Microsoft Again Travels the HP Way

Hewlett-Packard Monday said it has scored yet another huge outsourcing contract to provide technical support to Microsoft.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker said the new global services contract, worth several millions of dollars, covers some 61,000 Microsoft employees, vendors and contractors around the globe.

The agreement, which extends HP’s reach to North America, could have HP advising Microsoft people how to get the most out of their own software.

“This agreement with Microsoft is just one example of the newly merged company’s ability to provide superior value to our global business partners and to leverage our expanded service offerings in the marketplace,” said HP Services executive vice president Ann Livermore.

HP has come to Microsoft’s rescue before. For the past two years, 11,000 Microsoft employees, vendors and contractors in 35 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have turned to HP for help desk call center support.

But the new deal is a shot in the arm to HP’s recently merged $15 billion services business, in that it beat out both IBM, and Dell for the bragging rights to Microsoft’s dance card.

At its core, HP Services offers consulting and system integration, customer support and outsourcing services. Comprised of 65,000 professionals around the globe, HP Services is the industry’s third largest IT services organization. HP said the new arrangement makes Microsoft one of that division’s largest customers.

“As Microsoft employees are eager to try our new enterprise software products, end-user support is a vital function for supporting productivity and contributing to the evolution of our premiere software products,” said Microsoft director of worldwide help desk services Victor Bahna. “HP has made the commitment to meet our high standards for support via the application of nascent technologies, implementation of best practices and global program management.”

Currently, HP sells the most personal computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating system, but the outsourcing deal, like the one with Microsoft is expected to give HP that much more in growth potential.