Last month, Hewlett Packard split into two companies, HP Inc., which runs the PC and printer businesses, and HPE, or Hewlett Packard Enterprise, focused on technology services. While the new services company will be largely focused on cloud based offerings, HPE is far behind in full cloud services offered by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft's Azure, and has announced plans to shut down its HP Helion public cloud.
But it's pretty hard to be a technology services company in this day and age, and to that end, HPE's CEO Meg Whitman announced yesterday in a call with industry analysts yesterday. Business Insider reports that Whitman told the analysts that HPE is joining forces with Azure:
She said that HP "reached an agreement with Microsoft" in which HP will sell Microsoft Azure as its "preferred cloud alternative." In exchange, HP will become a "preferred" cloud services provider when Microsoft customers are looking for consulting or other help, she said.
More details about the deal will soon be announced, she noted.
Both HPE and Microsoft are betting heavily on the benefits of the "hybrid cloud", where enterprise keeps critical data in house in their own servers, and connects to a public cloud for some applications, or using the power of the public cloud to gain extra computing power in busy seasons. This allows companies to maintain control of that critical data, and allows companies like HPE to sell servers and technology services running in a private, but connected cloud.
Microsoft and HPE are already working closely together, and last week announced a cloud and mobility services collaboration offering consulting and vertical applications for Microsoft's Windows 10.
No official announcement has been made so far other than Whitman's disclosure in the conference call, but it will be a big deal for both HPE and Microsoft's Azure when it does, and we'll be here to keep you posted.