Cloud Foundry Foundation Leader: Pivotal's Successful IPO Validates Growing Market Presence

Pivotal Software's successful IPO last week showcases the growing importance and rapid adoption rate of open-source Cloud Foundry technology, said Abby Kearns, executive director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

"It's a huge day for Pivotal, and we're really really excited for them, but it's also really awesome for Cloud Foundry and really showcases that Cloud Foundry is not only the platform that enterprises are using to develop code, but it's also really shaping the future of their companies as well as the broader industry," said Kearns in an interview with CRN at the 2018 Cloud Foundry Summit in Boston.

Cloud Foundry is an open-source application Platform as a Service run by the Cloud Foundry Foundation, backed by companies such as Dell EMC, Pivotal, Google, IBM, Microsoft, SAP and SUSE. Many of these vendors, including SAP and Pivotal, have their own Cloud Foundry platform available to channel partners. Pivotal was the original developer of Cloud Foundry technology in 2015.

[Related: Cloud Foundry Creating Massive Data Services Opportunity For Solution Providers ]

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San Francisco-based Pivotal, which is still a leading force behind Cloud Foundry, became a publicly traded company on April 20. The company debuted on the stock market with an IPO that delivered a whopping $3.9 billion valuation. As of Monday afternoon, Pivotal has a market cap of $4.4 billion at $18.15 per share.

Before leading the foundation, Kearns was product manager at Pivotal for its Pivotal Cloud Foundry business. She said Pivotal's successful IPO helps validate Cloud Foundry's growing importance in the IT landscape as applications and DevOps teams become more critical.

Although approximately 61 percent of all Cloud Foundry users are large enterprises, Kearns said there is "massive opportunity" for solution providers to attack small businesses and the midmarket with the technology.

"There's a massive opportunity when I think about the channel [as] the distributor to the midmarket and the smaller companies to give them the same access to platforms so that they also can develop and iterate on software quickly," said Kearns.

Cloud Foundry is used by more than half of the Fortune 500 companies. The technology has become pervasive in enterprises and is increasingly important for systems integrators. The container-based architecture runs apps in any cloud and can easily integrate with existing technologies.