Microsoft, Accenture Collaborate on Hybrid Cloud Platform

Microsoft is partnering with IT consulting giant Accenture on a hybrid cloud platform aimed at promoting and supporting cloud use among enterprises.

The platform, called the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure, will receive engineering and financial support from both companies. Microsoft partner Avanade, which currently provides management solutions and technical support personnel for businesses using various Microsoft products, will also contribute technical expertise.

Avanade was created in 2000 as joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft, with approximately 50/50 funding at that time. It is now majority-owned by Accenture.

Accenture's solution will include Microsoft's products, including Windows Server, System Center and the Microsoft Azure Pack, with the "Accenture Cloud Platform," which is described as supporting "multi-platform environments" with a central dashboard for management and cloud brokerage services, along with enterprise-grade security support.

The solution will support the management of "multicloud, multivendor environments," according to Pierre Nanterme, Accenture's chairman and CEO. It will provide the "power to deploy, manage and move apps in a seamless way," according to Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO. Their comments can be found at Accenture's site, in prepared videos.

It's clear from the slides released by Accenture (see below) that the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure aims to connect private clouds used by businesses with Azure, as well as with third-party cloud services, including Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings. For instance, Slide 12 describes the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure as having the capability to "move and manage IaaS and PaaS workloads between Microsoft private and public clouds in a seamless and automated way."

The Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure will be available in the spring of 2015, according to a Microsoft spokesperson. It's currently being piloted.

Accenture's product is actually a separate platform from Azure, according to the Microsoft spokesperson. It supports various clouds, including "Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Cisco InterCloud, NTT Communications, Orange Business Services and Verizon Cloud," according to a description by Accenture. It's apparently unrelated to Microsoft's Cloud Platform System, which combines hardware and software to emulate the Azure infrastructure for deployment by Microsoft's partners.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.