Innovation

How Pivotal Software is transforming the enterprise with Valley values

The Agile software company has quietly helped 30% of Fortune 100 companies reduce operating costs, deploy faster software at large scale, and explore new markets.

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Image: iStock / Pinkypills

If you use a computer, you use technology created by Pivotal Software, one of the most influential yet discreet companies in tech.

Pivotal is cloud-native company. Its software—including Pivotal Tracker, the gold standard for Agile project management—allows enterprise-grade software to be developed quickly and efficiently by small teams. According to a company spokesperson, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, the company's flagship software, experienced a "meteoritic rise" in large part because it's the only cloud platform that runs on AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, VMware vSphere, and OpenStack computing infrastructure.

SEE: Hiring kit: Data architect (Tech Pro Research)

Founded as an offshoot of Pivotal Labs in 2013 with a $105M investment from General Electric, tech provided by VMware, and big data infrastructure by EMC, the company's software encourages adherence to a tight development workflow that focuses on project scoping, discovery, framing, and delivery. When properly executed the process helps manage expectations, devote proper resources, and build quickly.

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Image: Pivotal Software

The software and development process was so effective that Pivotal Labs and CEO Rob Mee were the first outside contractors hired by Google, after the company co-developed and launched the bug-free My eBay application. Later the team was deployed by Twitter to help solve the infamous "fail whale" scaling crisis.

The company has three departments: Cloud Foundry and Data Suite are subscription software packages. Pivotal Labs provides strategic consulting at organizations like Humana, the BBC, Allstate, and University of California at Berkeley.

Many enterprise organizations want to streamline operations and adopt tech like a nimble startup. "Pivotal [transforms] blue chip, Fortune 500 companies around the world," said Edward Hieatt, senior vice president of services at Pivotal. The goal is to transform Fortune 100 companies like GE, Ford, and Verizon into nimble software companies "and deliver exponential value to their own customers."

SEE: IT leader's guide to Agile development (Tech Pro Research)

"Since our founding," Hieatt said, "we've garnered tremendous customer momentum on the heels of pioneering a modern, disciplined software methodology." The methodology, he said, is used at over 30% of the Fortune 100, reduced IT operating costs at Volkswagen by 50%, enabled 2,000% faster software deployment by Allianz, and is instrumental to GE's IoT strategy.

Powerful software amalgamated with Agile process inspires loyalty because it's effective at accelerating transformation in enterprise organizations, the company spokesperson said. In an interview at the company's annual conference Brad Miller, Head of Global Digital and Cloud Technology at Citi, explained "[Pivotal helped] develop the skills that we needed to start building microservices and thinking about transitioning our existing architecture."

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About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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