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 user 2009-05-19 at 12:19:30 pm Views: 56
  • #22023
    HP, Microsoft Forge $180 Million UC Alliance
    and Microsoft have unveiled a four-year, $180 million global initiative
    to work together to deliver integrated unified communications (UC) and
    collaboration solutions.Unveiled Tuesday at Interop Las Vegas 2009, the
    two powerhouses said the deal is an extension of their 20-plus-year
    Frontline Partnership, through which the two companies collaborate for
    enterprise offerings.The $180 million investment will go toward product
    development, professional services and joint sales and marketing. All
    products and services that stem from the pairing will be available
    through each company’s channel organizations, HP and Microsoft
    said.Manfred Arndt, distinguished technologist of unified
    communications solutions for HP’s ProCurve Networking division, said
    the combined HP-Microsoft offerings will span software, hardware,
    networking and services to help companies capitalize on collaborative
    tools to boost productivity and ultimately reduce travel,
    telecommunications and IT operating costs by streamlining
    communications across messaging, video and voice with connected
    application and devices. The end result will be solutions that
    facilitate and deliver VoIP, video, conferencing and a host of other
    collaborative applications.”Unified communications is not a point
    product,” Arndt said. “It is a vision and a strategy.”Jeana Jorgensen,
    Microsoft  director of marketing for unified communications, added that
    the goal of the integration is to make the PC the endpoint for
    communications and collaboration.”At the end of the day, it’s about
    customer choice,” she said. “We want you to be able to compute wherever
    you are in the same exact manner you’re used to.”

    The pairing
    comes as UC and collaboration solutions are poised for explosive
    growth. According to a recent report from Forrester Research, 84
    percent of enterprises in North America and Europe are evaluating,
    piloting or implementing UC and collaborative solutions. That market is
    expected to grow at a rate of 35.9 percent through 2015.

    initiative ties together HP and Microsoft’s visions and best practices
    for building productivity solutions on open software-based platforms
    that work with applications and systems people commonly use. The
    pairing will spawn solutions that are accessible from nearly any
    device, Arndt said.

    The two companies will form joint teams to
    collaborate on products and services development across Microsoft’s
    Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office
    Communications Server (OCS), as well as HP’s ProCurve networking gear.
    Additionally, HP will certify the HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC and
    select smartphones for Microsoft unified communications software, like
    Office Communicator. HP will also deliver new IP desk phones certified
    for Microsoft OCS and other unified communications tools.

    HP and
    Microsoft will also offer end-point interoperability with HP Halo
    Telepresence Solutions and OCS-based unified conferencing to enable
    remote participation at any OCS-enabled PC to join telepresence
    conferences. Meanwhile, HP also announced that Halo will now be part of
    HP’s ProCurve division.

    On the professional services side, the
    two companies will launch a full set of business productivity services
    including assessment, architecture planning and design, implementation,
    monitoring, management and support for software, hardware, network,
    server, storage and infrastructure components. HP will also dedicate a
    global team of service professionals to support the joint solutions.
    Both companies will also target communications service providers and
    offer them the same technologies and services to enable hosted UC and
    collaboration services to SMBs.HP and Microsoft will also provide
    services for customers who seek to run their technology on-premise,
    fully outsource or a hybrid combination of the two, while also working
    together to address real-time collaboration needs through HP Halo
    Managed Services and HP ProCurve products.The two companies will assign
    dedicated sales teams to their joint solutions and train thousands of
    technical and delivery personnel. They will also showcase the joint
    offerings in Microsoft Technology Centers and HP Customer Briefing
    Centers worldwide.

    HP is also expected to launch financing and
    trade-in programs through HP Financial Services to accelerate the
    adoption of the joint solutions.Arndt added that the HP-Microsoft
    mash-up is an alternative choice to other UC and collaboration
    solutions on the market and will help customers and the channel offer
    solutions tailored to organizations’ specific business needs.”This will
    ease the transition to unified communications,” Microsoft’s Jorgensen
    said. “We’ve always communicated and we’ve always collaborated. Now
    customers are looking for guidance because there’s such a variance of
    definitions on what unified communications is.”