After a year, the Microsoft/SAP "Mendocino Project" has finally yielded a product, Duet, which is slated to ship in June. As promised, users of Microsoft Office can access selected SAP business processes and data. For example, users of the Outlook calendar can automatically synchronize and update Outlook appointments with mySAP ERP to record work and billable hours. Martin Lamonica reports:
In the second half of next year, the companies intend to enable the handling of SAP functions and data through Office applications with the release of two "value packs."
They include links between Office and SAP's customer relationship management and its supply chain management applications for five processes, or tasks, including analytics and recruiting.
The Duet add-ons are designed for the 2007 release of Microsoft Office and the next release of MySAP ERP.
SAP will likely sell Duet primarily into its installed base of customers, said Joshua Greenbaum, the principal analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting.
But the tight integration with Office could sharpen competition between SAP and Microsoft's Dynamics application division, particularly for smaller firms and divisions within large companies, he said.
Scenarios supported by Duet coming later this year will include recruitment management, travel management, analytics, purchasing management, and sales activity management. A press conference is scheduled for 10:30 AM PST...