Press Release

Pivotal Acquires Quickstep Technologies

Acquisition of Next-Generation Query Execution Technology Strengthens Pivotal Data Business and Offerings


Pivotal has acquired Quickstep Technologies, LLC, a company that has developed next generation query processing technology, founded by an elite team of database systems experts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and led by Professor Jignesh Patel.

Quickstep’s technology will be integrated into Pivotal HAWQ and Pivotal Greenplum and is expected to improve SQL query execution performance across the Pivotal Big Data Suite, targeting an order of magnitude acceleration of business intelligence, ad-hoc query, analytics and data science workloads for Pivotal customers.

The acquisition is an all-cash transaction and key members of the Quickstep team, including Professor Patel, will join Pivotal. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

San Francisco, June 8, 2015 - Pivotal®, the company accelerating digital transformation for enterprises, today announced that it has acquired Quickstep Technologies, LLC. Quickstep – led by a team of developers from the University of Wisconsin – has developed a next-generation relational data processing engine that will form the next-generation of query processing in Pivotal’s Big Data Suite. The acquisition is an all-cash transaction. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Quickstep’s technology, which was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, is expected to deliver efficient and sustainable data processing performance on current and future hardware. The Quickstep query execution engine incorporates a technology called Bitweaving designed to allow software to be in lock-step, as well as to exploit, advances in hardware utilization and optimization. Delivering a completely new query execution framework for Pivotal Greenplum® and Pivotal HAWQ®, it is expected to provide orders of magnitude increase in performance for advanced analytics, machine learning, and advanced data science use cases.

Jignesh Patel, the founder of Quickstep and a Professor in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will join Pivotal. Professor Patel has worked in the area of database systems and big data for over two decades and has seen his research ideas transition to actual products many times over. His thesis work was acquired and commercialized by NCR/Teradata in the late 1990s. He was also the co-founder and CEO of Locomatix, which became part of Twitter in 2013. He is currently on the board of directors of global apparel and lifestyle company Lands' End, Inc.

In conjunction with the acquisition of Quickstep, Pivotal also licensed technology from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). WARF helps steward the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization and investment for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Founded in 1925 by Professor Harry Steenbock as an independent, nonprofit foundation, WARF manages more than 1,600 active patents and an endowment of $2.7 billion as it funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry. For more information, visit

Supporting Quotes

Sundeep Madra, Vice President, Data Product Group, Pivotal

“Enterprises are seeking ever faster speeds for their data so that they can affect outcomes in real time. Quickstep brings to Pivotal a fresh way of thinking about data, one aligned to new capabilities in hardware and demanding expectations today’s businesses have. We look forward to bringing this technology to our customers, and welcome the Quickstep team to the Pivotal family.”

Jignesh Patel, Founder, Quickstep Technologies, LLC

“In the Quickstep project we have rethought from the ground up the algorithms that make up the DNA of data platforms so that the platform can deliver unprecedented speed for data analytics. It is time to move our ideas from research to actual products. There is no better home for this technology than at Pivotal given Pivotal’s formidable track record in delivering real value to their customers in big data.”

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©2015 Pivotal Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Pivotal, Pivotal Greenplum, and Pivotal HAWQ are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Pivotal Software, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

Statements in this press release relating to Pivotal's and Quickstep’s future plans, expectations, beliefs, intentions and prospects, including statements regarding our expectations of the benefits and performance of Quickstep’s technology, are 'forward-looking statements' as defined under the Federal Securities Laws. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of certain risk factors, including but not limited to: (i) adverse changes in general economic or market conditions; (ii) delays or reductions in information technology spending; (iii) risks associated with managing the growth of Pivotal’s business; (iv) competitive factors, including but not limited to pricing pressures and new product introductions; (v) Pivotal’s customers' ability to transition to new products and computing strategies such as cloud computing, the uncertainty of customer acceptance of emerging technologies, and rapid technological and market changes; (vi) changes to product development timelines; (vii) Pivotal's ability to protect its proprietary technology; (viii) Pivotal's ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees; and (ix) risks related to data and information security vulnerabilities. These forward looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to uncertainties and changes in condition, significance, value and effect as well as other risks disclosed previously and from time to time in documents filed by EMC Corporation, the parent company of Pivotal, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. EMC and Pivotal assume no obligation to, and do not currently intend to, update any such forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.