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.

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