Microsoft, Accenture try to ease the path to the hybrid Cloud

A partnership could help large organizations develop hybrid Clouds more quickly

To help organizations better organize their cloud assets, Microsoft and integration firm, Accenture, have released a package designed to make it easy to integrate in-house IT operations with Microsoft Azure cloud services.

The package is designed to "help enterprises more easily move into cloud technologies," said Paul Daugherty, Accenture chief technology officer. "Our large enterprise clients tell us the hybrid cloud is where they need to be. They need the combination of private and public capabilities."

IT services provider, Avanade, a Microsoft-Accenture joint venture, will offer the new package, called the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure.

About 75 per cent of all businesses have expressed the desire to move to a hybrid cloud architecture, in which some computing resources are managed in house and others are run within a public cloud, an Accenture survey of its customers found.

Most hybrid cloud deployments today tend to be fragmented, with different technologies being used for different workloads, Daugherty said. The idea behind the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution is to unify all the resources within the same management framework. It unifies Microsoft Azure with Accenture's own set of tools for managing hybrid clouds.

"What customers are asking for is the ability to move to a hybrid cloud where they don't have to do the integration pieces," said Susan Hauser, Microsoft corporate vice president for the company's enterprise and partner group. Avanade is "providing our customers with a cloud service along with a professional services and implementation."

Avanade is marketing the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution to large businesses, what Hauser called the Fortrune 2000. It can be used both to modernize IT infrastructure as well as for quickly building new customer-facing apps. The two companies have been working on this package for over a year, according to Daugherty.

"The CIO needs an integrated view of their Cloud assets across the business," Daugherty said. "They have a lot of cloud things going on. Can they understand where all the workloads are? Are they sure their departments are leveraging the right Cloud resources. Those are the types of answers we are providing with our integrated view."

Avanade launched in 2000 to provide Microsoft consultancy and integration services to organizations. With more than 22,000 employees, the company generates over $US2 billion in global sales.

The Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure provides a dashboard that can be used to manage all the Azure resources that an organization is using. The package also provides a self-service portal for employees to procure their own Azure resources.

Avanade will also provide consultation services, which could help an organisation prepare its business processes so they can be executed in a hosted environment, while meeting any necessary compliance and regulatory requirements.

One company that has already tested this package has been Freeport-McMoRan, an international metals mining company. With the help of Avanade, the company is developing an Internet of Things platform to keep closer track of the production of its gold and silver mines.

Avanade did not reveal the pricing of the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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