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SAP, Microsoft Sing A Duet

Doug Caverly
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-17

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SAP AG and Microsoft Corp. confirmed the June release of a product that will allow users to link SAP's business processes and data with Microsoft's Office desktop programs. This product, officially named "Duet," is the result of a twelve-month collaboration between the corporations.

Duet has already been installed in about 100 joint sites for testing. These included companies such as Atmel and Infosys.

Atmel CIO Mike Sisois says the semiconductor manufacturer will probably install the finished version in July. "For Atmel," he says, "this is a tremendous value add."

Duet's target audience is those users who rarely run SAP applications, but frequently make use of Office. One goal is to enable access to SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) data through the Outlook interface.

Other touted aspects of the program include budget monitoring, time management, leave management, and organization management.

The product should require little to no training, and will offer users a familiar environment.

"Duet is a business mashup of Microsoft Office applications with SAP enterprise information and processes that can improve the quality and speed of decision making and workforce productivity," said Mark Levitt, vice president for IDC's collaboration and enterprise workplace research.

The program is likely to be a success, but if nothing else, its origins are notable. SAP and Microsoft are frequently competitors, and a yearlong cooperation was unexpected and surprising.

The companies will need to continue to work together, though, for Duet to receive the support it (or any new program) will need.

It looks like they will, at least for a while. SAP and Microsoft should offer two Duet value packs later in the year. These are intended to aid in recruitment management, travel management, analytics, purchasing management, and sales activity management.

The packs will be compatible with both the next version of mySAP ERP and the 2007 release of Microsoft Office System.

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About the Author:
Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

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