HP, CenturyLink Offer Shortened Path To Hybrid IT Through PartnerOne Program

Hewlett-Packard and CenturyLink revealed a new partnership last week that gives partners and their end customers access to CenturyLink's hybrid IT services, powered by HP gear.

The terms of the new deal let HP resell CenturyLink’s cloud services through its partners as part of the HP PartnerOne Program. CenturyLink's services include managed hosting, co-location, storage, cloud, application services and big data solutions. Those services will be offered on HP technology, which can be housed within CenturyLink’s global data centers.

As the telecommunications and IT spaces converge, carriers like CenturyLink are finding more integration points with its tech partners and are starting to bring IT services to market jointly.

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’A close relationship between HP and CenturyLink allows both companies to come together to deliver a best-of-breed solution,’ said Tim FitzGerald, vice president of cloud solutions and channel ecosystem strategist for Avnet, a technology distribution provider and partner to both CenturyLink and HP.

Partnering with HP gives CenturyLink -- and its partners -- access to new customers, according to Blake Wetzel, vice president of CenturyLink’s Channel Alliance. The partnership also benefits HP partners, whose customers will now have access to more cloud and hybrid IT offerings, Wetzel said. ’As the IT world moves into an As-a-Service model, a lot of the large tech providers are having to transform into a services-based model. CenturyLink helps them through our partnership,’ he said.

As customers move away from dedicated, premise-based IT environments in favor of the cloud, HP doesn’t have to lose out on those customer relationships, Wetzel said. "We want to allow enterprise customers – whether it's CenturyLink's or HP's – the flexibility to look at IT across multiple environments, not just as a single vendor solution, and allow those environments to work together," he said.

Whether customers choose to keep their dedicated IT environments or use HP gear, CenturyLink will be able to provide co-location and networking support to connect any disparate environments and data centers, Wetzel said.

CenturyLink VARs and distributors already are putting HP gear into the solutions they are building for customers, Wetzel said. This partnership helps remove some of the costs for partners, and makes it easier for them to take advantage of newer technology from HP, Avnet’s FitzGerald said.

"There's definite value in a close relationship between the two. Without this, it would mean more [integration] responsibilities fall to the partner -- or even the partner's customer," he said.

Phoenix-based Avnet has been focusing on providing hybrid data center solutions to its customers. There is a growing need for enterprises to be able to connect their disparate environments, he said. "The ability to deploy a workload based on HP technology in a CenturyLink data center around the world has become essential."

The partnership allows CenturyLink to leverage HP’s strength in tech hardware, such as its server technology, in the company's own data centers. This combination can then be served up to solution providers and partners in an As-a-Service model to better serve customers, FitzGerald said. "It's a dynamite combination," he added.