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HP Launches SOA Services, Centers

HP is expanding its consulting services to include service oriented architectures (SOA).

SOAs are increasingly popular methods of distributed computing. SOAs are used as a base for Web services and ensure accurate communication among applications.

SOAs are spreading because of the flexibility they can attach to rigid legacy systems, said Uday Kumaraswami, vice president of worldwide enterprise applications services, HP Services.

"Legacy systems control a lot of data and processes but they are not agile and inhibit the synchronization between IT and businesses," said Kumaraswami. "But you can't rip them out and start from scratch because it takes too long to develop new systems."

Another problem is that maintaining legacy software can cost a company manpower hours. Developers don't have time to innovate and create new applications if they are busy seeing to the older programs.

HP already sells SOA management software in the form of OpenView SOA Manager, a tool that manages business services to achieve better operations between business and IT.

Now the Palo Alto, Calif., company has added seven new steps for the architecture, including envisioning, assessing, enabling, governing, service development, software development and management services.

To help fortify the consulting service, HP's new SOA centers have been geographically dispersed in Atlanta; Bangalore, India; Sophia Antipolis, France; and Tokyo.

The centers are staffed with HP staff and partners, who will educate customers with architecture and software and hardware demonstrations, seminars and workshops. HP has more than 5,000 specialists versed in J2EE, .NET and open source middleware platforms.

HP's penchant for consultancy could pay off for SOAs in the new offering, giving it a better arsenal to help the company compete against major SOA purveyor IBM. Big Blue has been offering SOA services and consultancy centers for a year.