HP, Microsoft Partner on Cloud Services Delivery Strategy
HP and Microsoft have signed a four-year deal under which HP Enterprise Services will resell and deliver a wide range of Microsoft public, private and hybrid cloud solutions — including Microsoft Office 365.
As per the official press release, HP will be wrapping the Microsoft products in its own branded value-added services. To be more precise:
- Private cloud solutions include HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Messaging, HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Collaboration and HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Real-Time Collaboration. But what HP’s really offering is Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, SharePoint Server 2010 and Lync Server 2010, hosted from one of its dedicated “private” clouds at a data center.
- For the public cloud market, HP will resell Microsoft Office 365, but Microsoft still will handle delivery.
- But for customers who want hybrid solutions, HP will offer the aforementioned private cloud products integrated with Microsoft Office 365, which includes multitenant cloud-hosted versions of the same.
Initial availability later this month for these joint HP/Microsoft cloud solutions will be limited to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. HP is promising a global rollout down the line.
It’s obvious what HP gets out of this: While moves such as the adoption of the OpenStack cloud platform have given rise to the HP Instant-On Enterprise concept, it still lacks a real collaboration solution of its own. Partnering with longtime industry ally Microsoft only makes sense in that regard.
As for Microsoft, its VP of the Enterprise Partner Group Mark Hill spelled it out in that release:
“Microsoft is committed to putting the unique and ever-evolving needs of customers at the core of cloud innovation. This alliance with HP not only broadens Microsoft’s geographic reach, it gives customers maximum flexibility to choose a cloud computing solution that meets their organization’s specialized messaging and collaboration needs.”
I’ve expressed a lot of skepticism about Microsoft Office 365 and its channel play. But it seems to be building plenty of momentum within the cloud services channel and without, and when two titans such as HP and Microsoft team up, you know there are going to be ripples.