SAP and Microsoft have joined forces to sing a duet that may not always be in tune.
SAP Australia managing director Geraldine McBride and Microsoft Australia managing director Steve Vamos were on stage for the launch party this week singing the joys of their new partnership which has been dubbed Duet.
Duet is a new product that links SAP's business applications with Microsoft's Office desktop software.
The tool for accessing SAP ERP and CRM data via the Outlook interface is available locally now and both companies are "aligning efforts".
The stage show began with McBride announcing that SAP and Microsoft are the "best two software companies in the world".
Both managing directors were keen to talk about co-operation, not competition. But the reality is both companies are in direct competition in the enterprise application market.
And while SAP has a traditional enterprise base, Microsoft has been busy in recent years beefing up its BI, ERP and CRM offerings.
So how do they cooperate and compete? According to McBride, the consolidation of the software market which has diminished enterprise apps means they must work together by combining customers.
As Vamos pointed out, it's okay to compete "but you have to be sensible".
"Together we can grow the market for both companies and help customers get the best value," he said.
So how does this partnership strengthen SAP's position against Oracle? McBride said the company was "strong already, but we're just becoming even stronger".
Interestingly, many of the slides presented at the event showcased customers selecting Windows over Linux and saving "millions of dollars". "We appreciate customers that run SAP in a Windows environment," Vamos said.