Microsoft Welcomes SAP to the Office Party

What is interesting about this is the apparent division within Microsoft between MBS and Office Solutions (or whatever it’s called now). SAP competes with MBS so it must be no small rock in MBS’ shoe that SAP and Office have teamed up to deliver applications that compete with MBS.

Microsoft Welcomes SAP to the Office Party:

But the folks over in the Microsoft Business Solutions division want to make sure that no one forgets that the MBS team already is doing a lot of what Microsoft and SAP are promising.

8 thoughts on Microsoft Welcomes SAP to the Office Party

  1. Pingback Moonwatcher
  2. Moonwatcher,

    Take a look at This is a less proprietary Duet. Of course, their repository and formats are theirs, but it can integrate with SAP via the same mechanism as Duet, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Salesforce, other webservices and ODBC-accesible schemas, and it can generate office based UIs.

    It is more of a tool than a solution, but in the early days, both look alike, don’t they?

  3. Duet is fairly limited with access to only a few SAP transactions, besides needing substantial investments in Office upgrades and SAP upgrades as well.

    To provide true enterprise connectivity to an Office user, what is needed is a solution that provides better reach (more data sources), leaner stack (less middleware) and is more agile (with development tools).

    A SOA based middleware with a bunch of Office add-in might just be what is really needed.

    Check out what my firm, Extensio Software, Inc., does. Not just a Duet, but an orchestra, huh?


  4. Pingback I’ll think of something better to call this soon » Blog Archive » more thoughts on Duet- MBS etc..
  5. Sangeeta —

    Thanks for your post. Extensio and many other products (including several established products from SAP) provide the technical capabilities to connect Office and SAP — and we support all our ecosystem partners.

    FWIW, Duet is exactly what you described: “A SOA based middleware with a bunch of Office add-in” (actually, just one Office add-in) — plus four initial scenarios. Duet scenarios are fully described by metadata, making them easily configured, extended, and able to interact with other components. The middleware maps and transforms objects from those understood by Office and Exchange to those understood by SAP. Given the two value packs coming this year with many new scenarios, we think we have built something that goes beyond just the inital set of scenarios — but these scenarios are quite powerful and apparently popular with our customers and partners.

    Of course, many customers are also attracted to Duet because it combines the best expertise of Microsoft for the desktop-based information worker with the best expertise of SAP for the enterprise information and processes. In addition, Microsoft and SAP stand behind the product together for selling, marketing, developing, and of course supporting Duet.

    We’re happy that there are other vendors in the market, and we are happy to be in the market ourselves. There are close to 100 million information workers in SAP’s (current) customer base — there will be demand for many solutions from many vendors, and I’m sure there will be great benefits to SAP’s customers from the collective innovation of the vendor community serving these workers.


    Dennis Moore
    General Manager, Emerging Solutions

  6. Dennis,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    What bothers me about Duet and its choice of technology are two things:
    (1) It needs expensive upgrades. Existing Office 2000+ installations would need to incur a large expense for something that does not provide significant value to end-users. Ditto for SAP upgrades.
    (2) It has no development tools. With no development tools, customers would be forced to depend on value packs/scenarios churned out by SAP and Microsoft, without having the flexibility to add their own. That might put off many CIOs.

    I wonder if SAP would have had the same issues if it had decided to do this all alone, without Microsoft. The SAP customers certainly would have been happier to get what they wanted without shelling out big bucks to Microsoft.

    – Sangeeta

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