Hewlett Packard Enterprise to Sell Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

A month after HP announced that it would kill its HP Helion public cloud service at the beginning of 2016, Hewlett Packard Enterprise said it will be working with Microsoft to sell Azure.

Under the agreement, which was announced in a quarterly conference call earlier this week, HPE will sell Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud alternative, stepping up as a “preferred” cloud services provider when Microsoft’s customers require consulting or other help, according to a report by Business Insider. HPE CEO Meg Whitman said more details about the agreement are forthcoming.

As companies of all sizes struggle to compete with the cloud giants, even companies as big as HP are recognizing that sometimes it makes sense to partner rather than use resources to develop these services in-house. The buy vs. build conundrum is nothing new, but it will be interesting to see which of the big providers bow out of some parts of the cloud in order to focus on other services, such as consulting or developer solutions, like the Docker solutions portfolio HPE released at DockerCon EU earlier this month.

HP reported sales of $25.7 billion for the quarter ended Oct. 31, down 9 percent year-over-year, according to a report by The VAR Guy. Next year it will begin reporting results as two separate entities – HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, respectively.

Microsoft has made several moves of late to expand the scale of its cloud services, including the announcement that it would offer Microsoft Azure and Office 365 from UK-based data centers in early 2016.

Microsoft Azure revenue and compute usage more than doubled year-over-year, and premium versions of Windows Server, SQL Server, and System Center Server all grew double digits, according to Microsoft’s latest quarterly report