WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The transition of customers away from Windows Server 2003 is being described as a $10 billion worldwide opportunity. To take advantage of that opportunity, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft today at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference here rolled out a new joint program -- the HP Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Program – to rally partners, a year to the day before Windows Server 2003 end of life.
According to HP and Microsoft, there are more than 11 million servers running Windows Server 2003. Microsoft reported there are more than 22 million licenses that need to be migrated.
"We've done the research and found that 60% of customers have no migration plan in place and only 12 months to go before support ends," said Doug Oathout, HP's vice president of channel partners, alliances and OEM marketing.
And therein lies the partner opportunity.
The HP Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Program is designed to help partners move clients to a new Microsoft OS, servers, storage and networking wrapped with HP support services and HP financial services. It's available immediately.
"Our primary route to market is through the channel, with the goal of helping customers move safely, quickly and efficiently to a new OS such as Windows Server 2012 R2," said Jim Ganthier, vice president of global marketing for HP's server division.
Migrations will take about 200 days on average, the company said, so the time for customers and partners to get started is now. Customers that don't migrate off of the operating system prior to Windows Server 2003 end of life risk having applications that become non-compliant with government regulations, which is especially important for healthcare and financial services businesses; and lacking security updates and patches, which leaves systems vulnerable to hackers.
Customers that update their OS can expect to see performance enhancements and improved delivery on business outcomes that line-of-business managers are looking for, according to Ganthier.
Addressing the readiness of partners to seize this new business opportunity, HP reported that 60% of its partners have the services capabilities required. Still, the vendor will provide partners with a new set of tools that have been jointly developed with Microsoft.
The new tools will enable partners to conduct simple assessments for customers, which can turn into migration opportunities, Ganthier said.
"We're taking the best of what we know in conjunction with Microsoft and packaging it up so partners can learn how to do assessments based on best practices in the industry," he said.
The HP Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Program includes:
- HP Flex-Bundles that are based on ProLiant Gen8 servers, storage and network solutions
- Windows Server 2012 R2
- HP Installation and Start-up Services for Windows 2012
- HP and Microsoft collaborative support services
- HP Packaged Consulting services (such as HP Transformation Workshop for Windows 2003, HP Migration Assessment Service for Windows 2003 or HP Training Needs Advisement) to help partners bolster their consulting capabilities
- A 20% discount for partners that take select classes from HP Education Services to upgrade their Microsoft and HP technology skills
- The ability for HP ServiceOne Enterprise partners to sell and deliver HP Proactive Care
- The ability for partners to sell Datacenter Care
The vendors are also providing sales and marketing resources around the new program, including special promotions for Windows Server and Microsoft OS license combinations when a partner replaces a Windows Server 2003 installation; HP Financial Services with competitive financial incentives; sales enablement and training resources; the Windows 2003 End-of-Support Event Kit; and co-marketing assets.