Microsoft's Convergence conference for its Dynamics CRM and ERP customers and partners is a little over a week away. That means it's time for revised roadmaps, more mashups and maybe even a new product or two on the business-app side of the Microsoft house.
In the "possible new product" category, I'm starting to hear rumblings about an "Office Client for Dynamics." I bet this is the front-end piece of what essentially would be the Microsoft competitor to "Duet."
Duet is a product jointly developed and sold by Microsoft and SAP that integrates Microsoft Office with back-end SAP CRM and supply-chain business processes.
Some on Microsoft's Dynamics team have wondered privately (and sometimes publicly) why Microsoft never touted the fact that Office also makes a great front end for Dynamics CRM and ERP products. In fact, newer versions of Microsoft's back-end business software is designed with Outlook and other elements of the Office family as the intended user interface. That customizable Office front-end is key to the Dynamics team's role-based computing strategy.
If Microsoft finally is gearing up to pitch Office + Dynamics as the equivalent of Duet, someone needs to think about branding. "Office Client for Dynamics" doesn't have quite the same ring to it as Duet...What about "Trio"? "Sextet"?