive of Vodafone Ireland, said: “We are delighted to work with EMC in this exciting development. Vodafone is at the forefront of Internet of Things technology at a global level and I am proud to see Ireland also taking a lead in pioneering the development of these new disruptive technologies. IoT has the potential to transform business in Ireland and we are excited to be in a position to provide companies with access to start developing their own IoT services.”

With IoT heating up a broad range of IT and telecoms incumbents have thrown their hats into the development platform race. Last month for instance Google unveiled Brillo, a slimmed down version of Android with a  proprietary set of APIs for IoT-specific services and communications, while SAP unveiled a thinly re-branded version of HANA in the cloud for IoT. But while telcos have long tried to get in on this segment it seems to be an interesting move for EMC, which has generally kept a low profile in IoT beyond simply tailoring the marketing around its high-IO storage arrays, and has left much of the jockeying in this segment up to others in the Federation (like Pivotal).

Pivotal buys Quickstep Technologies in big data play

Pivotal is acquiring Quickstep Technologies to boost SQL performance

Pivotal is acquiring Quickstep Technologies to boost SQL performance

Pivotal has acquired Quickstep Technologies, a query execution technology developer, for an undisclosed sum. The company said the move could vastly improve the performance of its big data solutions.

Quickstep’s technology was developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by Jignesh Patel, professor of computer sciences and a team of developers at the school, in part with funding from the US National Science Foundation. It’s a relational data processing engine that incorporates a technology called Bitweaving, which uses various techniques to reduce the number of cycles to evaluate and compute a predicate across a batch of code, the result being a massive improvement in performance when asking a database a question.

Patel is no stranger to the database space. His thesis work was commercialised by NCR when it was acquired by Teradata, and he also co-founded Locomatix, a startup that designed a platform to power real-time data-driven mobile services, which became part of Twitter two years ago.

“In the Quickstep project we have rethought from the ground up the algorithms that make up the DNA of data platforms so that the platform can deliver unprecedented speed for data analytics. It is time to move our ideas from research to actual products,” Patel said. “There is no better home for this technology than at Pivotal given Pivotal’s formidable track record in delivering real value to their customers in big data.”

Pivotal said the technology will be integrated as a new query execution framework for Greenplum Database and Pivotal HAWQ, which it claims will “provide orders of magnitude increase in performance for advanced analytics, machine learning, and advanced data science use cases.”

Sundeep Madra, vice president, data product group, Pivotal said: “Enterprises are seeking ever faster speeds for their data so that they can affect outcomes in real time. Quickstep brings to Pivotal a fresh way of thinking about data, one aligned to new capabilities in hardware and demanding expectations today’s businesses have. We look forward to bringing this technology to our customers, and welcome the Quickstep team to the Pivotal family.”

Dell partners with Pivotal on Cloud Foundry

Dell Services will resell Pivotal CF and advise customers on implementation, app development and migration to different cloud platforms

Dell Services will resell Pivotal CF and advise customers on implementation, app development and migration to different cloud platforms

Dell Services announced a partnership with Pivotal this week that will see the company include Pivotal CF in its digital services portfolio.

The deal will see Dell Services resell Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry distribution as well as advise clients on application development, integration and multi-cloud migration using both Pivotal’s and open source Cloud Foundry.

The companies said the move will help customers enable a DevOps culture within their organisations and speed up application deployment.

“Digital transformation is driving enterprises to develop and deploy applications in an agile manner thereby creating the need for a new generation of application platforms,” Raman Sapra, executive director and global head, Dell Digital Business Services.

“Our collaboration with Pivotal expands our digital services portfolio to include development of next-generation, enterprise-class solutions using a leading platform like Pivotal Cloud Foundry to help customers unlock the power of innovation and fast track their digital transformation journey,” Sapra said.

Scott Aronson, senior vice president, worldwide field operations at Pivotal said: “Pivotal Cloud Foundry is emerging as a fundamental enabler of digital transformation as companies are under increased pressure to leverage software to differentiate their business models. Our partnership with Dell Services, a leading and trusted global services provider, will help our customers accelerate their digital transformation journey.”

CenturyLink expands public cloud in APAC

CenturyLink is expanding its public cloud platform in Singapore

CenturyLink is expanding its public cloud platform in Singapore

American telco CenturyLink has expanded the presence of its public cloud platform to Singapore in a bid to cater to growing regional demand for cloud services.

CenturyLink, which recently expanded its managed services presence in China and its private cloud services in Europe and the UK, is adding public cloud nodes to one of its Singapore datacentres.

“The launch of a CenturyLink Cloud node in Singapore further enhances our position as a leading managed hybrid IT provider for businesses with operations in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Gery Messer, CenturyLink managing director, Asia Pacific.

“We continue to invest in the high-growth Asia-Pacific region to meet increasing customer demand,” Messer said.

The company said it wants to cater to what it sees as growing demand for cloud services in the region, citing Frost & Sullivan figures that show the Asia-Pacific region spent almost $6.6bn on public cloud services last year. That firm predicts annual cloud services spending in the region will exceed $20bn by 2018.

The move also comes at a time when the Singapore Government is looking to invest more in both using cloud services and growing usage of cloud platforms in the region.

Last year the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) said it was working with Amazon Web Services to trial a data as a service project the organisations believe will help increase the visibility of privately-held data sets.

The agency also signed a Memorandum of Intent with AWS that would see the cloud provider offer usage credits $3,000 (US) to the first 25 companies to sign up to the pilot, which will go towards the cost of hosting their dataset registries or datasets.

It’s also announced similar partnerships in the past with Pivotal and Red Hat.