Apprenda CEO Sinclair Schuller Responds To Paul Maritz’s Vision Of The Current State Of Enterprise IT

CEO of PaaS provider Apprenda Sinclair Schuller recently responded to Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz’s elaboration of the vision of Pivotal and Pivotal One by noting that Apprenda already provides the data-centric infrastructure and agile application development environment that Pivotal proposes to deliver in 9-18 months. Schuller’s larger point here is that the future which Maritz envisions for the enterprise has arrived insofar as customers such as JPMorgan, Chase and AmerisourceBergen are already leveraging Apprenda’s PaaS platform to develop “data-centric cloud applications.” Schuller argues that Maritz positions Pivotal One around a “future vision that is not really the future, but is the current market reality” as follows:

At Apprenda, we’ve been focused on the fact that enterprises need a PaaS that helps them tackle modern architectures, data-centric workloads, and rapid development for years. Waiting for Pivotal’s vision to turn into products means that CIOs are leaving money on the table because Apprenda is already there, and we’ve been there. The world Maritz describes, as “the future” exists today, and our customers are reaping the benefits of working with a company that has been espousing and backing that vision for years.

Pivotal joining us in this vision validates the vision we’ve had all along, but watch over the next 18 months as we move on to the next phase of enterprise IT’s monumental shift to a services model.
Yesterday, Paul Maritz unveiled more details around the Pivotal Initiative and their platform for the enterprise. It’s interesting to hear Maritz position around a future vision that is not really the future, but is the current market reality that leads customers to choose Apprenda because we fulfilled this vision before anyone in the market. Let me explain.

Our customers have bought into this vision today, and are executing with an enterprise PaaS that is driving IT efficiency and equipping CIOs to deliver on helping the business build innovative applications. Companies like JPMorgan Chaseand Diebold leverage Apprenda exactly this way. Organizations like AmerisourceBergen have written data-centric cloud applications that are used to manage the intricacies of oncology practices and patient care, and have built those applications 33 percent faster with developers that are now twice as productive. This is how innovation is powered.

Schuller’s remarks beg the question regarding the current state of enterprise IT with respect to its ability to store massive amounts of data and develop applications and iteratively respond to that data in real-time. The reality is that while some enterprises have clearly embarked down the road of building scalable IT infrastructures that support agile application development and data analytics, a significant percentage of enterprises continues to wrestle with basic IT infrastructure issues such as building scalable infrastructures to support continued growth and the challenge of consolidating siloed data into a centralized enterprise data warehouse repository, let alone running advanced data analytics and building applications that respond to the specificities of real-time data feeds. Nevertheless, the Apprenda CEO does well to point out that the current state of enterprise IT is not nearly as monolithically archaic as portrayed by Maritz in his webcast launch of Pivotal last week.

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EMC’s Pivotal One Attempts To Bring IT Infrastructures Of Facebook, Google and Amazon Web Services To Enterprise

This week, EMC and its subsidiary VMware revealed details of the vision behind Pivotal, its spin-off company financed in part by $105 million in capital from GE. In a webcast announcing the launch of Pivotal on Wednesday, Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz, formerly CEO of VMware from 2008 to 2012, remarked that Pivotal attempts to bring to enterprises the technology platforms that have allowed internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon Web Services to efficiently operate IT infrastructures on a massive scale while concurrently demonstrating cost and performance efficiencies in application development and data analytics.

Referring specifically to Facebook, Google and Amazon Web Services, Maritz elaborated on the strengths of their IT infrastructure as follows:

If you look at the way they do IT, it is significantly different than the way enterprises do IT. Specifically, they are good at storing large amounts of data and drawing information from it in a cost-effective manner. They can develop applications very quickly. And they are good at automating routines. They used these three capabilities together to introduce new experiences and business processes that have yielded — depended on how you want to count it — a trillion dollars in market value.

According to Maritz, the internet giants are a cut above everyone else with respect to data storage, data analytics, application development and automation. Enterprises, in contrast, leverage comparatively archaic IT infrastructures marked by on premise data centers and attempts to migrate to the cloud in conjunction with meager data analytics capability and poor or non-existent IT automation and orchestration processes. As a result, the enterprise market represents an opportunity to deploy technology platforms that allow for efficient storage, data integration across disparate data sources and interactive applications with real-time responses to incoming data as Maritz notes below:

It is clear that there is a widespread need emerging for new solutions that allow customers to drive new business value by cost-effectively reasoning over large datasets, ingesting information that is rapidly arriving from multiple sources, writing applications that allow real-time reactions, and doing all of this in a cloud-independent or portable manner. The need for these solutions can be found across a wide range of industries and it is our belief that these solutions will drive the need for new platforms. Pivotal aims to be a leading provider of such a platform. We are honored to work with GE, as they seek to drive new business value in the age of the Industrial Internet.

More specifically, Pivotal will provide a platform as a service infrastructure called Pivotal One that brings the capabilities currently enjoyed by the likes of Facebook and Google to enterprises in ways that allow them to continue their transition to cloud-based IT infrastructures while concurrently enjoying all of the benefits of advanced storage, analytics and agile application development. In other words, Pivotal One marks the confluence of Big Data, Cloud, Analytics and Application Development in a bold play to commoditize the IT capabilities held by a handful of internet giants and render them available to the enterprise through a PaaS platform.

Pivotal One’s key components include the following:

Pivotal Data Fabric
A platform for data storage and analytics based on Pivotal HD, which features an enterprise-grade distribution of Apache Hadoop in addition to Pivotal HD’s HAWQ analytics platform.

Pivotal Cloud and Application Platform
An application development framework for Java for the enterprise based on Cloud Foundry and Spring.

Pivotal Expert Services
Professional services for agile application development and data analytics.

Open Source Support
Active support of open source projects such as but not limited to Spring, Cloud Foundry, RabbitMQ™, Redis, OpenChorus™.

Pivotal currently claims Groupon, EMI, and Salesforce.com among its customer base. The company already has 1250 employees and, given GE’s financing and interests, is poised to take a leadership role in the industrial internet space whereby objects such as automobiles, washers, dryers and other appliances deliver real-time data to a circuit of analytic dashboards that iteratively provide feedback, automation and control. Pivotal One also represents a nascent trend within the Platform as a Service industry whereby PaaS is increasingly evolving into an “everything as a service” platform that sits atop various IaaS infrastructures. For example, CumuLogic recently announced news of a platform that allows customers to build Amazon Web Services-like infrastructures marked by suites of IaaS, Big Data, PaaS and application development infrastructures on top of private clouds behind their enterprise firewall. EMC’s Pivotal One is expected to be generally available by the end of 2013.