HP and Microsoft Expand Alliance in Unified Communications and Collaboration

At Interop Las Vegas 2009, HP and Microsoft announced a four-year strategic global initiative to deliver an end-to-end unified communications and collaboration solution.

As part of their Frontline Partnership, the two companies expect to invest up to an additional $180 million in product development, professional services, as well as joint sales and marketing, to help organizations lower costs and improve productivity.

The solution, which is planned to span software, hardware, networking and services, would enable customers to improve business output and reduce travel, telecom and IT operating costs. This would be accomplished by streamlining communications across messaging, video and voice with connected applications and devices. HP and Microsoft also plan to provide the flexibility and control customers need to manage their communications infrastructure efficiently.

Demand for unified communications and collaboration technologies is growing rapidly. According to an independent report from Forrester Research, 84 percent of enterprises in North America and Europe are currently evaluating, piloting or implementing unified communications and collaboration solutions, and the market is expected to grow at a rate of 35.9 percent through 2015.
“Customers can lower costs and rapidly enhance employee productivity with unified communications and collaboration from HP and Microsoft,” said Ann Livermore, executive vice president, Technology Solutions Group, HP. “We provide customers with solutions that are rich, intuitive and accessible from anywhere on nearly any device.”

HP and Microsoft share a vision for business productivity solutions built on open, software-based platforms that work with the applications and systems people know and use today.

“Together, we are offering the extensive breadth of capabilities of our respective technologies to deliver a truly unified communications and collaboration solution to help our customers improve business productivity,” said Stephen Elop, president, Microsoft Business Division, Microsoft. “This means one click to communicate, one click to conference, one click to collaborate.”

“Microsoft’s approach to unified communications and collaboration solutions, combined with HP’s global technology and services, will help us drive innovation and growth in our business,” said Tina Atkinson, program sponsor, New Ways of Working, Cathay Pacific Airways. “Cathay Pacific Airways followed a detailed tender process and chose Microsoft and HP because they best met our requirements for a flexible and comprehensive approach to unified communications and collaboration, tailored to our needs.”

Professional services

– Microsoft and HP will offer a full set of business productivity services ranging from assessment, architecture planning and design to implementation, monitoring, management and support for software, hardware, network, server, storage and infrastructure components in the shared portfolio.
– HP will dedicate a global team of service professionals to support the joint solutions, helping customers achieve improved levels of network availability and response times. HP and Microsoft will also target communications service providers, offering them the same technologies and services to enable hosted unified communications and collaboration services for small to medium-sized businesses.
– HP and Microsoft will provide services for customers who seek to run their technology on-premise, fully outsource, or who opt for a combination of both.
– Microsoft and HP will work together to address customers’ real-time collaboration needs using HP Halo Managed Services and HP ProCurve products.

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