Focusing on that industrial market averts questions about Pivotal being "just another" cloud platform alongside Microsoft ( MSFT) Azure and Citrix ( CTXS) CloudPlatform, which are fighting to gain market traction against Amazon and Google ( GOOG). Pivotal One has a specific mission, and a lead customer that has reason to commit to a private instead of a public cloud solution. The key technology within Pivotal One, said co-founder Scott Yara, is Hadoop, the "big data" program that Pivotal said in February it is transforming into a database tool. "We're all in with Hadoop," he said, and Pivotal's version will enable "real-time database processing." William Ruh, vice president of GE's software and analytics center, predicted industrial operations will be transformed by big data over the next decade. GE generates petabytes of data per day on energy systems, aircraft systems and in health care.
Building an industrial Internet for GE will give Pivotal the revenue stream it needs to build out that capability for other customers, which Ruh said is why GE is buying a piece of the company. "We think the industrial side of big data will dwarf the consumer side," but it will be based on closed, secure systems, less vulnerable to hacking than the consumer Internet. At the time of publication, the author was long GE and GOOG. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.