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As "traditional" Web service technologies are making their way into the mainstream distributed computing, service oriented architectures (SOA) gain more and more momentum in current and future IT infrastructures. In this talk, we give a motivation for doing such a transition from a market area point of view and present SAP's answer on the raising demand: The SAP enterprise services architecture (ESA). The enterprise services architecture comprises five key elements. Two of them are directly related with research topics in the area of semantic Web services. The second part of the talk gives an insight in current SAP research activities and how they address challenges in Web services.