The European market is slightly trickier than the U.S. because local regulations in some cases force organizations to have data centers in Germany, France and so on. Also, enterprises have to be convinced that vendors will protect their data. The A4Cloud (Cloud Accountability Project) and Coco (confidential and compliant) Cloud initiatives both aim to increase confidence.
"HP has taken the lead in addressing local concerns of enterprises. I think that will help it become successful, especially in the SMB space" Gagneux said.
HP's biggest challenge may be that time is not on its side. It has a number of entrenched cloud competitors -- besides Amazon and Google, there's also IBM, Rackspace and Microsoft.
"HP needs to make faster progress in both the private and public cloud segments," Del Prete said.
While HP has made cloud a priority, it hasn't attracted large customers fast enough, he added.
Some think HP is already out of time.
"HP will do the best it can do, but I'm not sure it will find much left in the cloud market when all is said and done. Perhaps if HP had split a few years ago, the story could have been different. But that was then; this is now," cloud expert David S. Linthicum wrote in a column for InfoWorld.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.