Microsoft, Accenture Team for Enterprise Hybrid Clouds

Building on their longstanding relationship and a past joint venture, the companies unveiled a partnership intended to help enterprises make the leap to hybrid clouds.

Hybrid cloud

Microsoft and Accenture, a global IT services and consulting firm, announced today a new partnership aimed at fast-tracking hybrid cloud projects for enterprises.

The Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure incorporates a cloud technology and services suite that will "help enterprises build and manage enterprise-wide cloud infrastructure and applications," the companies said in press statement. Avanade, an earlier joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, is also lending a hand.

Formed in 2000 to drive Windows 2000 tech into the enterprise, Avanade came out of the gate strong, growing quickly in both headcount and geographical footprint. Today, the firm employs more than 22,000 and hauls in over $2 billion in sales.

Now, the cozy trio of companies are turning their attention toward businesses that are seeking to implement hybrid clouds. "Enterprises around the globe are looking for the right platforms and partners to help them transform and thrive in a mobile-first, cloud-first world," Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said, invoking the Redmond, Wash.-based company's now-familiar corporate mantra.

"The Microsoft cloud, combined with Accenture's industry knowledge and implementation expertise, accelerates our customers' cloud adoption and unlocks new benefits, including powerful new applications, data-driven insights and increased productivity," continued Nadella. "Key to this platform is the power to deploy, move and manage applications between consistent private and public clouds in a seamless and automated way," he added in an online video.

Accenture's CEO, Pierre Nanterme, said the alliance represented a major new undertaking for the company.

"With new demands being placed on IT departments every day, enterprises need to smartly connect their infrastructure, software applications, data and operations capabilities in order to become agile, intelligent, digital businesses," Nanterme said in a statement. "This unique collaboration with Microsoft and Avanade is one of Accenture's most strategic and important initiatives for driving enterprise-wide cloud adoption."

Billed as an "everything as a service" play, the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution will leverage Microsoft's massive Azure cloud computing platform. By linking to customer data centers via Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Center and Azure Pack, hybrid cloud deployments will tap into Azure's hyperscale capabilities for expanded business application and IT services delivery options.

Accenture will contribute its professional services and consultancy practice. The company also plans to employ its own Accenture Cloud Platform, "which supports multi-platform environments with self-service provisioning for any application," boasted the companies. Finally, Avanade will enlist its "deep bench of skilled professionals equipped with broad expertise in Microsoft technologies," said the companies.

Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure is already being put through its paces in a pilot program at Freeport-McMoRan, a mining company, revealed Microsoft and Accenture. The technology anchors an industrial Internet of things platform that "will enable operations supervisors to analyze and react to near-real-time situations in the mine, allowing them to take immediate action on items that impact mine production, which ultimately drives revenue."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...