HP Enterprise Services and Microsoft have announced a global, four-year initiative to deliver Microsoft's communications and collaboration applications via global private and public Cloud services.

Under the agreement, HP and Microsoft will offer private and public Cloud solutions designed to help organisations rapidly scale new users, shift IT resources from maintenance to innovation and change IT from a capital to operating expense.

The solutions include:

Private Cloud: HP Enterprise Cloud Services--Messaging, HP Enterprise Cloud Services-- Collaboration and HP Enterprise Cloud Services--Real-Time Collaboration deliver Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010 productivity applications-as-a-service from HP datacentres globally.

Public Cloud: Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft's Office collaboration and productivity tools will be delivered by Microsoft through the Cloud.

Hybrid solution: HP will resell Microsoft Office 365 with HP Enterprise Cloud Services--Messaging, HP Enterprise Cloud Services--Collaboration and HP Enterprise Cloud Services--Real-Time Collaboration.

Microsoft Enterprise Partner Group vice-president, Mark Hill, said, "This alliance with HP not only broadens Microsoft's geographic reach, it gives customers maximum flexibility to choose a Cloud computing solution that meets their organisation's specialised messaging and collaboration needs."

The solutions will launch globally, with initial availability this month in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.