Thursday, 14 January 2010 08:44

Microsoft, HP betting $US250 million on IT simplification partnership

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Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard have announced a $US250 million investment in their new 'infrastructure to application' model aimed at simplifying IT in small to big businesses.

Over the next three years, Microsoft and HP plan to spend $US250 million on an 'infrastructure to application' model that will deliver highly optimised hardware, software and services for business computing.

This expanded alliance between the companies is aimed at delivering a simple, fast and effective way of building systems that scale quickly and deliver the "lowest possible total cost of ownership", according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The project will involve an engineering roadmap for product development, the delivery of a comprehensive set of integrated solutions, and integrated sales and support, he added.

The companies are taking "a comprehensive look at the entire technology stack", including virtualisation and systems management, Ballmer said, observing that Microsoft and HP have been working together for 25 years.

The transformation from a PC and server centric world to cloud computing is happening, and MS and HP will deliver solutions that integrate the various components, he said.

"The result will be a dynamic IT infrastructure that is automatically provisioned, managed and tuned."

The vision includes the integration of public or private cloud computing models as required. Microsoft will continue to develop the infrastructure for Azure, and HP will offer services for Azure.

What about the plans for actual products? See page 2.


Early offerings for enterprise customers will combine HP Insight systems management software and business technology optimisation software with Microsoft SystemCenter and Hyper-V to automate application deployment, optimise performance, and ensure interoperability.

SMEs will be offered HP's virtualisation 'smart bundles' (server, storage and networking products) with Hyper-V and Insight. The idea is to provide smaller organisations with the same manageability and growth paths that have previously been available only to large operations.

Plans include highly optimised and easily deployed 'appliances' running business applications such as Exchange Server and SQL Server.

Support services will be delivered by HP Services in partnership with Microsoft Services, and will include OLTP application modernisation and customised BI systems.

The two companies are investing in 32,000 channel partners to support the plan, with measures such as increased pre-sales support, financing through HP Financial Services, and jointly-funded marketing campaigns and lead-generation programs.

"Driving innovation helps businesses establish a competitive advantage," said Mark Hurd, HP chairman and chief executive officer.

"This collaboration will allow HP and Microsoft to offer our customers transformative technology that will reduce costs, generate business growth and accelerate innovation," he added.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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