Pivotal Labs acquired by EMC

Last week EMC acquired Pivotal Labs. Pivotal Labs anticipates accelerated growth, which, along with the EMC relationship, will position them well for going after even bigger enterprise customers. While they still plan to work with startups, an interview with Pivotal’s Eduard Hiatt highlights the opportunity presented by the acquisition to “spread our message faster.” The Pivotal process is their message, which helps their clients increase software development velocity by introducing agile techniques as well as cultural change. Pivotal Lab’s founder, Rob Mee writes how they “challenged conventional methods of software development, and …built a culture that encourages discipline while fostering creativity.”

By creating Pivotal Labs, Rob Mee has been successful in bringing agile techniques to hundreds of companies. The impact has been more dramatic than if he had written a book or created a training course. When Blazing Cloud was just starting, Rob was supportive in offering advice and referring smaller clients, but even more importantly, Pivotal Labs had set a tone in San Francisco of how good software development was done. Since those values aligned with mine, it was easy to create a consulting business that followed similar software development practices, providing a firm foundation to innovate complementary product development techniques.

In addition to agile techniques, Pivotal Labs culture also embraces open source as an effective means of achieving velocity. They have created and contribute to many open source test frameworks and tools. They have a culture of supporting the community and sharing knowledge. In addition to publishing their tech talks, they have hosted countless SFRuby Meetups and the San Francisco office has committed to hosting RailsBridge workshops quarterly.

Acquisitions are always challenging, but Pivotal Labs is well-practiced in working with larger companies while retaining their culture and instigating positive change. I expect they’ll have a positive impact on EMC, as well as current and future clients. We wish Pivotal Labs all the best in their future expansion.

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