HP's push to build EU-wide "one-stop shop" for cloud gathers pace

HP talks up growing momentum of its Cloud 28+ project in Europe

HP’s Europe-wide effort to drive up cloud adoption in the 28 member states of the EU has entered a new phase, with the IT giant calling on users to get involved.

The firm made the plea at its Cloud 28+ event in Frankfurt, where it showcased the progress being made in its push to create a centralised catalogue of cloud services for use by European commercial and public sector organisations.

This is a cause that HP has been championing since April 2014, and has previously seen the firm call on cloud service providers, independent software suppliers and members of the reseller community to help populate the catalogue with their offerings.

Speaking at the event, HP's vice-president of cloud for Europe, Xavier Poisson Gouyou Beauchamps, said the overarching aim of Cloud 28+ is to drive up adoption of cloud services across the continent by providing users with access to a federated catalogue of services.

This was on the back of findings from a November 2014 Eurostat survey into the use of cloud services by European enterprises, which showed just 19% of firms are using it.

“The reason why, you may think, is because of security. It’s not," said Beauchamps. "The reason why the enterprise don’t use cloud computing is simply because they don’t know what services they can consume.” The aim of Cloud 28+ is to clarify this, he added.

According to Beauchamps, back in April 2014 there were 52 Cloud 28+ participants,  but this figure has since increased to around the 150 mark, with more coming on board all the time.

Cloud 28+: The next phase

After nearly a year in development, HP is now gearing up for the hard launch of Cloud 28+ on 26 March 2015, with a new website set to go live and plans afoot to entice more IT suppliers to join its ranks.

And it is claimed those that do will benefit from greater exposure for their services, far beyond the countries they operate in.

“If you have been building a big marketplace, we are not competitors. If you have services from your marketplace you want to expose, you will have leads. Take advantage,” said Beauchamps.

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He also had a similar message for the user community, telling them not just to view the Cloud 28+ platform as way to consume cloud services.

“Users that are manufacturing goods and services that are cloud services-based, or could become so, are invited. Your product may be of interest to a service provider.”

Aside from building out its suppliers, HP also revealed there is still some work to do behind the scenes with regard to building the catalogue, to ensure it is as simple as possible for users to find the services best suited to their needs.

To solve this, the company is seeking feedback from suppliers about how best to categorise the services they offer and to aptly describe the benefits they bring. Once this is hammered out, the company hopes to have a production version of the catalogue up and running before 2016.

Another area HP is seeking feedback on is how best to govern the suppliers who make up the Cloud 28+ community, which was the subject of a brainstorming session at the event.

During this, the attendees – many of which were members of the service provider community – were asked to debate a number of issues. For example, should a steering group be introduced to lead the group and, if so, how should the members of it be chosen?

Distinguished technologist at HP, Colin I’Anson, said while the company is leading the way on Cloud 28+, it is keen to get as much input from suppliers as to how it should be run.

“We have our own ideas of how to do it, but we want to hear your voice coming back to us,” he said. “We want the views and opinions of everybody.”

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