HP, Accenture expand outsourcing alliance

Hewlett-Packard and Accenture Tuesday announced they would expand their IT outsourcing alliance, focusing on migrating clients from legacy applications to newer technologies such as Web and wireless, as well as supporting backward integration with legacy applications.

In a conference call Tuesday, HP and Chicago-based Accenture said the deal formalizes a three-year collaboration to support enterprise resource planning projects for 15 clients, including Dallas-based Halliburton Co.

Ann Livermore, president of HP Services, denied that the alliance was a "consolation prize" after failing to acquire the consulting division of New York-based PricewaterhouseCoopers last year. The two companies hope that formalizing their outsourcing alliance will enable them to create a blueprint for delivering outsourcing services to clients, she said.

The partnership involved "no flow of money [between] the two companies," and their investment in the relationship is "limited only by the demand of the marketplace," said Livermore. "Soft economic periods tend to make customers interested in outsourcing."

Bill Martorelli, a vice president at Hurwitz Group Inc. in Framingham, Mass., said that a number of consulting firms have tried to increase their outsourcing-related work because the deals are typically long-term and provide an ongoing revenue stream.

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