RealTime IT News

HP Begins .NET Partner Program

HP said it is has begun its .NET Solutions Partner Program, aimed at enterprise customers.

HP argues that by joining the program companies can both reduce their costs and accelerate the pace of the rollout of Microsoft .NET software and HP's Web service offerings.

The deal underscores the proximity of the corporate relationship between HP and Microsoft. Microsoft said it has chosen HP with its 2003 Global Services Partner of the Year Award.

"Building on the HP Adaptive Enterprise strategy to tighten the linkage between business and IT, these business solutions have been optimized across HP platforms to connect customers' information, people, systems and devices so customers can respond to change quickly and with agility," the companies said in a statement.

HP said it will offer its PartnerONE and Developer and Solution Partner programs in an effort to train and certify a variety of different software vendors and solutions providers on the joint HP-Microsoft program.

PartnerONE is HP's program designed to assist its partners to increase "top-line revenues and bottom-line profitability, reward performance and initiative, and make program administration more efficient and flexible," HP said.

HP says more than 26 companies have already joined HP's .NET Solutions Partners Program, and there are plans to expand.

"These partner companies will develop and implement collaboration, management, storage enhancement, security and mobility solutions based on Microsoft .NET technologies," HP said.

In a separate announcement on Friday, Microsoft said at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference that "momentum is rapidly growing for the Microsoft Office System as indepdendent software vendors, systems integrator, resellers and other Microsoft partners look to capitalize on what analysts reports indicate could be a $117 billion partner service opportunity by 2006 for business intelligence, collaboration, work management and business process solutions."

While HP has benefited from its close relationship with Microsoft, a recent study indicates the company still has a way to go before it is one of the top IT services companies.

Gartner surveyed 197 consumers of IT services and said that IBM Corp. is ranked first for business and IT consulting, systems development and integration and IT outsourcing.

Electronic Data Systems came in a close second in the category of business and IT consulting and in IT outsourcing.

The Gartner IT study did find that both Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft in the top 10 companies that first came to mind in the category of business and IT consulting. Both companies are currently trying to expand their market share in the business consulting market, but neither currently has strong share.