Microsoft, HP To Spend $300M On Joint Integration, Software Stacks

The software packages have been labeled as supplying the means for "People-Ready Business," the slogan that both HP and Microsoft refer to when describing what the combinations will accomplish. An example is an HP "converged communication solution" that gives a customer integrated voice, data, and videoconferencing services based on Microsoft Exchange Server and other products.

On the heels of Microsoft's Vista launch and release of an upgraded Office suite, "we're bringing to market more than 30 new products in the next year that will further enable People-Ready Businesses," said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer for Microsoft, in a joint Webcast with HP on Dec. 13.

HP's executive VP Ann Livermore said that extending HP's strategic alliance with Microsoft gives it an added venue of service offerings "by delivering more cost-effective, scalable, secure ways of enhancing employee productivity."

As if to claim a distinction from IBM's Global Services, HP officials said they intend to install the software stacks and, unless further technical support is sought, leave customers with the ability to maintain them on their own.

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HP will invest in training 3,000 additional consultants skilled in Microsoft's Windows Vista and other products in a move to expand its ability to implement Microsoft technologies at customer sites. Microsoft and HP have 20,000 joint customers, spokesmen for the two companies said.

The software packages that HP has in mind, according to John McCain, senior VP of HP services, include business intelligence, knowledge worker collaboration and content management, business process integration, and messaging/unified communications.

Initially, HP plans to produce 17 such integrated packages, said David Swatzell, HP's director of Microsoft solutions practice. In addition to 3,000 new consultants, HP will also train 22,000 of its existing consulting and technical support staff in the People-Ready Business approach.