SAP and Microsoft are to ship their business process integration product, Duet, from next month.
Previously known as Mendocino, the product is now officially called Duet and has been in the offing for the last 12 months. It is designed to allow users to interact quickly and easily with SAP business processes via Microsoft Office applications, such as Outlook.
Almost 100 customers and partners have been exploring the benefits of the product in early release versions since late 2005.
SAP and Microsoft have also announced plans to enhance the capabilities of Duet later this year.
Duet allows employees to access selected SAP business processes and data from Office.
SAP and Microsoft said Duet allowed companies to increase user adoption of enterprise systems and business processes by offering a familiar environment, that was “rapidly deployable and requires virtually no training”.
IDC analyst Mark Levitt said, “Duet is a business mash-up of Microsoft Office applications with SAP enterprise information and processes that can improve the quality and speed of decision making and workforce productivity.
“With Duet, SAP will be easier to access and more relevant for many more users who spend their workdays in the ‘Microsoft’ office.”
In the second half of 2006, SAP and Microsoft plan to offer two value packs for Duet, providing additional business scenario support, enhanced platform capabilities and language support.
These value packs will support five additional scenarios in Office coming from the mySAP ERP and mySAP Business Suite applications for customer relationship management and supplier relationship management.
The scenarios are recruitment management, travel management, analytics, purchasing management and sales activity management.
With these value packs, Duet's capabilities would go beyond self-service for employees and managers to enable line-of-business operational efficiencies and cost savings, said the two suppliers.
The value packs are designed for compatibility with the next release of mySAP ERP, and the early 2007 release of the next Microsoft Office.