I want to share this blog from Audrey Rasmussen of Ptak, Noel & Associates originally posted at http://ptaknoel.com/blog/
Today, HP and Microsoft announced a major expansion of their
Global Strategic Alliance, which appears to go well beyond the casual indstry
partnerships that sometimes arise between IT vendors. This is both an offensive
and defensive move for HP and Microsoft, as they prepare to battle for their
share of the future BSM market and emerging initiatives like cloud computing. As
BSM continues to evolve upwards toward the "business" with increasing focus and
interest in business services, and with cloud computing looming on the horizon,
vendors are positioning themselves for the major changes that are coming in the
future. This expanded HP-Microsoft alliance reveals these vendors' serious
intention to compete in the evolving BSM and cloud computing markets. This
alliance involves joint investment, development and collaboration in several
- Citing easy deployment of infrastructure
technology solutions with built-in management, HP and Microsoft announced turnkey
integrated technology stack solutions that are delivered on HP hardware with
pre-configured and integrated software, including Windows server software with
Hyper-V, HP and Microsoft systems management software, and selected
applications. Initially, HP and Microsoft announced technology stack solutions
for Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Exchange applications, and Virtualization.
- Joint development efforts to integrate HP and
Microsoft System Management solutions, including HP Business Technology
Optimization, HP Insight Manager, Microsoft System Center and Microsoft Hyper-V
- Joint unified communications and collaboration
- Joint marketing and sales efforts to sell these
HP-Microsoft solutions. The sales effort includes both HP and Microsoft direct
sales, as well as HP and Microsoft channel partners.
- HP and Microsoft Services provide customers with
additional help through their service offerings. Leveraging HP and Microsoft's infrastructure-oriented
services, up through HP's strategic consulting.
The HP-Microsoft alliance makes sense for both companies on
several fronts. The integrated technology stacks will essentially deliver
pre-loaded and pre-configured hardware and software for server, storage,
networking and application packages. The
alliance also enables both companies to compete with broader solutions that
they wouldn't be able to deliver on their own.
- Anticipating the changes that the emerging cloud
computing paradigm will bring about, if and when IT organizations begin adopting
it, HP and Microsoft are positioning their integrated stack solutions for the
short term and long term. Easy to deploy solutions that users can implement
now, as well as easily adding more as their needs grow, could become their
customers' "standards" which bodes well for both vendors. If they are
convenient, easy to deploy, and save a lot of IT time and headache, the
commoditization of the technology stack may move further up the stack, and
customers may not care as much about what individual components are in the
stack if they work well together.
The initial solutions announced by
HP-Microsoft can easily be deployed in data centers today, as well as for
private or public clouds when companies begin to implement them.
- Preparing for the coming battle for mind share
and wallet share of the BSM and cloud computing market, each of these vendors
face formidable competitors (i.e. IBM and Oracle) with war chests full of
hardware, software, and services assets that could outmaneuver HP or Microsoft individually,
but the combined solutions and efforts of HP and Microsoft could compete more effectively.
For example, HP's server and storage hardware will enable the HP/Microsoft
solution to compete with IBM and Oracle/Sun bundled hardware solutions. On the
other hand, Microsoft's web server software enables HP/Microsoft to compete
with bundled solutions that include IBM's WebSphere and Oracle's WebLogic .
Although there are good reasons for the HP and Microsoft
alliance, there are many questions that arise from such an alliance. How they
navigate these issues could spell success or failure for this alliance. Remember, these two companies have been
partners but they have also been competitors in systems management. How will
they handle and rationalize the functional overlaps of the two companies'
system management solutions? And how does that play out for their system
management solutions that have competed with each other in the past?
HP and Microsoft also have existing partnerships with each
other's competitors. How will this affect HP's partnership with VMware? And how
will this affect Microsoft's relationships with other hardware vendors?
With this move, HP and Microsoft are positioning themselves
as competitors for the BSM and cloud computing showdown. It's shaping up to be
a battle of the titans. Although predicting who the winner will be is
premature, this will definitely be an interesting space to watch. So tighten
your seatbelts and prepare for an interesting ride.