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Sangeeta Patni


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the SAP/MSFT partnership and its importance to both the companies.

However, I am curious to know why it was thought prudent to choose IBF as the development environment, rather than the old, stable Office Add-in interfaces for building MS Office connectivity. Office Add-in interfaces have been used by developers and solution providers for a long time now, and provide fairly deep interfacing functionality - and best, work for all MS Office versions from Office 2000+ onwards. Choice of IBF, on the other hand, forces Office users to upgrade. A fairly expensive propositon for most enterprises.

- Sangeeta Patni
Co-founder and VP-Engg,
Extensio Software

Jason Wood

Dennis -- Thanks for the kind words and the insightful detail. From an investor perspective, a lot of times we tend to dismiss a lot of significant underpinnings fo an initiative if we can't see the clear picture in terms of headling financial metrics.

For example, the question I get when Duet comes up is, "will SAP and Microsoft's EPS or revenue growth rates increase as a result?"

The simple answer is "yes." But most investors, because of your companies' respective sizes, view it as a "rounding error" which, in its current form, may be the case.

HOWEVER, if you can continually build off what Duet started (no easy task, but one I know you and your team are committed to), then we're onto something massive.

As a shareholder of both companies, I'm rooting for the initiative, and will continue to tell you all when I think you're on course or when you're falling off course.

All the best,


Dennis Moore

Jason --

Very thoughtful and interesting analysis. I think your blog is the first independent place anywhere where I saw the scenarios so clearly defined. I am so psyched SAP really opened up to bloggers -- it's like we finally get to hear the thoughts of tons of smart people who are all helping us improve.

Many bloggers, press, analysts, and customers have focused on the question of how strong is the relationship between Microsoft and SAP. If this relationship were based purely on Duet, I would guess there should be plenty of room to question how durable is the relationship. However, don't forget Microsoft and SAP have been working together solidly and successfully for about 15 years, with greatly aligned interests in almost every area. We collaborate on Windows, SQL Server, Visual Studio, .Net, IE, Office, and much more. We are a very large customer of theirs, and they are a very large customer of ours. This is a durable relationship that produces great value for both companies, all our mutual customers and partners, and the market as a whole.

There are areas in which Microsoft and SAP compete vigorously, areas where we are not yet aligned, and areas where we may never be aligned, but the vast majority of our touch points are mutually beneficial. This is what makes our relationship so strong.

Duet is a major watershed partnership for both Microsoft and SAP. SAP is the first major ISV to commit to and exploit the Microsoft Office System as a platform. We adopted many of the latest developments in Office to make this product work, and we even pushed the envelope substantially (Duet is based, for example, on IBF 1.6, which was developed to a great degree around the requirements of Duet). This is SAP's first joint product with any vendor (as far as I can find). The product brings together the best of the desktop world with the best of the enterprise world. It's the first major product to be delivered with fully modeled (XAML) applications delivered through an open, Enterprise SOA technology basis. Duet also serves as the hub of our focus on enterprise Information Workers.

There are a lot of other signficant aspects to this effort, not the least has been the market acceptance of and demand for this product. If only for this reason, Microsoft and SAP have committed to the market to put our best efforts into this product.

On a side note, a lot has been made of the number of scenarios supported by Duet. Let me clarify -- a scenario is not equal to a transaction. Most scenarios are very sophisticated -- for example, the full process of time recording, approval, integration with all related systems (CRM for billing, PS/cProjects for project accounting, FI/CO for capitalization of R&D, etc.) is all included in our time management scenario. The integration of reporting and analytics has the potential to cover literally thousands (or more!) of existing reports (should we call it "thousands of scenarios?") plus new analytical applications built as SAP xApps for Analytics, plus much more. The model-driven and "live model" approach of Duet allows us to extend the product quickly and often with new scenarios, and will ultimately allow ISV's, SI's, and customers to add their own contributions into the mix. And the product is built according to ESA (Enterprise Services-Oriented Architecture), with open and published web services that anyone can plug into, for even more innovation and extensibility.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as well as allowing others to add their thoughts. I look forward to my next encounter with "the brotherhood of bloggers!"


Dennis Moore
General Manager, Emerging Solutions, SAP

Jason Wood

Sangeeta -- Thanks for the comment. The interesting thing from your perspective will be go-to market strategy. In smaller firms I can see a willingness to embrace a 3rd party SOA adapter approach, but in large enterprises where you can't get your foot in the door, SAP and Microsoft have a fairly daunting ability to force their will.

The real question to ask is, "are software buyers rational?" Unfortunately I don't think history suggests they are (as a whole).

Sangeeta Patni

Quite right. As pointed out in your Point 3, Duet will be of limited use to users if it cannot talk to any other data source except SAP.

We have built MS office intergration technology on the top of a light weight SOA based middleware, making it possible for Office end-users to talk to multiple data sources, without the expensive Duet middleware and upgrades.

- Sangeeta Patni,
Extensio Software

Zoli Erdos

Jason, great analysis, my two comments:

- Not sure what the $125 covers: whether SAP will charge additional user seats per Duet user or not. If they do, I am sure it will be a reduced price (fractional users). This is basically what Dennis hinted to as middle-ground between the MS and SAP pricing strategy.

- Lotus Notes: I think what you're talking about exists, that's IBM's new Harmony product.

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