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HP and Microsoft expand unified communications development

Microsoft and HP have announced a four-year expansion on their existing initiative to deliver an end-to end unified communications solution

Microsoft and HP have jointly-announced a four-year expansion on their existing initiative to deliver an end-to end unified communications solution.

The joint-initiative was announced at Interop Las Vegas, a business technology conference and expo, and is an expansion of the Microsoft-HP ‘frontline partnership’. The new deal will see an additional US $180 million invested by the two companies in product development, services, sales and marketing for the new solution.

HP and Microsoft originally forged an alliance for unified communications in June 2006, when the pair claimed they were looking to transform telephony, audio, video, web-conferencing and instant messaging into a single unified communications platform.

According to a statement released by Microsoft, the end-to-end solution is now planned to span software, hardware, networking and services and will streamline communications across messaging, video and voice with connected applications.

“Together, we are offering the extensive breadth of capabilities of our respective technologies to deliver a truly unified communications and collaboration solution to help our customers improve business productivity,” said Stephen Elop, president of the business division at Microsoft.

As part of the agreement, the two companies will form joint-development teams across Microsoft’s Office SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, Office Communications Server and HP’s ProCurve networking products. HP will be obtaining Microsoft Unified Communications qualification for the HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC as well as on select smartphones and new IP desk phones.

“Customers can lower costs and rapidly enhance employee productivity with unified communications and collaboration from HP and Microsoft,” said Ann Livermore, executive vice president of the technology solutions group at HP.

The alliance will also see interoperability between the pair’s teleconferencing software, which will enable remote participants, with machines that are Microsoft Office Communication Server-enabled, able to connect to HP Halo Telepresence technology.

Microsoft’s collaboration with HP will see the pair cooperate on software development, support and joint sales and marketing strategies for the new product.

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