How will HP Cloud Services compete against Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Windows Azure and Rackspace? HP's answer apparently involves cloud service level agreements (SLAs) that claim to beat the competition.

Indeed, HP (NYSE: HPQ) is promoting a 99.95 percent SLA for its first two cloud services -- Object Storage and Content Delivery Network (CDN), both of which shift from public beta to general availability on August 1.

HP has been working hard to make sure its cloud services are differentiated from Amazon and others. Zorawar ‘Biri’ Singh, senior VP and GM of HP Cloud Services, described the strategy in April April.

The first HP Cloud Services arrive at a critical time for the hardware giant. After changing CEOs in 2011, HP this year has announced massive layoff plans and multiple channel team changes. In June 2012, Hewlett-Packard VPs Scott Dunsire and Mike Parrottino assured partners that the company's channel organization remains on-message and focused.

Still, where do partners fit in the HP Cloud Services strategy?

The answer involves multiple paths forward. For starters, partners can build services atop HP's cloud. True believers apparently include TwinStrata, a storage provider. In a prepared statement, Nicos Vekiarides, TwinStrata CEO said, "HP Cloud Services has consistently delivered and exceeded the high levels of service required by production systems today."

Talkin' Cloud is also seeking to understand if HP partners can resell the new cloud storage and CDN services. And if so, what types of recurring revenues can HP partners earn? We're checking.

In the meantime, HP continues to face macroeconomic, technology and competitive challenges. The company's core PC business continues to get squeezed as the overall PC market witnesses flat sales. Also, CEO Meg Whitman earlier this year announced plans to cut 27,000 HP employees while striving to bolster HP research and development (R&D).