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Pivotal adds mobile platform to its PaaS plan with Xtreme acquisition

With enterprise mobility taking a larger role in how enterprises operate, Pivotal has made a mobile platform play with a major acquisition this week.

With enterprise mobility taking a larger role in how businesses operate, the need to develop a mobile strategy and have a solid mobile platform to work with has become more important.

Pivotal recognized the need and this week acquired Xtreme Labs, a Toronto-based company that designs and develops mobile platforms for enterprises, including a number of Fortune 500 companies.

Customers are expressing interest in mobilizing some of their legacy software and workflows.

Eric Klein,
senior mobility analyst, VDC Research Group

The transaction details, including price, were not disclosed.

While the deal adds another tool to Pivotal's belt and gives Xtreme the support of a well-funded company, IT shops that lack in-house expertise on enterprise mobility may benefit the most.

Combining Xtreme Labs' mobility development strategies with Pivotal's application and data infrastructure will give customers the tools to deploy a mobile platform, industry watchers said.

"The time has come to deliver solid mobile solutions that involve strategy and solid product and tool development," said Chris Silva, principal analyst at High Rock Strategy LLC in Melrose, Mass. "Those that don't have [a mobile solution], but have the cash to buy it will, and quickly."

IT pros want to extend corporate apps to mobile devices, and they need help developing and managing their mobile strategies, said Eric Klein, senior mobility analyst with VDC Research Group Inc., a mobile analyst firm based in Natick, Mass.

"Customers are expressing interest in mobilizing some of their legacy software and workflows," Klein said. "So if a company like Pivotal is working with a third party like Xtreme Labs, they'll have help in making those decisions."

Xtreme Labs an extreme win for Pivotal

Xtreme Labs' mobile client portfolio includes a number of major enterprises, such as American Express, CBS Sports, Mercedes-Benz, NCAA, Facebook and Twitter, among others. With this acquisition, Pivotal, a spin-off of EMC Corp. and VMware Inc., gains these clients and a way to provide its existing customers with a platform and capabilities for its mobile strategies.

Whether Xtreme remains a separate entity run under Pivotal or becomes completely integrated with the company is unclear.

The company said on its website that Xtreme Labs' focus on mobile complements its cloud application development and Web expertise, and all of Pivotal's technologies are being converged into a "new platform for a new era" with a new Platform as a Service called Pivotal One.

The timeline for the integration was not disclosed.

"Likely, in the short term, [businesses] will benefit from an ability for Xtreme Labs to take mobile solutions further by having 'preferred' status when integrating with Pivotal's tools or projects," Silva said. "Longer term, the big question is how much standalone mobile development work will Xtreme Labs take on [versus] being an internal competency at Pivotal.

"Only time will tell how long Xtreme can continue as a standalone solution," he added.

Pivotal did not respond to requests for comment.

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