What SAP access through MS Outlook means for Portals

In news from a joint-venture between SAP and Microsoft, the two companies will launch what they call "Duet" next month. Previously known as the "Mendecino Project," Duet promises to be "a joint product that enables people to interact quickly and easily with SAP business processes and data through Microsoft Office applications." In other words business users will be able to access SAP via Outlook, instead of the old SAP GUI, or the complex, browser-based SAP Portal interface. It will be interesting to follow where this leaves the portal interface; as more vendors develop Outlook clients (a trend that should accelerate next year), Outlook could become the light version of the elusive portal dashboard so many enterprises seek. [Update, 14 May: It seems like IBM is following the same path, with recent news on Notes for SAP]

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