KUALA LUMPUR: SAP AG and Microsoft have introduced Duet, a system meant to eliminate information workers' reliance on business application experts while seamlessly linking these two groups.
The first joint product by the two industry leaders, Duet provides employees with improved, flexible access to SAP’s enterprise solutions through the familiar interface of Microsoft Office.
SAP Asia vice-president and chief technology officer Simon Dale said Duet was developed to transform the interaction between information workers and enterprise applications.
“Employees and business experts are able to make quicker decisions with Duet because the complexity in carrying out day-to-day processes is made simpler,” he told StarBiz.
Dale said the integration of SAP’s solutions with Microsoft’s Office platform had further extended workflow automation between people and processes.
He believes businesses are keen on establishing better employee relationships but without breaching business compliance and policies.
“Organisations that have taken to Duet seem to be those concerned about human resources management and business intelligence,” he said.
Dale added that Duet improved collaboration, decision-making, productivity and accessibility while maintaining traceability and transparency throughout the enterprise in fulfilling regulatory requirements.
For SAP, the new offering represents another route to customer acquisition.
Dale said the company’s aim was three-pronged: to continue growing in the large enterprise space, acquire new customers in the mid-market segment and broadening accessibility to SAP solutions through easy to use solutions.
“Microsoft Office, to a large extent, is the defector standard within most organisations. Why create something completely new when you can just embed it into an existing platform that is widely used?
“This was why we leveraged on Microsoft’s platform to deliver our services,” he said, adding that Duet was poised to benefit from Microsoft Office’s worldwide user base of 70 million.
Dale said the company was still formulating the marketing strategy for Duet for its channel partners. At present, the product will be marketed, sold and supported directly by SAP and Microsoft.
Going forward, he said developer tools that would enable customers and independent software vendors to create applications based on Duet software would be released some time next year.
SAP also plans to add support to the 2007 Microsoft Office release.