Microsoft, SAP Share Future of Duet

The two companies outline a road map for the joint application and describe the added business process scenarios and customization tools to come in Duet 1.5.

At the Microsoft TechEd: IT Forum in Barcelona, Spain, Microsoft and SAP announced Nov. 16 the next edition of Duet, the joint software application the two companies developed to enable users to access SAP business processes through Microsoft Office applications.

Version 1.5 of Duet, targeted for a summer 2007 release, will include tools for configuring and customizing Duet scenarios to more closely match the users work situation.

Version 1.0 of Duet comes with five prepackaged scenarios: Leave Management, Time Management, Organization Management, Reports & Analytics, and Budget Monitoring. The new scenarios expected in 1.5 include processes for purchasing management and recruiting.

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Microsoft and SAP executives outlined a 12-month road map for Duet, which includes upgrades in the form of value packs that bring support for the 2007 Office System, add more scenarios, bring better platform capabilities and add language support.

One such value pack will add three new scenarios to the Duet mix: Travel Management for easier travel planning and expense approval, Sales Management for access to customer contact information and sales-based analytics, and Demand Planning for easier planning using Microsoft Excel.

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Combined, the two companies have sold over 200,000 licensed sets in the three months the software has been available, officials said.

"Our growing partnership with SAP reflects our commitment to helping information workers today who expect their disparate systems to work together in a more seamless and simplistic manner," Parichay Saxena, general manager of development at Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., said in a statement. "Early customer interest and adoption further supports our plans to jointly deliver new product capabilities—both business scenarios and customization tools—in 2007 and beyond."

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