Source: http://www.channelinsider.com/article/HP+Microsoft+to+Develop+People+Ready+Services+Portfolio/196343_1.aspx and http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/business_applications/what_the_hpmicrosoft_deal_really_means.html?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535
Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard announced Dec. 13 a joint, three-year, $300 million commitment to develop services around Microsoft’s “People Ready Business” initiative.
HP’s Technology Solutions Group and Microsoft will jointly develop, test, validate, deploy, sell and market a new solutions portfolio, “HP & Microsoft Solutions for the People-Ready Business,” around five technologies:
- messaging and unified communications
- collaboration and content management
- business intelligence
- business process integration
- Microsoft core infrastructure
Part of the initiative includes new and updated offerings for the next-generation data center around those five areas.
The solutions, in line with Microsoft’s “People Ready” mission, will be designed to help employees at customer sites “derive more value from the use of IT assets,” said Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP’s TSG organization.
Microsoft needs this deal, in some ways much more than HP. Except for a few large, key accounts (where the likes of Bill Gates is account manager), Microsoft has no dedicated sales force–and certainly no real services. The company depends on the channel for the bulk of sales and services. Microsoft’s 2007 release cycle is all about the enterprise and business processes, from communications to intelligence. The solutions, software licensing and support will be more complex than any other Microsoft release cycle. So, services will be essential to Microsoft and its customers. Competitively, Microsoft’s push into IBM’s space comes without supporting services–for which Big Blue provides its customers–unless another company pitches in. The only real choice is HP.