Microsoft and HP Join Hands on the Cloud
There may not be any love lost between Microsoft and Google in the cloud computing space (and elsewhere) (See: Google vs Microsoft: US Government Agrees to End Microsoft Bias and Microsoft And Google Are At It Again); however, it would seem that Microsoft is not averse to the occasional tie-up with an IT biggie, especially one who poses no direct threat to its software supremacy.
Microsoft recently announced a global, four-year deal with HP to deliver its communications and collaboration applications via HP’s cloud services. As per the press release, the deal would include:
- Private cloud: HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Messaging, HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Collaboration and HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Real-Time Collaboration deliver Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010 productivity applications as a service from HP datacenters around the world.
- Public cloud: Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft’s Office collaboration and productivity tools, will be delivered by Microsoft through the cloud.
- Hybrid solution: HP will resell Microsoft Office 365 with HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Messaging, HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Collaboration and HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Real-Time Collaboration.
“Large organizations, particularly those in regulated industries like financial services and public sector, have demanding functionality and service level requirements. HP and Microsoft help meet these needs with a flexible range of global, cost-efficient, cloud-based productivity solutions running on the latest technology,” said Brandt Faatz, vice president, Workplace Services, HP Enterprise Services.
“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,” said Mark Hill, vice president, Enterprise Partner Group, Microsoft.
Through this deal, HP can mount a credible challenge to one of its biggest rivals, Cisco, who have been investing heavily in cloud computing and promoting price differentials with its main challenger (See: Infographic: Cisco vs HP Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)). Although HP’s new CEO Meg Whitman may not demonstrate as much enthusiasm for cloud computing as her predecessor (See: HP Declares Ambitious Plans in Cloud Computing Space), it’s heartening that the company has not washed its hand off the space.
This deal comes almost a year after the two companies announced a three-year, $250m agreement to integrate their products for small and medium-sized businesses. With HP’s traditional strength in the hardware side of the business and Microsoft’s forte in software, this new partnership will not only benefit the two companies, but also add considerable value to the cloud computing consumer.
By Sourya Biswas