Hewlett-Packard (HP) is offering more services supporting application vendor SAP\u2019s service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach to IT as part of the companies\u2019 increasingly close relationship.HP committed Monday to make available a variety of new services to support users as they move to adopt SAP\u2019s enterprise SOA (ESOA) approach.The services are designed to help very large global SAP customers as they migrate from older versions of the vendor\u2019s R\/3 applications to the newer SOA-focused mySAP versions, according to Tim Treat, manager of worldwide packaged applications for enterprise applications services at HP.Such a migration is highly complex involving not only the upgrading of software, but also refreshing of servers and storage to support the new applications, he said.In February 2006, HP announced a similar intensification of SOA services to support SAP\u2019s main applications rival Oracle and its Fusion middleware. Monday\u2019s move will position HP as offering the same level of SOA services for SAP as the vendor already does for Oracle.The new HP services will support core elements of SAP\u2019s NetWeaver middleware and will include programs like workforce integration for NetWeaver Portal and information integration for NetWeaver Business Intelligence. The services target the different stages of an ESOA implementation from the initial envisioning of the IT system through governance, development and deployment.Close to 50 percent of all SAP\u2019s global installations run on HP hardware, Treat said.HP knows exactly what\u2019s involved since it\u2019s going through the same process as other SAP customers. Treat said HP has the world\u2019s fifth-largest SAP application implementation with many of the company\u2019s 150,000 employees having access to the vendor\u2019s software. Like many other companies, HP has amassed multiple versions of R\/3 over the years, particularly as a result of acquisitions like that of Digital Equipment and later Compaq.Implementing the SOA approach can take anywhere from one to three years, Treat said. HP\u2019s own move to mySAP, NetWeaver and ESOA is going to take "many more quarters" to complete, he added.HP has been strengthening its 18-year partnership with SAP in recent months. In November, the companies unveiled a major collaborative initiative between their respective research organizations around the further integration of HP\u2019s adaptive infrastructure management technologies and SAP\u2019s ESOA. Initially, the researchers are focusing their efforts on improving hardware and software virtualization."SAP is one of the most complex solutions in computing," Treat said. "If you solve a problem in SAP, you can solve problems across infrastructure everywhere."Treat promised more announcements around the partnership between HP and SAP later this year. While declining to elaborate on any details, he mentioned the analytical engine SAP codeveloped with Intel that debuted in May. The Business Intelligence Accelerator (BIA) allows SAP customers to rapidly analyze and query huge amounts of information on the fly without having to pre-aggregate and store it in a database prior to querying it. HP also worked closely with SAP on the accelerator."There will be other appliances throughout the entire ecosystem, and, like BIA, they will solve very specific problems," Treat said.HP said Monday it will also increase its partnerships around SOA with chip giant Intel and business process management company IDS Scheer.-China Martens, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.