GE has invested $105 million in Pivotal, the Big Data and cloud application joint venture of EMC and VMware.
William Ruh, GE Global Software Center vice president
Pivotal, the VMware (NYSE: VMW) and EMC (NYSE: EMC) Big Data and cloud application platform spinoff, has landed a $105 million investment from General Electric (NYSE: GE), equivalent to a 10 percent stake in the startup venture.
As part of the cash infusion, GE and Pivotal have stuck a research and development and commercial agreement designed to speed up GE’s ability to construct new analytic services and solutions for its customers. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.
GE’s investment in Pivotal, added to EMC’s and VMware’s backing, positions it as what some are calling “super-funded.” Indeed, Pivotal will use the GE investment to pay for additional research. GE said it intends to use Pivotal's technologies as part of its own portfolio of data analytics services to industrial customers in aviation, transportation, health care, energy and manufacturing.
Enabling what GE is calling the "Industrial Internet," or the confluence of information technology with physical networks—think machines with networked sensors and software—was a significant driver of the deal, GE officials said.
"It's no secret that the cloud and Big Data are driving dramatic business transformation enabling an Industrial Internet,” said William Ruh, GE Global Software Center vice president. “At the heart of it is that machines can be intelligent, connected, and that we can use software to analyze the information coming out of them.”
Ruh said that Pivotal’s platform to deliver rapid application development, data analytics and cloud architecture to enterprises is “aligned with many of the things we are doing at GE to help accelerate our delivery of innovation, and to bring a productivity revolution that will have a positive impact on all of us.”
Pivotal, which is based in San Francisco, is staffed by some 500 VMware employees and about 800 EMC employees. GE said that its software facility, opened 18 months ago in nearby San Ramon, Calif., will use Pivotal's technologies as a standard source for delivering data analytics and cloud architecture and, internally, will use a Pivotal technology-based software platform across all its business units.
Pivotal's platform ties EMC’s Greenplum data analysis software with VMware’s SpringSource framework, GemFire messaging, Cetas business intelligence software and Cloud Foundry PaaS software as well as some other supporting technologies from the virtualization vendor. EMC has said that it expects Pivotal, of which it owns 69 percent with VMware holding the remainder, to generate $1 billion in sales by 2017 but require $400 million in investment through 2014 to get up to speed.
Paul Maritz, Pivotal chief executive, said the GE investment “underscores the profound change in business and the historic opportunity that Pivotal has in delivering a new platform to help GE's customers succeed."