CRN Exclusive: Accenture And Pivotal Launch New Business Unit Around Cloud Foundry

Accenture and Pivotal Software have teamed to create a new business group within the systems integration giant dedicated to modernizing enterprise applications with Pivotal Cloud Foundry.

Accenture will be working closely with Pivotal Labs, the San Francisco-based company's consulting arm, to train its application delivery professionals around agile, cloud-native software development using the popular Platform-as-a-Service.

The Accenture Pivotal Business Group will first take shape at Accenture centers in Columbus, Ohio, and New York, N.Y., while taking advantage of the company's global resources, including a large development force in India.

[Related: Accenture Launches Cloud Suite For Accelerating Oracle Deployments]

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Pivotal, owner of Cloud Foundry before the open source development platform was placed under the control of an independent foundation, has seen its distribution widely adopted across the enterprise landscape. To meet surging demand, the company has been investing heavily over the last year in channel enablement, having launched a program in 2016.

"We continue to double-down with certain partners who are starting to build meaningful delivery practices around Cloud Foundry," Nick Cayou, Pivotal's vice president of global alliances, told CRN.

After a couple years working with Accenture, that relationship was ready to escalate.

Accenture fields specialized business groups dedicated to some of the world's largest technology vendors—companies like Oracle and Amazon Web Services.

That level of dedication to its Pivotal practice illustrates Cloud Foundry's prominence in a market undergoing rapid digital transformation.

"We're privileged to have Accenture give us a huge vote of confidence in the trajectory of Cloud Foundry," Cayou said.

Accenture gains through the partnership access to unparalleled expertise in Cloud Foundry development methodology and tooling, Gene Reznik, Accenture's senior managing director for technology ecosystems, told CRN.

The company's customers are become increasingly software-driven, and are looking to transform old apps and build new ones, he said.

"We saw a big, important need and opportunity around cloud-native architecture, cloud-native development," Reznik said.

Pivotal Labs was an ideal partner to bolster skills in agile development, and connect to industry and functional solutions around the Cloud Foundry stack, he said, noting Pivotal Cloud Foundry has become a staple among the Fortune 500 across retail, insurance, banking and telecom.

Many Accenture clients in those industries are looking to modernize portfolios sometimes as large as thousands of applications written in older languages, he said.

Pivotal Labs has ten years of experience taking some of the biggest companies in the world down the path of transforming monolithic applications with microservices architectures, Reznik said.

Accenture was already a member of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, and a contributor to the Spring project, an application framework for Java also supported by Pivotal. Unsurprisingly, the two companies see a large overlap of clients.

But the partnership will help Accenture "build software the same way Silicon Valley disruptors are building it," Reznik said.

For Pivotal, working closely to enable the leading global consultancy provides a unique opportunity to rapidly scale deployment of its product without massive capital investments.

"Enterprise clients are moving full force in putting net-new and legacy applications in Cloud Foundry," Cayou said. "We need scale in the market in terms of partners who can do that. Accenture has certainly the scale, and the depth."

Pivotal will embed Pivotal Labs teams directly into Accenture facilities, allowing Accenture's engineers to witness first-hand what Pivotal calls its "Extreme Programming" methodology.

Those Accenture facilities will start to feel like Pivotal Labs outposts "from an innovation standpoint," Cayou said.