If Meg Whitman is already starting to make her mark on HP by reversing many of the decisions that her predecessor Leo Apotheker made and sticking to traditional HP business fare, it hasn’t stopped her from looking for new initiatives, as this week’s agreement with Microsoft shows.
The agreement, which was announced Thursday, will see the two computing giants enter a four-year deal to deliver Microsoft communications and collaboration applications through global private and public cloud services.
The result is a joint agreement that will offer public and private clouds to current and new users that will be able to scale easily and move IT resources from maintenance functions to innovation, a move that Gartner predicted earlier in the week would be one of the notable trends in IT over the coming three years.
As a result, HP’s Enterprise Cloud Services will deliver Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010 from HP datacenters all over the world.
Office 365 will still be offered by Microsoft through the cloud, but there will be a hybrid system. This means that HP will resell Microsoft Office 365 through HP Enterprise Cloud Services -- Messaging.
Underpinning the new deal will be HP and Microsoft engineering resources, which will collaborate to deploy and support the new solutions with availability already scheduled this month in the US and the UK.
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, VP of Microsoft Enterprise Partner Group.
So this is not the first time that Microsoft and HP have worked together, but will all the turbulence in HP over the past 18 months it wasn’t really clear what projects would be continued into the future.
Again, Whitman has put her stamp here and continued a partnership that has worked well over the past 25 years.
But it's not the only cloud project that HP has announced this week, or cloud partnership, and suggests that while HP may be sticking with its traditional partnerships and technologies, it is also grasping the developing technologies -- in this case, cloud computing.
The other cloud announcement was with Box. On Monday, HP and Box announced they are working together to provide businesses an integrated collaboration experience to a range of users for storing and managing content in the cloud.
As a result of this, HP is offering the Box cloud content-management and collaboration platform on SMB business and enterprise devices
Customers who purchase select HP Compaq Elite and HP Compaq Pro business desktops will have access to special offers from Box that include increased storage capacity and enterprise sync for enhanced collaboration and content management in the cloud.
And it seems there’s more HP announcements around the cloud on the way.