Hewlett-Packard struck a deal with Cast Iron Systems to make that company's Software-as-a-Service integration tools available to HP's 25,000 U.S. channel partners, a move that could give give those solution providers an entree into cloud computing.
The alliance also offers HP channel partners more opportunities to build up their service offerings, such as SaaS implementation and support services, and expand customer engagements by resolving their application integration problems, said Duncan Campbell, vice president of adaptive infrastructure and small and midmarket business at HP.
Cast Iron develops software that organizations use to integrate SaaS applications with on-premise software or other SaaS applications that, for example, would let a business move sales data generated by Salesforce.com's on-demand CRM application into an on-premise Oracle accounting system. Without tools like those from Cast Iron, such integration work can be time-consuming, labor-intensive and expensive.
HP channel partners have the option of selling on-premise integration appliances, made up of the Cast Iron software configured with HP ProLiant and HP BladeSystem servers, or working with an on-demand version of the Cast Iron product.
HPM Networks, a Fremont, Calif.-based solution provider and HP VAR, had just begun working with Cast Iron when the alliance was announced. Many of the solution provider's 100-plus customers are adopting cloud computing technology and the company sees SaaS applications as a growth area, said Senior Sales Consultant Harjeet Badhwar. "That's the area we're moving into. We're seeing a lot of traction in the marketplace," he said.
While HPM Networks will partner with Cast Iron for the immediate future to provide customers with integration services, Badhwar said that over time his company would add such expertise to its own professional services offerings.
HP and Cast Iron have developed a marketing and sales program for HP partners, including how to position and sell appliances incorporating the Cast Iron software, and to provide resellers with training on the technology itself. Cast Iron is also providing HP resellers with a toll-free hot line for sales support, a self-service portal with sales tools and online training resources.