HP picks Telus for first Canadian hosting partner

Telus is the first Canadian company to snag Hewlett-Packard’s stamp of approval to deliver joint hosting solutions.

Telus Enterprise Solutions of Burnaby, B.C has a signed a three-year service provider program agreement with HP Canada to offer e-business hosting solutions to HP customers.

The HP Service Provider Program was launched in May and only has two other participants — one in the U.S. and one in South America.

“We’re extremely happy to see Telus offering e-business and e-services applications,” said Joseph Belsanti, e-services solutions manager for HP Canada. “With this relationship we’re encouraging Telus to capitalize on some of the momentum of hosted services and managed services.”

HP sees partners such as Telus providing better value-added services to Canadian organizations, said Belsanti. “It will force organizations like Telus and other managed service providers to differentiate themselves in the marketplace by adding value-add into the equation.”

He said HP has been quite selective in insuring that participants aren’t just providing a “me too” service. Belsanti said HP is in negotiations with at least two other significant potential participants for the program.

Under the agreement, Telus will provide managed Web hosting services and expand its support for HP’s UX operating system. In turn, HP will be Telus’ preferred Intel/NT supplier. HP provides Telus with hardware infrastructure throughout Telus Enterprise Solutions’ Internet data centres across Canada, including two new facilities in Calgary and Toronto.

John Seliga, vice-president of hosting solutions at Telus, said the agreement will better position the Western-born telco as national player. “At the end of the day, what attracts us to working more with HP is the fact that HP has very strong channels and very strong relationships with their customer base.”

Seliga said businesses in Canada are increasingly buying into the value proposition of having their Internet service providers managed by a service provider rather than trying to build and manage them on their own. “We want to take advantage of working closely with HP and having their sales forces recommend to their customers that they get more integrated solutions with a combination of Telus and HP services.

“HP can provide the hardware, and we will wrap that around with a premium Web hosting experience, service and all of the connectivity they need.”

Seliga said Telus is pleased with how its foray into Eastern Canada, particularly Ontario, is shaping up. “We have the facilities to offer the premium hosting service in the Toronto area. The HP deal will give us the greater velocity to get to customers that are seriously considering outsourcing the Web hosting services.”

Seliga said what sets Telus apart is its ability to add services to the offerings of hardware providers such as HP, including solid service level agreements. “Instead of just selling a server, HP can sell it to Telus and Telus will be able to wrap that with 7 by 24 management with iron-clad service level agreement (SLAs).”

Dan McLean, research analyst with IDC Canada in Toronto, said now is an opportune time to get into the Canadian managed hosting marketplace. “I see this as an emerging space. Every communications company is either in this market in some form, and if they’re not into already, they’re looking to get into it.”

The managed hosting market isn’t enormous, said McLean, but the thinking is going forward it will be a significant market. “A lot of hosting is based on providing services that eliminate the management hassle for companies.”

McLean said large telcos such as Telus are in a better position to offer a comprehensive hosting offering than smaller niche players. “They have the infrastructure. That’s the expensive piece,” he said. “They have the capability to do this. They’ve got networks out there that provide the kind of connectivity and access that people need.”

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