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Microsoft, SAP Reinforce Importance of Interoperability by Reprising ‘Duet’

There’s a line in the 1987 movie “Broadcast News” in which Holly Hunter responds to the snide put-down “It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you’re the smartest person in the room” by saying, “No; it’s awful!”

Tucking that thought away for the moment, let’s now commemorate last week’s rollout of Duet Enterprise, software that connects Microsoft SharePoint 2010 with SAP. The concept isn’t new, having been first introduced in 2005, but the relevant technologies have all matured some since then – and with them, the notion that connecting content stacks of all kinds is important to overall organizational health.

This observer has been writing about interoperability for close to a decade, having even gone so far as to publish a landmark bit of competitive research on the subject way back in 2002. In the years since, I have railed against the practice of dogmatically differentiating between, for instance, ‘content management’ and ‘Web content management,’ and drawing a line around ‘enterprise content management’ to separate it from other critical applications like HR, CRM, and, yes, ERP.

So to see these two software giants, each of which wields tremendous influence on companies of any size, come together in this way not only is validating, but also reinforces how important it is to take a more holistic view of ‘content’ when you set your strategy than much of the conventional wisdom will have you believe.

Sure, the tools needed to manage Web assets are different than those used to tend to payables information. But they all have ‘content’ at their core, and you’ll do well to take advantage of every opportunity you have to get your systems to work together.

That’s how you get to be the smartest person in room!

If you’re in the Boston area and content interoperability floats your boat, join the AIIM New England Chapter on March 2 for an exclusive look at this longstanding issue. Click here for details!

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