HP Plunges Into SOA Consulting

Hewlett-Packard launched a suite of services to help companies move legacy applications to a service-oriented architecture.
Hewlett-Packard is launching an "application modernization" consulting service for enterprises implementing services-oriented architectures.

The service is apparently modeled on IBM's Global Services, which has been engaged in SOA consulting as firms struggle to revise their software infrastructures.

The HP services are designed to get companies to SOA by getting them past their own infrastructure obstacles. "Every company has got existing applications that were never designed for SOA," says Paul Evans, director of worldwide application modernization services. HP will help customers either re-engineer an existing application or re-host it to a simpler-to-manage platform.

Two senior HP consultants will assess a firm's core business needs through the first service, Portfolio Rationalization, determining where the company should invest in revamping its applications.

In the second service, Modernization Workshop, HP establishes a business process overview and what the initial cost/benefit factors are. The consultants then move into the third service, Application Analysis, which provides a baseline for improving legacy applications and reducing the cost of ownership. These three services require four to six weeks and typically cost $100,000 to $120,000, Evans says.

The next service is the major step of Application Transition, where a plan is designed and implemented to move legacy applications into an SOA capability. The application may need to be re-engineered, replaced by a packaged application, or even retired, if its functionality is repeated in other applications better geared to be converted to SOA. HP's approach doesn't require customers to buy its hardware or software. "It doesn't matter whose hardware is on the floor. We are willing to work with heterogeneous environments," says Terri Schoenrock, worldwide director for SOA.

As legacy applications make the transition, HP offers a fifth service, Support, Monitor and Control, to follow up the transition and make sure it works as intended. Although prices vary, the latter two services will cost another $100,000 to $120,000 in typical projects, Evans says.

HP's move toward specific SOA services follows the example of IBM's Global Services, which provide consulting on moving to SOA along with other services. Evans says HP has 6,500 consultants capable of implementing the SOA service set.