EMC is buying Pivotal Labs, extending its consulting services into the realm of agile development. It’s a smart move for EMC, which needs to better position itself with companies seeking to build agile development processes and leverage the ever growing demand for Web and mobile apps.
Om Malik of GigaOm reported the news today, citing sources close to the deal. Pivotal Labs is a San Franciso based consulting service. In addition to consulting it has developed a strong reputation for Pivotal Tracker, its agile project management application. Its clients include Engine Yard, Groupon and New Relic. According to the Pivotal Labs Web site, Pivotal Tracker has 330,000 users.
Pivotal Labs primary value is in the collaboration feature sets that it offers. In many respects, it treats development like a real-time, transparent, evolving story. It features virtual rooms for brainstorming. In these virtual rooms updates from others are seen instantly and changes from multiple people are merged in real time. At its core is its tracker, which “drives conversation from its workflow transparency.” Story comments allow for feedback and discussion.
The acquisition make a lot of sense for EMC. It provides immediate association with a world class agile shop in San Francisco, the center of the developer world. We watch EMC pretty closely. It’s the sponsor behind ServicesAngle. We talk with their teams often and have been impressed with their big data focus. This acquisition gives EMC a strong footing to build apps for its customers. And it shows to the world that EMC is a consulting company that can move beyond its hardware roots.