Microsoft has cut a cloud deal with EDS - the consultancy now in HP's hands - that it figures could be worth more than a fluffy $3 billion in cloud and professional services to the two of them.
It didn't say over what period of time but by way of insurance - because sales are kinda in the tank with the recession and all, Microsoft is offering a 25% discount to customers who buy BPOS by the end of June.
The recession is believed to be tickling interest in software-as-a-service. IDC figures the market will grow 40.5% this year. It also thinks that 76% of American businesses will be using at least one SaaS application by the end of this year.
Anyway, the pact makes EDS the largest delivery partner of Microsoft's newfangled Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), the hosted widgetry now officially launched that includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting.
They're also going to be pitching the Business Productivity Online Deskless Worker Suite, the low-cost version for occasional users.
Microsoft and EDS plan to peddle enterprise-class communications and collaboration services in the cloud to large multinationals.
Redmond's arranged for Accenture and Avanade to hit up organizations with more than 5,000 employees.
They're supposed to handle services like cloud strategy and assessment, migration services, enterprise application integration, user communications and training. Accenture has integrated Microsoft Online Services into its Next Generation Workplace Offering solution.
Microsoft's got an army of 4,000 smaller resellers in 18 countries besides the US lined up to sell the cloud stuff too. Outside the states they were previously restricted to trials of 20 users.
Microsoft said EDS has begun to integrate Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting into its Workplace Services offerings. EDS will offer its BPOS customers end-to-end services, including consulting, architecture, implementation, integration and ongoing user support.
About Maureen O'Gara Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara
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