HP Offers Partners More Cloud Certifications; Expands Services
HP has unleashed a veritable barrage of cloud partner announcements around its CloudSystem portfolio: HP's previously announced Alcatel-Lucent-powered cloud VoIP solution is opening up to partners; the addition of Savvis as HP's first-ever European cloud service provider partner; HP CloudSystem Matrix 7.0, designed to boost hybrid cloud capabilities for service providers; the expansion of HP's professional services to the Cloud Protection Program; new certifications specifically for partners. And even more.
As you can see, HP has been busy. Here's a quick-and-dirty overview of all twelve (!) announcements that HP made in its press release, along with some insight where appropriate from my conversations with the company around the day's news.
- HP CloudSystem is now integrated with Alcatel-Lucent's VoIP cloud, enabling HP partners to offer "high-value cloud services using carrier-class network and IT."
- HP CloudMatrix 7.0 is now designed to enable hybrid cloud environments, with so-called "cloud bursting" of workloads to external IT resources functionality built in out of the box. Frances Guida, manager of HP Cloud Solutions and Infrastructure, Enterprise Servers, Storage, and Networking, boasts that CloudMatrix is "truly automated" when it comes to cloud bursting, storage provisioning, and everything else.
- HP CloudAgile Service Provider Partner Program has been enhanced with the ability for partners to deliver certified public clouds built on HP CloudSystem infrastructure. But more interestingly, HP is now growing the program globally, with Savvis as the first signed in Europe.
- The HP Cloud Protection Program is an offering spanning solutions and services, designed to give customers peace of mind around their data's security when leveraging the hybrid cloud environment.
- HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Compute is a new offering from HP to automate workload distribution across servers and maximize resources.
- HP Enterprise Cloud Services for SAP Development and Sandbox Solution is, well, what it says on the tin: it lets customers and service providers try out SAP ERP without having to commit to a full deployment.
- HP has added three new HP ExpertONE certifications– HP ASE Cloud Architect, HP ASE Cloud Integrator and HP ASE Master Cloud Integrator. They aim to provide a "unique" way to make sure partners are up on end-to-end cloud solutions and close the skills gap while making sure partners know both the business and technical sides, says HP Director of Global Certification and Learning Lyle Speirs.
- Five independent commercial training centers across the world are going to be offering HP cloud training classes by way of the so-called HP Institute.
- HP Cloud Curriculum from HP Education Services is offering colleges the chance to include HP research, online virtual labs, virtual classroom and other course materials in their syllabi. The next generation of service provider gets friendlier with HP, while the schools can teach their students about the cloud – theoretically a win-win.
- HP Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Cloud Roundtables are programs designed to help the decision-makers at customer organizations see the financial benefits of a cloud model.
- HP Storage Consulting Services for Cloud are, again, what they sound like: professional services to help customers architect the best cloud storage solutions they can.
- HP Cloud Applications Services for Windows Azure is for helping developers build or migrate applications to the Microsoft Windows Azure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud.
That's a mouthful. But there's one big theme to all of it, as HP's Guida says that the certifications and trainings alone represent a massive investment in partner success.
The HP cloud moves surface a few weeks after HP announced mixed financial results. HP has spent most of 2011 trying to polish its cloud messaging, which became confused under former CEO Leo Apotheker. At one point the strategy called for HP's WebOS to be a ubiquitous mobile operating system that allowed customers and consumers to tap into HP's cloud services. But Apotheker killed the WebOS mobile device strategy a few weeks before he was ousted as HP's CEO.
New CEO Meg Whitman has promised to simplify and more clearly articulate HP's strategy.
Additional insights from Joe Panetieri.