HP to Open More SOA Centers

The new centers in India, Singapore and California are part of a larger $500 million investment HP is making in service-oriented architecture.

HOUSTON—Hewlett-Packard is opening up three more competency centers around the world to help customers looking to implement service-oriented architectures.

The SOA centers—in Bangalore, India, Singapore and Cupertino, Calif.—are part of a larger $500 million investment HP is making in the technology, which calls for integrating services to create service-enabled applications tied together for specific business purposes.

HP announced the new centers Sept. 18 at its HP Technology Forum here. The three new centers will join two others that HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., is already running. The others are in Tokyo and Sophia Antipolis, France.

More than 100 people already have taken advantage of the existing centers, according to HP officials.

Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HPs Technology Solutions Group, said in an interview here that customers are gaining a greater understanding of SOAs and how they can help improve their businesses. Now, she said, theyre looking to HP for help in implementing them.

The competency centers—and the 6,500 people who work in them—"give [customers] a place to come where they know the experts are," Livermore said.

The centers will give users proof-of-concepts, tutorials and help in designing and implementing the SOAs, she said. They also will be a way for HP to showcase its capabilities in such areas as IT architecture, management and security.

Analysts expects businesses to continue to adopt SOAs. According to Gartner, of Stamford, Conn., by 2010, at least 65 percent of large enterprises will have more than 35 percent of their applications built through SOAs.

That follows the trend that Livermore said HP is seeing. Most of the interest now is coming from larger customers with the skill set to handle such deployments.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read how IBM is betting big on SOA.

Other vendors also are pushing forward with SOAs. At its TechEd conference Sept. 12, SAP—which first introduced its ESA (enterprise services strategy) three years ago—introduced its Business Process Expert community designed to help drive SOA adoption throughout the industry.

SAP is expecting to complete its initiative in 2007. It not only calls for building new applications, but also for componentizing older software on its NetWeaver platform.

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