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May 2, 2006

SAP, Microsoft announce Mendocino as Duet

Posted by David Hunter at 10:30 AM ET.

As expected, SAP and Microsoft today announced their Mendocino joint project under the name Duet:

Twelve months after first unveiling plans to create “Project Mendocino” — a joint product that enables people to interact quickly and easily with SAP business processes and data through Microsoft® Office applications — SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) and Microsoft Corp. today announced that the two companies are scheduled to ship the product on time in June, 2006. The product is officially named Duet software for Microsoft Office and SAP. Nearly 100 joint customers and industry partners — including Atmel, Infosys, and Kimberly-Clark — have been exploring the software’s benefits in early release versions since late 2005. SAP and Microsoft also announced plans to enhance the capabilities of Duet this year and to release additional business scenarios in the second half of 2006.

Duet allows information workers to use their familiar Microsoft Office environment to access selected SAP business processes and data. This improved and flexible access to dedicated SAP application functionality will help companies who use Duet to save time and money, increase process compliance, and improve decision making.

Each day, millions of information workers use the Microsoft Office system to work and collaborate. However, most of them also must tap into enterprise processes and information in order to do their jobs. Lacking a unified link between a company’s structured business process and accurate information can lead to unsound decision making and non-compliance with company policies. With Duet, companies can increase user adoption of enterprise systems and business processes by offering a familiar environment that is rapidly deployable and requires virtually no training.

Undoubtedly good business for both companies.

Filed under Alliances, Coopetition, Duet, Mendocino, Microsoft, Office, SAP, Technologies

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May 1, 2006

Microsoft product announce roundup

Posted by David Hunter at 8:56 PM ET.

Microsoft releases MapPoint 2006:

Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of MapPoint® 2006, an industry leader in business mapping software. MapPoint 2006 can help customers improve decision-making capabilities and increase new business opportunities through the use of maps and geographical information, enabling better analysis, visualization and communication of business information. It also enhances its usefulness for mobile information workers by adding rich new Global Positioning System (GPS) integration and driver guidance capabilities so that users can make the most out of time spent away from the office. MapPoint 2006 is available today, and comes in two offerings: a stand-alone software package as well as one that includes both the MapPoint 2006 software and a new GPS locator hardware kit.

If you aren’t familiar with it, MapPoint is a standalone mapping application intended for businesses. There’s a Web service version as well. Streets and Trips is its consumer cousin.

Microsoft releases new “software as a service” (SaaS) application hosting solution:

Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the Microsoft® Solution for Windows®-based Hosting for Applications Version 1.0. The new solution provides independent software vendors (ISVs) and hosting service providers with the platform, tools and best practices to deliver software as a service, an area in which leading IT market research and advisory firm IDC estimates spending will reach $10.7 billion (U.S.) worldwide by 2009.

One of the little publicized Microsoft hosting solutions. Admittedly, it’s a specialized market.

Beta 1 of Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1 released:

Beta 1 of Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1 includes:

  • Intel Virtualization Technology compatibility
  • Host Clustering technical white paper and the VB script
  • Beta 2 includes the features of Beta 1 plus:

  • AMD Virtualization compatibility
  • Active Directory integration and management features
  • Volume Shadow Service (VSS)
  • Expanded guest and host OS support
  • Download Beta 1 here. Beta 2 is planned for Q4 and final release in 1Q2007.

    ‘Mendicino’ Version 1.0 Ready to Roll. Mary Jo Foley reports that Mendocino, the SAP/Microsoft joint project linking Office to the SAP back-end will be announced tomorrow.

    Windows Live ID has been rolled out in place of Passport for the Windows Live sites. Passport login information still works, of course. More details here.

    Filed under Beta and CTP, Coopetition, Hosting for Applications, MSN, MapPoint, Mendocino, Microsoft, Passport, SAP, Service Providers, Technologies, Virtual Server, Virtualization, Web Services, Windows Live, Windows Live ID

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    December 16, 2005

    Microsoft and SAP Ready ‘Mendocino’ for Early Customer Testing

    Posted by David Hunter at 10:07 AM ET.

    We mentioned the Microsoft and SAP joint development project, Mendocino, last week and today Microsoft issued a press Q&A. Excerpt:

    Chris Caren, general manager of Microsoft’s Office Business Applications group, sat down with PressPass to discuss the “Mendocino” project, the December technology preview milestone, and how “Mendocino” relates to Microsoft’s Office business and strategy.

    PressPass: Can you give us a progress report on “Mendocino”?

    Caren: The development of “Mendocino” is on schedule. On Dec. 23 we’ll deliver a technology preview to 40 customers and 10 partners. So we’re making good progress towards a broader beta release in the spring and final availability in the late-summer 2006 timeframe.

    More at the link, but as I mentioned last time, Mendocino seems to be the exception among “alliances” in the tech industry – something meaningful is actually going on. Gavin Clarke at The Register reminds us that in 2004 Microsoft and SAP were talking merger and provides an analysis of Mendocino. Punchline:

    Mendocino represents an intersection of mutual self interest for both companies. It delivers all the benefits of Office as an enterprise information portal to Microsoft while unlocking a developer and partner ecosystem coveted by SAP without the strategic, tactical and legal mess associated with a big merger.

    Filed under Alliances, Coopetition, Mendocino, Office, SAP, Technologies

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    December 9, 2005

    SAP, Microsoft plan beyond Mendocino

    Posted by David Hunter at 5:57 PM ET.

    Renee Boucher Ferguson at eWeek:

    As SAP AG and Microsoft Corp. hammer out the 1.0 version of Mendocino, their combined development project to offer mySAP process functionality in Microsoft Office for a seamless working environment between the two platforms, they’re also pounding out the second iteration.

    Mendocino 1.0, expected in July of next year, will hone in on four scenarios—budget monitoring, time management, leave management, and organizational management—that expose process logic and workflow from mySAP applications to Office. That means users can, for example, use the cost center management scenario to access employee files, see pay information and issue pay raises, using SAP workflow that is exposed in Office.

    Version 1.0 will ship this month to 40 customers and 10 partners for an aggressive ramp-up program. An additional 50 customers will be added in April.

    The joint development teams from Microsoft and SAP will look to those users to help define new joint scenarios and delineate a development platform for version 2.0.

    Expected on the market about a year after the release of Version 1.0—so around July, 2007—2.0 will continue to add scenarios around time management and employee self service. But it will also look to add a line of business scenarios, like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and SRM (Supplier Relationship Management).

    More by following the link. Unlike so many tech industry alliances, this one seems to be productive.

    Filed under Alliances, Mendocino, Office, SAP, Technologies

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