Office delay won't affect Mendocino, SAP says

The Mendocino product being developed by SAP and Microsoft won't be affected by any delays with Office 2007, SAP said Tuesday.

Delivery of Mendocino, the joint integration product from Microsoft and SAP, won't be affected by the delay in Microsoft's next Office productivity suite, an SAP spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Mendocino will ship as scheduled toward the end of the second quarter, according to spokeswoman Astrid Polchen. "Our first joint product will be based on Microsoft Office 2003 and, as such, won't be affected by any delays with the new Office version," she said.

Last week, Microsoft said it would push back the broad availability of its new Vista operating system and its Office 2007 productivity suite until next year. Both products will be available to business customers by the end of 2006 through Microsoft's volume licensing program, but will not be sold to consumers until January 2007.

SAP isn't concerned that enterprises could hold off purchasing Mendocino until a new version designed to run on Microsoft Office 2007 is available, according to Polchen. Businesses tend to be slower at purchasing new software releases than consumers, she said.

SAP, in Walldorf, Germany, and Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, have yet to set date when they intend to make Mendocino available on Office 2007, Polchen said. Mendocino is the code name for the product, which doesn't yet have an official name.

Since December, 25 customers from SAP and 25 from Microsoft have been testing a pre-release of Mendocino, according to Polchen. "Based on their feedback, we'll issue a second pre-release in April or May before making the product generally available by June," she said.

Mendocino sparked intense customer interest after SAP unveiled the project plans at its Sapphire show in April 2005. The software is intended to link SAP's back-office ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems with Microsoft's ubiquitous Office software, allowing customers to use the familiar Microsoft user interface to work with back-office corporate data from systems such as accounting and human resources.

SAP is concentrating initially on enabling a small number of corporate processes, including time and leave management, organizational management and budget monitoring.

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