Cloud enablement

HP Makes Big Cloud Claims

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) laid bare its cloud ambitions in Vegas Tuesday, offering to become the service provider's best friend when it comes to quickly getting into cloud offerings.

While the trend has been for major service providers to acquire cloud expertise, HP's Cloud Agile program is designed to let service providers or value-added resellers (VARs) quickly get into cloud services without building out their own infrastructure, by deploying HP's offering on a hosted or managed-services basis, before or even instead of taking it in-house. HP also is pledging to help finance cloud services development by service providers and VARs. (See HP Launches SMB Cloud for Telecom Operators.)

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is the one announced communications service provider in the HP fold. Other customers include Axcient Inc. , DataPipe , Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS), NaviSite (Nasdaq: NAVI), OpSource Ltd. and SHI.

HP is also touting what it calls the complete cloud package, including infrastructure, servers, networking, storage and software, for what Steve Dietch, vice president of cloud solutions and infrastructure, called an "absolute market-ready program."

The cornerstone is a cloud service package for small and medium-sized businesses that includes messaging such as cloud-based email; collaboration; and automated voice services such as auto attendant -- all offered as on-demand, pay-for-usage options.

Separately, HP announced a major enhancement to its HP CloudSystem called dual bursting, intended to provide greater flexibility to handle varying workloads and manage peak demand. HP also demonstrated advanced capabilities for managing hybrid clouds by showing resources in public and private clouds in a single management screen.

Why this matters
Cloud looms, not just in hype form, but as a fundamental change in the way data services are used to deliver IT applications and services. Service providers that want to catch this wave have to consider the most economical means for doing that; working with a major operator such as HP is certainly one option.

For HP, today's major announcement served to define exactly how it intends to play in a market in which it sells directly to enterprises but also works with VARs and service providers, and the message seems to be one of all in on all fronts. Dietch did specifically say that HP's sales force will have financial incentives to encourage them to work with service providers and VARs, as they remain significant channels.

For more information on recent cloud strategy announcements, check out these reports:

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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