SAP and Microsoft tune up for Duet

SAP and Microsoft chose the name Duet for a joint project to bring their respective flagship products closer.

A year ago, SAP and Microsoft announced “Project Mendocino,” software to enable customers to interact with SAP applications through Microsoft Office. Now renamed Duet, the software will be available, as planned, in June, the companies said Tuesday.

Microsoft and SAP intend to jointly market the program this year, which will include customer briefing events starting next month.

Customers have been testing the applications linkup since December, for tasks such as using Microsoft’s Outlook e-mail client to view detailed budget data drawn from an SAP back-office system.

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.

stalled 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.

“This is not necessarily the best thing that’s ever happened to Microsoft Dynamics,” Greenbaum said, noting that Microsoft has focused on close Office integration as well.

“(Duet) does undercut Dynamics in SAP’s customer base,” he said

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