This week was another onsite Customer Engagement Initiative meeting arranged by the Duet Enterprise product group, at SAP Headquarters in Walldorf. Agenda this time was looking back to the progress made this year, and look forward to planned actions and products for next year. From the CEI nature it is not allowed to tell about the latter. So I focus on the first and some general impressions.
Achieved state of SAP / Microsoft interoperability
With Duet Enterprise 3 year available for SAP / SharePoint interoperability, it is confirming to see more organizations have progressed to productive applicability of Duet Enterprise in their landscape. Some of the new and larger references are OxfordShire, MERCK, T-Systems, Kaefer Warner, Dr Pepper…. Noteworthy also is the Cordis Solutions myHR implementation that my company (The Next View) is currently doing for the Amsterdam traffic organization with 3750 employees.
All CEI attendees present agreed with the statement that the best way to evaluate whether Duet Enterprise can bring concrete added value for an organization is when the prospect organization has one or more concrete use cases in the pipeline to consider.
At TechEd Las Vegas, SAP launched an extension to the Duet Enterprise product family: Gateway Productivity Accelerator for Microsoft (GWPAM). This new product builds on the same foundation plus concepts as Duet Enterprise. But instead of strict usage for SharePoint alone, GWPAM is intended to enable SAP / Microsoft interoperability ‘beyond SharePoint’. Examples are the Microsoft Office clients [Outlook, Excel, Word, Powerpoint], for which GWPAM includes templates to build your own scenario. But the GWPAM applicability is more extensive, and can be used in whatever .NET context. Yes, also for custom development in Microsoft SharePoint. You miss then all of the Duet Enterprise capabilities (workflow, reporting, user profile enrichment, role synchronization, …). Whether this is an issue, well… that thus depends on the foreseen use cases for your SAP/SharePoint interoperability.
GWPAM has large momentum, and receives severe market interest.
Although Gateway is not restricted to SAP/Microsoft interoperability, it certainly is also an important factor in this area. For one it is the SAP foundation under Duet Enterprise and GWPAM. Gateway is a huge success, with over 7000 life customers.
Juergen Grebe, SAP Global Alliance at Microsoft, gave a short recap of the Unite meeting that took place 2 weeks ago in Las Vegas. Microsoft sees a lot of movement for moving Microsoft Office to the Cloud. This can combine nicely with the new interoperability option through GWPAM. Microsoft itself is also hosting a Duet Enterprise 2.0 landscape on Azure, to demonstrate the power of the Azure platform to organizations.
As in the last 3 years, SAP continues to put a lot of focus on and effort into improving the user experience of operating its products. The vision is also to have access to SAP data on all kind of devices, current and new ones coming. This extends beyond SAP / Microsoft interoperability. Noteworthy products here are SAP Screen Personas and SAP Fiori, for which there is huge market interest, and which are actually “selling like hell” as SAP standard products to improve the usability of SAP.
As Microsoft sees its market share on mobile platform sharply increase the last year, there is continued attention to building SAP Apps for the Windows8 platform. Holger and others hosted a webinar on this subject on Thursday.
Besides all the strategic and technical information shared plus discussed, CEI participation is also a lot of fun! To thank Holger and Amit for preparing another onsite event we brought them a Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’ surprise. It was well appreciated and consumed at the afternoon coffee break.