Hot on the heels of its OpenView SOA Manager announcement earlier this month Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday followed up by rolling out a suite of SOA-related consulting services along with opening several worldwide competency centers offering technical help to users.
The purpose of the new initiative, seen by company officials as the next phase of its Adaptive Enterprise crusade, is to better allow businesses and IT to be synchronized so they can pivot quickly to take advantage of market changes.
"The role in IT is evolving from automating the front office for productivity and automating the back office for efficiencies to where they now want us to integrate the extended enterprise. We really believe an SOA going hand in hand with the Adaptive Enterprise offers us the opportunity to assist our users that way," said Uday Kumaraswami, HP"s vice president of Worldwide Enterprise Applications Services.
The seven services that make up the suite include the SOA Envisioning Service, Assessment Services, Governance and Architecture Service, Enablement Service, Service Development, Software Service Development, and the Management Service.
The Envisioning Service is shaped for larger IT shops that can help them develop an understanding of SOA concepts and benefits and help assess their potential impact on their business. The Assessment service makes use of HP"s Agility Assessment approach that helps users create a roadmap to guide the adoption of an SOA across their enterprise.
"What we think is unique is this ability to measure agility. With agility testing we identify a customer"s hot spot, or where they would get the biggest bang for their buck by having more agility. We say, "This is where you might want to focus your initial engagement for an SOA because the return there will come more quickly,"" Kumaraswami said.
As part of this initiative, HP is partnering with BEA Systems, JBoss, SAP, and Microsoft with the aim of extending the reach of its SOA initiative. One opportunity both HP and Microsoft officials see through the initiative is helping users stitch together J2EE-, .Net-based, and open source applications and environments. HP claims it has more than 5,000 technical specialists with experience in all three environments.
"We are coming in from a strong heritage of integrating enterprises and so can bring solutions to integrate heterogeneous environments. For instance, most of them have J2EE, .Net, and open source where there is a crying need for a lot of this to be integrated," Kumaraswami said.
One analyst believes that because HP does not have its own proprietary middleware, and so naturally looks to accommodate the software of others, it may have a competitive advantage.
"Not owning their own middleware really puts them in a strong position, because in order to survive they have to be able to work with everyone and everything. They have an interesting opportunity in this space because they can be position themselves as the Switzerland in all this," said Judith Hurwitz, president of Hurwitz & Associates.
The competency centers that HP is opening are located in Atlanta; Bangalore, India; Sophia Antipolis, France; and Tokyo.