There is a lot to like about HP’s announcement today that the company’s consulting arm is now offering seven new SOA services (including, of course, SOA Management) and opening four SOA competency centers (see the press release and IntenetNews.com’s report). I must admit that the idea of one day moving from the software group to HP Services and working on SOA solutions in the French Riviera at Sophia Antipolis (one of the four competency centers) is not without appeal. I am now spending a lot more time with customers than I used to anyway so it wouldn’t be too wide a chasm in that respect.
Even putting aside my bias for the good life in the “Côte d’Azur”, this is very good news. Good news of course for OpenView, including our SOA Manager product, but HP Services actually only represents a relatively small portion of OpenView sales.
More importantly, the SOA specialists in HP Services can help customers build an SOA by putting together parts from all our partners (Oracle, SAP, BEA, Microsoft, etc) as well as open source. Which is how you really want to go about building an SOA. In theory it is possible to build an SOA using homogenous products from the same vendor, but in practice this is as likely as designing a reusable and well factored-out interface while having only one use case and knowing about only one client for your service. In both conditions, assumptions creep in unnoticed into your contracts and abstractions. And you end up with a more tightly coupled system, which comes back to bite you as the number of participants grow.