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Microsoft, HP team to provide business solutions

Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard are teaming up to provide business solutions, but the announcement was unclear on channel participation.

Microsoft Corporation and HP have announced a three-year, $300 million investment the two companies will make in a joint effort to provide integration services and product packages in five areas of IT market growth.

The five areas are: messaging and unified communications, collaboration and content management, business intelligence, business process integration and finally building the core infrastructure to create reliable, scalable and secure solutions.

Executives from the two companies explained their account planning and training strategy as well as the synergies that both companies can take advantage of to sell their products and services to customers; but details were sketchy on what role both value-added reseller (VAR) partners would play in delivering solutions in the field.

Both companies will invest in ongoing account planning and massive training in their services organization. Both companies also have more than 20,000 shared customers that they hope to tap for business opportunities under the program.

"We already have 3,000 people ready to deliver these solutions," said Ann Livermore, executive vice president, Technology Solutions Group at HP.

Livermore also noted that leads for providing end-customer solutions may come from sales representatives or VARs.

"The first contact might come from Microsoft, it might come from HP, it might come from one of our channel partners who see a great opportunity associated with this," said Livermore.

Peter Boit, Microsoft's vice president of enterprise and partner groups had little to add to the announcement. He said that Microsoft is at an inflection point from a business opportunity standpoint for the five areas outlined. He also said Microsoft is contemplating what its customers are expecting from a business value standpoint, and what kind of technologies Microsoft and our partners are releasing.

"We think there's a tremendous amount of growth opportunity so we think we are doing this partnership with HP because of that opportunity," Boit said. "That will lead to a growing market for other partners that we'll work with around the world in the enterprise segment but also in the medium and small business segment," Boit added.

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