It seems to me that it was time I spoke about some of the things that I do like about Duet from SAP and Microsoft. No, it isn't a change of heart - I still think Duet has a long way to go before it delivers on what people expect it to be - but there are several things that are right about it.
For one, Duet is right in providing a solution to the friction between the workflow-enabled-business-process SAP world and the personal colloboration based Outlook world. It helps a user perform work flow transactions from within Outlook. It helps users look up data, compare it with previous history, and finally, complete the transaction from right within Outlook, and have it reflected in SAP.
Secondly, Duet does a decent job in providing the context sensitive data elements along side the automated e-mail generated, so that the user can effortlessly do the job. Further, it intuits the users context reasonably well with its integration with Outlook objects, and succeeds in providing a reasonably intuitive delivery of information.
Thirdly, the experience is seamless, and yes, it does look pretty. Prettier than SAP screens.
If Duet could connect to more data sources besides SAP, and enable users to build their own pathways inside Outlook and enable their work-flows, it would be loved by CIOs and users alike, notwithstanding its heavy middleware and upgrade costs.