HP offers new cloud opportunities to channel partners

Hewlett-Packard (HP) recently announced the launch of the HP CloudSystem Partner Program, which is designed to help its channel partners capitalize on cloud market opportunities within its portfolio.

The news comes several months after the company's new CEO, Leo Apotheker, took his position. As sales growth is projected to slow to 4 percent this year, Apotheker is focusing his attention on putting together Cloud Centers of Excellence, a cloud computing service that would allow software developers to write, test and run applications using HP technology. This tool could effectively allow channel partners to transform their facilities into cloud demonstration sites.

Channel partners can use the program to build and manage cloud solutions across private, public and hybrid models. Additionally, they are given access to HP products such as CloudMaps, TippingPoint and 3PAR.

HP purchased 3PAR, a data storage company, for $2.1 billion in September of last year after an 18-day bidding war against Dell – the most expensive valuation for any computer takeover greater than $500 million, according to financial news site Bloomberg.

"Our partners play a strategic role in building and delivering cloud solutions for customers," said Frank Rauch, vice president of channel sales, enterprise servers, storage and networking for HP. "Working with HP, channel partners can quickly build cloud practices today and develop new business models that take advantage of the massive cloud opportunity moving forward."

The company also stated that it has plans to expand the role of channel partners in selling HP services to customers, while simultaneously working to advance their cloud strategies. Partners will soon be able to market HP Cloud Discovery Workshop as well as the HP Critical Advantage service that they sell today.

Bloomberg recently indicated that HP may be looking to make additional software takeovers in order to catch up to its rivals in the cloud computing field. Red Hat Inc., Informatica Corp. and Tibco Software Inc. were identified by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as three possible targets for the company.

"They need growth," Mark Demos, fund manager for Fifth Third Asset Management in Minneapolis, told Bloomberg. "They need to be relevant in where the technology landscape is heading. People would agree that maybe IBM, Oracle, other companies are perhaps better positioned than them."