Microsoft, HP pleased with results of .Net partnership

Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft said on Thursday that their two-year-old .Net joint initiative has led to more than 1,000 projects with 700 customers in 39 countries, resulting in US$600 million in revenue.

One of the customers, the Washington State Department of Revenue, worked with HP services to design a way to better enforce tax code compliance in the state, said Tremaine Smith, assistant director of the department's audit division.

HP services helped the division set up a data warehouse based on .Net that used Internal Revenue Service information on companies paying federal tax that weren't paying a state tax as required, Smith said. Since the data warehouse operation began two years ago, the division has paid HP services about US$1.2 million but has collected about US$12 million from the leads that were provided, he added.

"We've realized a real benefit," Smith said. HP was chosen partly because of its .Net initiative with Microsoft and because the division already had PC-based systems running Microsoft software, he said.

"We wanted to keep it a Microsoft shop," he said.

Nora Denzel, senior vice president of Adaptive Enterprise at HP, said HP services teams include about 3,000 .Net and Microsoft-trained engineers to offer consulting advice to customers. The HP/Microsoft initiative started with an upfront investment of US$25 million by each of the vendors and has resulted in more than a tenfold return on investment, with US$600 million in revenue, she said.

".Net is on the right track," Denzel added.

Despite the HP/Microsoft initiative, HP services doesn't require customers to use .Net technologies, and HP is officially "implementation agnostic," Denzel said. An equal amount of HP consultants are trained on J2EE, for example, she said.

"For customers that don't have a preference, we'll bid what technology we think is right," Denzel added.

Microsoft's Simon Witts, corporate vice president of the enterprise and partner group, said the joint product selling between HP and Microsoft "has been very, very successful, beyond what we thought we'd get" in two years. The initiative has been "important to build momentum for .Net in the market," he said.

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