OpenText announced the expansion of its global alliance agreement with Microsoft Corp. to include wider support for Microsoft cloud computing initiatives. As part of the agreement, OpenText’s newly formed Business Process Solutions (BPS) Group will be delivering a set of process management and case management solutions on the Windows Azure cloud computing platform.

OpenText was among the first enterprise software vendors to add support for Windows Azure with records management and archiving solutions announced over three years ago. More recently, the OpenText M3 modeling suite achieved Windows Azure competency last year. Now, the tighter alignment between the two companies will give customers more flexibility in the way OpenText applications are deployed: fully in the cloud, on-premise or a hybrid of cloud and on-premise.

This latest agreement extends the current OpenText-Microsoft agreement to encompass OpenText BPM and Microsoft cloud technologies. It represents a four-year commitment of technology and customer-facing resources and fits within OpenText’s broader strategy to offer customers a full range of cloud-based solutions along with flexible deployment options.

“We are excited to see Windows Azure incorporated into OpenText’s Business Process Solutions,” said Walid Abu-Hadba, Corporate Vice President, Developer and Platform Evangelism, Microsoft Corp. “Together, Microsoft and OpenText are committed to helping businesses drive process efficiency and scalable service solutions. This announcement underscores the shared commitment of Microsoft and OpenText to the continuing innovation that the cloud has to offer.”

To bring the cloud to life, OpenText and Microsoft will work together to develop industry-specific applications tailored to business and user requirements in industries, such as financial services, oil and gas, utilities and public sector. Going beyond just moving existing applications to the cloud, the companies will also be collaborating on new scenarios that take full advantage of the elasticity, availability and connectedness of cloud-based computing.

“This is another example of how OpenText and Microsoft are continuously tightening and strengthening our relationship for the benefit of our joint customers,” said James Latham, Chief Marketing Officer for OpenText. “The Windows Azure cloud opens up a number of interesting new application possibilities while also giving customers more deployment options that will lead to greater efficiency, simplified deployments and lower operating costs.”