IBM have announced Harmony. "I'd like to teach the world to sing" will probably be coming to a Software conference near you soon. eeek. For those companies that have a strong lotus notes culture, the IBM play makes a lot of sense. Bringing SAP to more users is good for SAP. (avoided the notes-harmony pun as it would have been a bit flat)
Building new interfaces to SAP isn't a new game, but it has got a whole lot easier. With Netweaver, SAP did a lot of work to "decouple" application logic and the presentation logic. Customers are starting to benefit from this technical change. We are moving rapidly to a multi-UI world.
Duet and Harmony are two big plays that take advantage of this, but I expect to see a lot more. Already, blackberrys and other mobile devices are creating new ways to work with SAP. I'm hearing about all sorts of cool stuff with the latest voice technologies. There will be a lot more UI innovation taking place on top of the the SAP platform, and this is good for the customer. If 3M could develop a post-it version, I'd demo it tomorrow.
I'm not convinced that the world needs to run in a browser either. I'm reminded of a piece that I read from Alan Cooper. in the distant past of 2001 he said.
put that in the the web 2.0 pipe and smoke it.
Josh Greenbaum provides a view on IBM's strategy. Check it out here.