Hewlett Packard Enterprise this week will announce plans to tap Microsoft Azure as a preferred public cloud provider, giving customers who were using its own Helion service a place to go when it shuts down Jan. 31.
CEO Meg Whitman revealed HPE will make Azure a preferred public cloud during the final earnings call for the company that was previously known as Hewlett Packard Co. for 86 years prior to splitting into two separate businesses (HP Inc. and HPE) Nov. 1.
“Microsoft shares our view of a hybrid IT approach for enterprises and we both see opportunity to simplify hybrid infrastructure for our customers,” Whitman told analysts during the earnings call. “Going forward, Microsoft Azure will become a preferred public cloud partner. HPE will serve as a preferred provider of Microsoft infrastructure and services for its hybrid cloud offerings. Overall the move to a hybrid cloud environment presents a significant growth opportunity for us and you can expect to hear more about our approach in the coming months.”
Notice that Whitman described Azure as a preferred public cloud partner rather than the preferred partner. Whitman could announce the partnership as early as this week during HPE’s Discover conference, taking place in London. It’s not surprising that HPE isn’t forging an exclusive partnership with Microsoft, or anyone else for that matter. After all the company has made a substantial investment in OpenStack and has the assets through its acquisition of Eucalyptus to offer private and hybrid clouds compatible with Amazon Web Services.
It will be interesting to learn the details of this partnership and how much emphasis the new HPE puts into Azure and whether it offers its own iteration of the Azure Cloud Platform System. Currently only Dell offers CPS. Dell last month revealed a more mainstream version of CPS.
HPE’s partnership with Microsoft goes beyond Azure. Earlier this month HPE launched new consulting services for customers looking to roll out Windows 10-compatible applications. The offering includes cloud and mobility consulting services as well as vertical industry application transformation.