More than a year after Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) said it would stop offering its own public cloud services the company has launched a portfolio of managed services around Microsoft Azure to help CIOs navigate digital transformation.

Building on its Microsoft partnership that HPE announced last December, the managed services launched this week encompass design, deployment, delivery and daily operational support, delivered from its HPE Enterprise Services team.

Led by Eugene O’Callaghan, vice president of workload and cloud, HPE, the division has a standard delivery team that handles onboarding and service fulfillment.

“Our job is really to enable the CIO to be successful,” says O’Callaghan, who has been in the role overseeing its global practice for the past 18 months. “We are looking to partner with our CIO clients to help them deliver secure, reliable operations at a lower cost.”

HPE Managed Services for Microsoft Azure include management of virtual server, storage and network infrastructure; service provisioning and de-provisioning as well as infrastructure configuration management; operations support, active directory management, OS patching services; and backup and recovery services and security services.

“Our clients are excited about this,” O’Callaghan says. “We want to enable our clients to focus on their business challenges. So they’re not always going to have the skills in house to deliver these functions and services.”

O'Callaghan says that when CIOs approach HPE, they often have a chosen partner already for public cloud. Microsoft is HPE's partner in this area, but HPE CEO Meg Whitman suggested last year that the company could look to other public cloud vendors, Amazon and Google, in the future, however HPE seems to be focused on Microsoft Azure for now for its enterprise-focus.

Beyond its managed services, HPE Enterprise Services division also provides advice and transformation services, i.e. migration or application transformation, to “a set of brokerage services to provide that integrated, hybrid environment across their entire estate to then the set of landing zones – the right hosting environment, the right infrastructure as a service environment for the appropriate workload,” he says.

Some of the challenges that CIOs face in the cloud are strikingly similar to those they face in traditional on premise environments – take IT sprawl, for example.

“That’s a risk we’ve been helping our clients mitigate for some time in a traditional environment but the same risks are there in public cloud,” O’Callaghan says.

“We have a few clients who are completely in the public cloud but it’s not the majority of our clients,” he says. “The majority of our clients have a traditional estate, they have private cloud optimized and automated for the appropriate workloads, virtual private cloud, and some workloads in public cloud as well.” 

"Not many clients have the skills in-house to integrate across public, private and traditional and provide that single operational environment," he says.

HPE is providing an overview of its HPE Managed Services for Microsoft Azure (PDF).