Cisco Systems (CSCO) said that it is working with Microsoft (MSFT) to “stimulate hundreds of private cloud and hybrid cloud deployments worldwide” by investing in initiatives to align their sales teams and channel partners to help customers modernize their data centers with private cloud solutions.

The companies announced their intentions at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston.

One of those initiatives is a pilot with channel partners the two companies conducted in the past 10 months, ostensibly to test out if, in fact, they can combine technology to accelerate private and hybrid cloud adoption, with incentives such as Microsoft’s Cloud OS Accelerate program, which gives customers money to help offset the cost of deploying Microsoft cloud products.

The idea is to deliver go-to-market initiatives for jointly vetted solutions that help enable channel partners who resell both Cisco data center and Microsoft Cloud OS technologies to grow their data center business and better solve customer issues. Over the last two years, Cisco and Microsoft have made efforts to integrate their data center technologies, resulting in a combined Cisco Unified Data Center architecture with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 for private cloud platforms aimed at helping organizations simplify data center operations and economics and boost IT productivity.

"Over the last two years Cisco and Microsoft engineering teams have worked diligently to combine our industry-leading technology into integrated data center solutions,” said Padmasree Warrior, Cisco chief technology and strategy officer. “Now, we're taking the next step by investing together to rapidly accelerate demand for our private cloud solutions."

Satya Nadella, president, Microsoft Server and Tools business president, said the vendor is “excited to work with Cisco to help our joint customers implement proven private and hybrid cloud solutions and improve their data center operations."

Separately, NetApp (NTAP) said it is investing up to $15 million in new ecosystem sales collaboration and continued technology integration with Microsoft to accelerate the adoption of enterprise cloud deployments through the Cloud OS Accelerate program.

Reselling partners can offer NetApp and Microsoft solutions that are ready to integrate and drive business value immediately with validated NetApp and Microsoft designs that combine NetApp storage efficiency with System Center management capabilities, the storage vendor said.