Sapphire has been a little odd this year. Not just because Shai Agassi quit and left a sizable keynote spot open (since filled by Philip Lay, managing director of The Chasm Group Advisors,) but because of the uneven pacing. Rather than start with a big bang with all the key announcements on day one, most of the good stuff was withheld until the second day when Henning Kagermann finally took the stage.
But let's not complain too loudly; there were some interesting tidbits to be found. For example, Harmony is an internal collaboration tool that help SAP workers workdwide connect today. It's not unlike IBM's Lotus Connections, and Jeff Nolan said he covered Harmony last year, but we got a glimpse of what's in store for later this year when regular users get to play with these features… And judging by the application product demo, it's pretty darn slick. Assistant Editor Eric Samuels is on the case and hope to have more details on this shortly, so stay tuned.
Another point of interest was SAP and Microsoft's deepened partnership regarding Duet. We've long said Duet is promising, but a tad light on features. If the promises made here today hold water, that may soon not be the case as we look towards Duet 2.0 in 2008 and even Duet 3.0, slated for the next release of SAP's business suite (which will also include Microsoft's next gen Office, including Sharepoint). But for the more immediate future, Duet 1.5 and its Q4 2007 release seems to be the big game in town.
Speaking of Duet, one perhaps less than earth-shattering but notable announcement was the inclusion of Duet as a pre-loaded feature on HP ProLiant servers. There are no new features or clever synergies in play, but it seems like a case where ease of use and availability could make a big difference in helping Duet dig its heels in over time.
Read Sapphire 2007 quick takes, part 2 here.