Microsoft Will Let Accenture into its Cloud

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) will start providing technology and consulting services for Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Azure open cloud platform. Accenture will be the first firm to receive authorization to sell Azure as an end-to-end public cloud solution. Along with its subsidiary Avanade, Accenture will help consumers build, deploy, and manage applications on the platform.

Accenture and Avanade have already been building systems to run on Azure, but the new deal will now spare the customer from negotiating separate application development and cloud contracts.

Last year, Accenture and Avanade delivered 40 Windows Azure-based projects to customers that year and spent 170,000 hours on the development of such projects, Avanade’s chief executive Adam Warby said in a statement.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), CSC (NYSE:CSC), and IBM (NYSE:IBM) already provide software implementations and services within their own infrastructures.