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HPE signs 12-month hybrid cloud-focused MoU with UK government

Hardware giant becomes the first non-cloud provider to sign preferential pricing deal with government’s Crown Commercial Service, as push to encourage public sector move to cloud accelerates

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has signed a 12-month memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UK government geared towards providing public sector organisations with a cost-effective means of accessing hybrid cloud services.

The agreement is already live, and will permit qualifying public sector bodies to access preferential pricing on a wide range of hardware and software offerings, including its hybrid cloud-enabling HPE Greenlake, as well as its Aruba networking and security products.

The deal is being overseen by the government’s procurement arm, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), in support of its joint push with the Cabinet Office and the Government Digital Service to promote the cross-functional adoption of cloud technologies in the public sector, through the One Government Cloud Strategy (OGCS).

The strategy centres on the acknowledgement that every public sector organisation has its own specific technology requirements and needs, which will dictate whether their move to the cloud will involve multiple providers, on-premise elements or a wholesale move into the public cloud.

In line with this, the CCS recently announced a slew of MoUs with a range of tech giants and public cloud providers. The HPE deal is the first the organisation has struck with a non-cloud service provider, and is geared towards benefiting organisations favouring a hybrid cloud strategy.

To this point, public sector organisations will be able to use the MoU to procure HPE GreenLake services, enabling them to access public cloud-like services hosted within their own datacentres, colocation sites, edge compute facilities or the government’s own Crown Hosting Data Centres.

Users will also have access to the HPE GreenLake Central Platform to manage workloads and applications across public and private cloud environments, as well as their on-premise datacentres.

It is claimed public sector organisations will be able to procure and run HPE GreenLake services within 14 days, and they can be purchased directly from the supplier or authorised third-party service providers.

HPE GreenLake packages will also be made available to buy in small, medium or large pre-integrated configurations, said Sue Preston, vice-president and general manager for the UK and Ireland at HPE Pointnext Services.

“The way that we put together the offerings in the scope of the agreement is like T-shirt sizes,” she said. “So, a public sector organisation can go on to HPE Greenlake Central on the website and configure their virtual machines, and the solution that they require in small, medium or large, and it can be deployed within 14 days.  

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“From a technology stack point of view, it also covers everything end-to-end. Aruba from an edge perspective. Compute, storage – and with GreenLake Central – it enables the entity to manage [resources] whether it’s on-premise, colocation or in the public cloud.”

HPE already has a long-standing relationship with the public sector, and the hope is that this latest MoU will not only build on that, but also serve to accelerate the adoption of hybrid cloud and, in turn, HPE GreenLake within this vertical market.

“Despite the growth of cloud strategies in the public sector, many organisations have struggled to move business-critical applications to the public cloud, due to application entanglement, data gravity, security and compliance, and unpredictable costs,” said Preston.

“By leveraging HPE technologies, like HPE GreenLake, public sector organisations can reduce complexity, boost innovation and bring cost-efficiency to their digital transformation efforts.”

CCS CEO Simon Tse said the HPE deal is one of a number of commercial agreements the organisation has in place to save public sector organisations time and money when buying the goods and services they need.

“This MoU with HPE not only provides great value for public sector organisations, it also allows them to innovate more readily and improve services for the citizens they serve,” he said.

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