5. HP Ups Its Cloud Game
HP's best-kept secret may well be its underrated cloud computing prowess. HP ended the year with a cloud bang with the launch of a next-generation HP CloudSystem, including its OpenStack CloudOS and a new simplified consumer-like management interface. The new system, which can burst to public clouds, including Amazon and Azure, dramatically simplifies the ability for partners to quickly roll out private clouds for customers.
HP also launched a managed service virtual private cloud offering and showcased its first public cloud partner program, allowing VARs to receive annuity-based commissions as agents for HP. One sign of HP's public cloud strength: a deal with Workday, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based enterprise human resources Software-as-a-Service provider partially owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (pictured).