SAP, Microsoft plan more Duet features and new version

Companies will release Duet 1.5 in mid-2007

Businesses interested in Duet, the software application jointly developed by Microsoft and SAP, can look forward to new features and a new version of the product over the next several months.

The two companies plan to release Duet 1.5 in mid-2007, in addition to "value packs" that include support for the 2007 Microsoft Office system over the next 12 months, Microsoft announced Wednesday at its TechED IT Forum in Barcelona.

Duet allows users to access data and processes from SAP's back-end business applications via Microsoft's front-end desktop Office software suite.

Since the product was launched earlier this year, the companies have sold more than 200,000 licenses, according to Microsoft.

As part of their collaboration, Microsoft and SAP will regularly release additional integration capabilities, dubbed "business scenarios," with each release aimed at a specific area of a company's operations.

One of the several value packs planned over the next year will feature three business scenarios connecting Microsoft Office and mySAP Business Suite applications.

The business scenarios are: Travel Management, which is designed to simplify travel planning and expense approval via Outlook; Sales Management for accessing customer contact and sales-based analytics in an intuitive way as well as easy scheduling of customer activities, and Demand Planning, which is intended to simplify supply chain demand planning via Microsoft Excel.

In addition to the value packs, the new version of Duet will deliver further business scenarios for purchasing management and recruiting and provide expanded tools for configuring and customizing Duet, the company's said.

Additional information is available on the Duet Web site.

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