EMC, VMware Spinning Off 1.4K Workers to Create New Application Venture

EMC and VMware are funneling the bulk of their cloud development and Big Data assets into Pivotal Initiative, a new joint venture that will be led by Paul Maritz, VMware’s former CEO and current head of strategy.

Communications VP Terry Anderson posted the update yesterday on the company’s official blog. She specified the second quarter of 2013 as the timeframe in which the Pivotal push will become formal, with its own management and independent corporate structure.

The company will be comprised of 600 workers hailing from VMware’s vFabric, Spring and Cloud Foundry development teams, plus another 800 employees from  EMC Greenplum and a few other units. The agenda, it seems, is to have the datacenter cake and eat it too.

There is a significant opportunity for both VMware and EMC to provide thought and technology leadership, not only at the infrastructure level, but across the rapidly growing and fast-moving application development and big data markets.  Aligning these resources is the best way for the combined companies to leverage this transformational period, and drive more quickly towards the rising opportunities.

In other words, VMware will be able to stay focused on its core virtualization business without letting go of its stake in the cloud. And since EMC is invested in it too, spinning it all off – the Java framework, the open-source PaaS and some of the two firms’ other side-projects – creates a win-win situation for both.

VMware’s Anderson didn’t reveal much, but she did disclose one major point: all of Pivotal’s solutions will optimized to run on vCloud, ensuring that existing users will be able to make full use of the upcoming technologies that Paul Maritz has in his sleeve.

At its heart, the new initiative seems intended to extend EMC’s marketing message – Cloud meets Big Data – from just that, messaging, to reality. EMC has long focused its Global Services division on both cloud and Big Data education and training, and now with Pivotal Initiative it is bringing similar focus to the the technology side of the equation.