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HP-Microsoft Cloud Pact Targets Large Enterprises

While it is not known how many customers have signed on to Microsoft's Office 365 service since it launched nearly six months ago, Office division president Kurt DelBene last month said 90 percent are small businesses. Gunning for the largest of corporations and government agencies, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard said they will jointly offer Office 365 with the HP Enterprise Cloud Services portfolio.

The two companies announced a four-year partnership in which HP will host at its datacenters Microsoft's Exchange, SharePoint and Lync, as well as resell the subscription-based Office 365. The pact is aimed at organizations with more than 5,000 seats, Patricia Wilkey, HP's global director of marketing for workplace services, told me this week.

Most enterprises of that size are typically not looking to migrate their entire user bases over to public cloud services like Office 365 for a variety of reasons. One key factor is governance, compliance or the need for specific service levels. By bundling both Office 365 with a private cloud implementation of Exchange, SharePoint and Lync, the two companies are arguing they can offer these large customers an integrated hybrid cloud offering.

"It is a solution at a private cloud level, still allowing rapid scalability, but it is designed to meet segregation of data needs, a single governance model, auditing rights, a higher SLA for customers who might need immediate real-time collaborative access to business applications and support of multiple applications," Wilkey said.

Through HP Enterprise Cloud Services, she said private-public cloud integration would allow for a seamless user experience such as looking up free-busy time on calendars, sharing of SharePoint content, combined directories and other interactions among individuals.

HP hasn't announced any large enterprise wins from this pact, though Wilkey insists there are numerous interested parties.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on December 14, 2011


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