Tuesday, January 30, 2007

SAP does not eat its own dogfood?

Jeff Nolan writes about SAP not using Duet itself .

I quote from Jeffs blog "How long before you see mashups entering the workplace that do things like expense management from calendar details, a solution you would have to buy from SAP/Microsoft (Duet) and implement providing you have all the pieces in place to do it, and if it were so easy why is SAP itself not running Duet internally (the answer is in the version requirements)?"

I cannot but agree with him. The kind of infrastructure and versions needed on the application, middleware, and the desktop for running Duet is way too onerous, as I pointed out here.

- Sangeeta

The Year of the Widget is Upon Us

The Year 2007 will be the year of the widget, says Newsweek.

But, of course! I had'nt expected this kind of resonance to my thoughts, but I sure feel validated.

Widgets featured in the article may fall short of going mainstream. The current crop of widgets run only on Windows Vista and on the forthcoming Apple OS. None of those are mainstream. Not yet, and not likely to be in 2007. The current lot also does not bring the desktop context to the widget, nor does it interact amongst each other.

The widget-on-the-web, such as Netvibes or Pageflake, may become mainstream though.

My feeling is, the term Widget will get redefined during the year, evolve to address the desktop connectivity issue, get re-purposed, and certainly kick up some dust - not just dust, maybe a storm.

- Sangeeta

Monday, January 29, 2007

Desktop is Desktop – and Web is Web – and never the twain shall meet! And should they?

The importance and role of the Desktop has been challenged recently by the Web, with some of the only-done-on-desktop stuff being done on the web, with on-the-web spreadsheets, on the web documents, on-the-web videos and what have you.

But would the Web replace the Desktop? No, not quite yet, may be never.

And here is why. The desktop world is about privacy and control, and the web world is about exploring, sharing and collaborating. Most of us build walls, called firewalls, around our desktop world to protect ourselves from the outside prying eyes. Our desktop world is our personal world, and the web is our social world. And yes, we would continue to want to keep them separate, or at any rate, would want to have to right to decide how much of our personal stuff we want to keep on the web.

Our information world, then, will continue to the divided into two – the personal one that is stored on our desktop, the one which is guarded fiercely from the world, with firewalls, intrusion detection software and anti-virus software and spam filters etc - and the other social one, the public information space that we inhabit and work on.

The same is true for the business world as well. Businesses will continue to barricade themselves within firewalls, put rules on who can access information when and where, and even, frame rules on what kind of web content can be viewed on their business desktops.

Does this desktop-web divide need to be bridged? Why should anyone require to bridge these two worlds? Because they are a pain un-bridged. Every travel done across these worlds, and it is done often enough, requires one to swap context, painful and error prone cut-and-paste, and is simply irksome. Clearly, this is problem which needs to be solved.

The Desktop and the Web - the time to meet each other has come!

Odd, A lone customer testimonial...

I recently read this article by Bruce Richardson of AMR Research, on how Duet is considered as one of the potent weapons to grow the SAP business by Team SAP.

The revenue potential for Duet, or applications that extend the context of the desktop applications to ERP applications is large. Specially on existing accounts. And yet, yet, there is only one customer, out the 300,000 licenses sold from 200,00o customer interactions, that has chosen to come out and talk about it.

Why this reticence from customers? After two years of the announcements and significant customer interest displayed during the launch time - and all this while customers keep asking for more desktop integration, there is just ONE lone customer who decides to speak about Duet publicly?

Odd. Distinctly odd.

In my opinion, these would be the top reasons for the customer silence:

1. The current Duet scenarios are too simple - and do not really deliver much. So, at this time, there is'nt anything to talk about.
2. In absence of development tools, the potential of desktop integration is not really well understood or realized
3. CIOs are yet to find the exact ROI for desktop integration. Sure, it improves the life of Information Worker. But how much? How many hours are saved? Does it reduce the number of steps a process takes?
4. No one has gone "live" on Duet yet. Maybe it is early days yet.

Maybe there is more to this silence. Any other opinion, anyone?