Monday, June 19, 2006

FAQ about Duet: As heard at SAP Summit, Mumbai

Last week I was at the SAP Summit in Mumbai, India. Great event, with some 2000 people participating, maybe about 60/70% of attendees were SAP customers or actively considering SAP for their ERP application.

All the three presentations on Duet were enthusiastically attended, some 400 people, with several people standing and crowding at the doors. The speaker faced a barrage of questions - here is what got frequently asked, across multiple sessions, sometimes by more than one person:

Q1. Can Duet be extended to other business processes?
Ans 1: Not at this time. It is right now limited to the four scenarios we have. Later we will build value packs.

Q2: Can I build my own Duet scenarios? Can I build links to MS Office for myself?
Ans: Not at this time. A Duet development toolkit is currently being created and will be given out to partner companies later this year. GA would follow. Another option being announced by Microsoft is LOBI program, which uses Office as a front-end interface and provides development interfaces to developers. Details are not yet out at this time.

Q3: Will I need to buy SAP license for Duet even if my user has a SAP license and a domain license and a Office license?
Ans: Yes. ( Disbelief from the audience)
Q3- repeated by the same person: Maybe you did not hear me right. I said I already have a SAP user license, and have a Office license. Would I still need to buy ANOTHER Duet license?
Ans: Yes.

Q4: What about Excel? Will Duet include Excel? Or will that be a seperate license?
Ans: Yes, Excel will be included in Duet. Dates to be announced soon.

Q5: Why do you need SQL Server in Duet?
Ans: Duet needs SQL Server to store its repository. You need what is known as Lean SQL Server (I think thats what the guy said)

Q6: The current scenarios are more for project companie, and only for employee processes. What about manufacturing companies? Can I use Duet for my SCM application and create Outlook processes with my vendors?
Ans: The SCM scenario using SAP is planned in value pack 2. If you have some other SCM application, Duet would not work against that.

I walked out at this juncture. I could sense the feeling in the room, of Duet being not being what they thought it was.

Outside, a bunch of CIOs were sharing notes. One CIO said that he would wait for the next upgrade cycle for the desktops. Maybe by then, Vista would have shipped, several more value packs would be out, and maybe the development tools would be out as well. One said that he did not see himself spending on Office upgrades to get this level of functionality, and for only one application SAP. Another CIO lamented that he had hoped Duet would hekp him reduce his licensing by providing SAP access on Office. Alas, this was not to be! Another CIO wondered - Would this reduce my TCO, how? One CIO looked puzzled, "This thin delivery is so unlike SAP..."

It is.

- Sangeeta


Eran Kampf said...

Just a quick correction. You need SQL Express on the server and client. On the server the DB is used to store Duet's metadata, on the client it is used to store client-to-backend synchronization information.

Sangeeta Patni said...

Thanks for the information!

The SQL Express is probably the reason why Duet needs such a large amount of memory on the client desktop as well.

- Sangeeta