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Capgemini Bets on Microsoft's Azure

Capgemini, the global consulting and systems integration giant, is putting a major emphasis on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform.

The company last week said it has agreed to align its resources around Windows Azure, as well as marketing and delivering services around the platform. The two companies have a longstanding partnership, and this agreement is an extension of that. Capgemini's Microsoft-related business last year was $1.7 billion.

A key component of this agreement is a commitment to train 1,500 of its architects on Windows Azure, SQL Azure and the Azure AppFabric.

"It is our intent to cross-train roughly half of our .NET development staff because it's our belief that Azure and the Azure development environment and the apps specifically are going to be how next-generation applications are built," said Don Jones, Capgemini's Group VP for global channels and partners. "So Azure will be our default development environment for cloud-based applications going forward."

While Capgemini also has partnerships with Google, IBM and Amazon Web Services, it appears the SI is putting its emphasis on bringing full cloud solutions to customers via Windows Azure.

"What we think for the vast majority of our clients, Azure is going to be the right application development environment from a Platform as a Service perspective," Jones said. "If you look at the ISV community who are developing applications for Azure, it's our intent to become an orchestration service for that."

One such ISV is Geneva-based Temenos, which offers systems software for banks. Temenos announced last week that it has deployed its T24 system on Windows Azure for a network of six Mexican microfinance institutions (MFIs) back in May.

"It is our intent to go industry by industry and identify the top three to five Azure-based solutions and take those to market and draft Azure behind those," Jones said. "A core competency of Capgemini is working with these ISVs and bringing those solutions to market."

Capgemini intends to offer the Windows Azure service across 22 countries, with an initial emphasis on the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Brazil.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/26/2011 at 1:14 PM


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