EMC is set to open up what it describes as a "billion-dollar business in the making" to its channel partners in the form of its new big data-focused Pivotal arm.
The firm claims the joint venture between itself, subsidiary VMware and General Electric – which invested $105m (£68m) for a ten per cent stake – will drive new business through focusing on big data, fast data and third-platform technology.
Throughout its EMC World event in Las Vegas, EMC hailed the new era of third-platform technology, which it claims has risen directly from the huge increase in the number of devices connected to the internet.
The vendor said third-platform technology will see billions of users accessing millions of applications mainly via the cloud and mobile devices, a trend Pivotal aims to cash in on.
Former VMware chief executive Paul Maritz (pictured below), who will now take on the same role at Pivotal, said that by focusing on third-platform technology in a separate business new opportunities can be addressed.
Speaking at EMC World, he said: "We at Pivotal believe there is a need – and a huge opportunity – to drive new value in our industry through the new generation of applications that exploit big data and the full power of the cloud.
"You will have heard about the great work from EMC and VMware on the software-defined datacentre and the ability to run both second- and third-[platform] applications.
"At Pivotal we have been thinking very carefully about what can be done on top of the software-defined datacentre to drive new business, business models and consequently new business value.
"We are girding our loins to go and build a new kind of platform to sit on top of the software-defined datacentre and bring together big data, fast data and new-generation applications, but do it in a way that emphasises the key value: choice."
Pivotal was described during the event as one of the world's biggest start-ups –already employing around 1,400 staff. Maritz said he hopes the venture will become a billion-dollar business within five years with the help of its own channel, which will focus on high-end enterprise partners to begin with.
He said: "We see ourselves as offering a capability that can be of interest to a wide variety of players, from high-end service providers [to] those operating clouds, systems integrators [and] ISVs.
"Our strategy is to work with the ecosystem; we don't think Pivotal per se will get sold through the low-end SMB channel; we're an enterprise technology and will follow channels that speak to the enterprise.
"[However], down the road we do see service providers taking our technology as part of their own clouds and putting solutions on top of it, which could reach more businesses including small [ones]."
Bill McGloin, Computacenter's practice leader for storage and data optimisation, told CRN that he will definitely be interested in Pivotal's channel plans, and said that, by launching a new separate arm to deal with big data technology, EMC, VMware and Pivotal will all be able to focus on their strengths.
Gartner analyst Yefim Natis said Pivotal has the potential to gain a strong position in the cloud market.
"The objective to provide mainstream IT organisations with the transformational model of IT that drives the internet, web and cloud innovation is intriguing and, if well-executed, can propel Pivotal into a strong position in the cloud platform market," he said.
"However, considerable functionality will have to be developed, acquired and integrated into the platform before it can claim victory. Success will depend on strong execution."
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