Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Microsoft (MSFT) are continuing their longstanding partnership with a migration support program for Windows Server 2003 customers, which was announced during this week’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in Washington, D.C. The migration program is expected to help partners to capitalize on the $10 billion opportunity in transitioning "millions of enterprise users" to a more modern operating system.
Both companies are promising a complete portfolio of channel-optimized IT solutions, services, training and financing to give their joint partners a way to drive individual growth and meet customer needs in the wake of Windows Server 2003’s demise. The migration program comes on the heels of the popular OS’s end-of-life announcement, when Microsoft officially ended technical support for the now decade-old operating system.
“This is a true server upgrade opportunity,” said Jim Ganthier, vice president of Global Initiatives and HP Servers, in an interview with The VAR Guy. “We understand that the channel will be key in the execution of this, so in addition to products and solutions and offerings, we’re also putting into place programs, incentives, training and education to make sure that our channel partners are wildly successful in the delivery of such [solutions].”
With its Migration Program, HP and Microsoft are providing two different offerings for customers, with enterprise users having access to pre-built converged systems and a number of HP Flex Bundles available for small- and medium-business users. Each of the Flex Bundles will be made up of various server, storage, networking and services solutions designed to help SMBs make the switch to Windows 2012, Exchange Server or others. Ganthier noted SMBs also will have the option of choosing Microsoft Azure as a cloud-based alternative to their on-premise storage options.
“We have more Microsoft-trained and -certified consultants than anybody else on the planet,” said Ganthier. “If there is anybody who can help customers safely, efficiently and with the minimum amount of risk and cost migrate off of Windows 2003, it would be the combination of the HP and Microsoft team. We want to eliminate of the issues, impediments and stiction that would stop someone from moving to Windows 2012.”
In addition to the various advantages of more modern Windows Servers over Windows 2003, Ganthier said users’ should expect their total cost of ownership to drop drastically due to the leaps in power and technology the industry has seen in the past decade. For customers who still want to utilize some of their old assets with their new servers, Ganthier noted HP is offering a 2012 Dual Migration Usage program, which would allow users to defer payments while giving them access to their old assets as they work on migrating to the new requirements.
Additionally, partners looking to utilize the Migration Program in their switch from Windows Server 2003 will have access to special promotions for Server and Microsoft Operating System license combinations when replacing their old installations, as well as a number of HP financial services. Sales enablement and training resources and a Windows 2003 End-of Support Event Kit are also available now in addition to the full Migration Program.