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VMware Spin-Off Is Virtual 'Pivotal Initiative'

In a VMware blog post by Terry Anderson, VMware Inc. vice president of global corporate communications, Anderson all but confirmed the highly-rumored VMware spin-off by announcing a new “virtual organization” — the Pivotal Initiative — formed under VMware, and its parent company, EMC. The Pivotal Initiative, as rumors suggested, will be led by Paul Martiz, who currently sits as chief strategy offer for EMC.

Anderson says the move to build the Pivotal Initiative represents “a major change in the wide scale move to cloud computing,” which has affected everything from “infrastructural transformation” to cloud application development. Thus, the Pivotal Initiative will take “people and programs from both companies focused on big data and cloud application platforms” and move them into this “virtual” organization.

VMware and EMC have promised more details on this Pivotal Initiative by Q1 2013, and by Q2 2013, “the companies expect to formally unite” their resources and build out specific guidelines for how the Pivotal Initiative will operate as a business.  Both companies agree their respective “non-core” technologies need an outlet with a more focused agenda on emerging IT spaces.

The initial plan is to link EMC’s Greenplum and Pivotal Labs organizations with VMware’s vFabric division, which includes Spring (Springsource), Gemfire,  Cloud Foundry and Cetas. Collectively, this accounts for nearly 1,400 employees who will now make up the new “virtual” initiative.

Anderson says that this will help propel the big data, cloud apps and the software define data center while helping both companies refocus on their base. The Pivotal Initiative organization will now act as both a touchstone and an outlet for both companies developmental future. While this is not quite a skunkworks project, there is a recognition of the need for maturity, focus and incubation.

But both companies also believe that this refocusing of resources will allow new synergies to develop among each other, expanding upon the capabilities both EMC and VMware can bring to the table. According to Anderson, “…customers and partners are looking for solutions that enable mobile and data-centric applications that can exploit the datacenter. The new organization will accelerate existing efforts [and create] a primary, unified and focused endeavor around a common mission, roadmap and strategy.”

All existing partners and customers will see “no interruption during this alignement.” VMware’s stock remains just over $91 at the time of this writing, with prices slowly trending upwards. VMware declined further comment at this time.

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