Bharti Airtel has partnered with Hewlett-Packard to offer cloud-based e-mail, accounting packages, business software and storage services to small and mid-sized businesses, a move to increase revenue from data services when voice-based income has been declining.
For HP, the five-year deal will mean that it gains market access for its cloud service technologies without having to spend on marketing to SMBs who form part of Bharti Airtel’s customer base.
Bharti Airtel has 30,000 SMB customers for internet and mobile services and now it will be able to expand that portfolio of services to include accounting software, storage, business software (like pay roll) or even additional computing resources.
“We are starting with basic services and will expand to more specialised offerings like healthcare and education applications on the cloud, later,” Gangotra said. The two companies declined to share the value of the contract or the revenue implications. Bharti now earns 12% of its revenue from SMBs.
The Cloud Enablement Platform, as Bharti Airtel has termed it, will be hosted in India by HP. It will offer cloud-based applications on a pay-as-you-go model and meets telecom regulator Trai’s norms on hosting data locally, the two companies said.