Emerging Solutions PTU,
SAP Labs, LLC
Picture yourself sitting at a desk working in
Microsoft Outlook. Seamlessly, automatically,
and whenever appropriate, your desktop activities
link directly to your company's SAP
Without ever leaving your familiar Outlook desktop
environment, you are transparently tied in with applicable
backend SAP workflows, financial transactions, and
- You are a manager who gets an email alert
in your Outlook Inbox notifying you that
your travel budget has exceeded 50% for
the year. From that same email you can request
to transfer budget funds from another line
item to stave off a potential shortfall.
- You are an employee who schedules a meeting
with a customer, and your Outlook Calendar
automatically asks you if the meeting is
billable and presents you with a list of
billing accounts to choose from.
- You are a supervisor who writes an email
congratulating an employee for making a
tight deadline, and then from Outlook you
place that email directly into the employee's
How is this possible? This interoperability is enabled
by a new offering from SAP known as Project Mendocino.
Project Mendocino links mySAP ERP business functions
to Microsoft Office applications. Desktop applications
trigger transactions in the ERP system.
In its first release, Project Mendocino supports four
common business scenarios: time and billable meetings
management, budget monitoring, organization management
processes, and leave management requests (see Figure
1). Project Mendocino is a new paradigm
in that it does not take a bunch of SAP user experiences
and place them in a separate window that launches when
you're running Outlook, requiring users to "alt-tab" between
the two environments. Project Mendocino actually puts
tasks that are part of the SAP platform into Outlook.
|Transferring information from an electronic
personal calendar to a company time sheet or
accounting form is one of the most cumbersome
tasks. With Project Mendocino's Time Management
capability, information collected in Outlook
Calendar can be directly fed into mySAP ERP.
- Users can employ their Outlook Calendar
to record and track billable project time.
- When planning meetings in Outlook Calendar,
users are prompted as to whether the meeting
is for a billable purpose and are presented
with a list of billing accounts.
- If workflow requires manager approval of
a billable meeting, the manager is alerted
in Outlook and can approve or reject the
request in the very same email.
- Users can see links to relevant statistics
and company policies pertaining to time management.
|Planning time off from work usually requires
users to jump from one calendar to another, creating
a paper chain that can leave calendars out of
sync. With Project Mendocino's Leave Management
capability, users can use their Outlook Calendar
to schedule leave requests and the approval workflow
can all be contained in Exchange
- Employees using Outlook Calendar can file
a leave request, and the system will automatically
forward it to the appropriate approval authority
- Project Mendocino will provide context
for leave policies and procedures. For example,
an employee requesting leave will be able
to click on links related to company policies
regarding leaves for marriage, bereavement,
- The workflow for review and approval will
also be contained within Outlook for managers
and other supervisors.
|Tracking budgets and acting upon changes in
status is one of the most powerful features for
managers in Project Mendocino. Users can configure
Outlook using Project Mendocino to alert them
of financial conditions affecting a budget, but
instead of getting a text email with a link to
another system, the user can get the context
they need and access to the actual business processes
that will enable them to act upon the alert in
the email itself.
- Office users can receive regularly scheduled
reports, notifications, and alerts from mySAP
ERP for specific budgets and cost centers.
- Analytics, budgeting guidelines, and policies
are available through Outlook.
- Alerts can come with preconfigured reports
to provide needed context from which the
user can make decisions and also trigger
follow-up activities (e.g., workflows and
- Upon receipt of a report, the manager can
initiate a budget transfer or other adjustment.
- Administrators can make specific reports
in mySAP ERP and make them available for
distribution via Outlook to end users based
|Team Management, although not a replacement
for SAP Manager Self-Service, will make many
common HR tasks possible via Microsoft Outlook.
Users can use Outlook Contacts to retrieve up-to-date
information about employees, open positions,
and organizational structures.
- Outlook Contacts are connected with the
mySAP ERP Human Capital Management (mySAP
ERP HCM) system, and HCM information is available
based on a user's role. The type of
information can include compensation and
lines of authority.
- An Outlook user can access organizational
charts and have access to other related mySAP
ERP HCM data. Links to personnel files will
also be visible, again based on the user's
- Managers will be able to make personnel
change requests through the Outlook interface.
|Business Functions of Project Mendocino's
Four Key Scenarios
- Microsoft Office 2003 or later, with Active
Directory 2000 or later
- mySAP ERP 2004 or later
One of the key industry powerhouses that shaped
the Mendocino initiative is SAP's Dennis
SAP for Everyone
For Moore, General Manager of Emerging Solutions
at SAP, the implications of Project Mendocino are
are 400 million people who already know how to use
Microsoft Office," he says. "Each and
every one of them now knows how to use Mendocino.
That means every one of them can use SAP." No
special interfaces. Minimal training. Office users
do not even need to be aware that they are automatically
linking to SAP processes.
This opens up the power of SAP to legions of workers
who wouldn't otherwise be SAP users. Managers
in any department, without ever having to be trained
on the SAP interface, can have up-to-date and updateable-at-any-time
information in their inbox — in Excel format — that
they can manipulate. "It really opens up SAP
to a large number of people who are comfortable with
Office but never thought they'd
be with SAP," says Moore.
In so doing, enterprise information becomes as accessible
to managers as the information they store on their
desktops. "This," says Moore, "empowers
them to react more immediately to changes in the
organization or to approvals that are waiting for
them. Moreover, it contextualizes the work they're
doing, adding vital information from SAP and direct
links to additional SAP systems and processes such
as SAP Manager Self-Service." With Project
Mendocino, you can use Outlook Contacts to look up
an employee, and in the related action area, you
could have a link for creating a performance review
for the employee or maybe offering them a bonus or
raise. And it's all contextual — you
can see information about their current pay and when
they got their last raise, for example. The SAP process
actually surfaces within and as part of Outlook.
Revolutionizing How You Do Business
Project Mendocino is designed to reduce inefficiency
and increase employee productivity and compliance
with company processes. In most businesses there
are several areas for this type of improvement — in
particular in situations where users need to toggle
between Microsoft Outlook and the company's
SAP enterprise systems. For example, imagine this
mundane scenario: You set up several client meetings
on your Outlook Calendar, but then weeks or months
later you have to go back and try to match each meeting
to the relevant billing or hourly expenses. Project
Mendocino eliminates redundancy and opportunities
for inaccuracy by automatically collecting the meeting
time, duration, and date from your Outlook Calendar
and feeding it into your SAP billing system. The
information delivered is more accurate, more tied
to the bottom line, and takes less employee time
and effort to input.
product to ship with enterprise services,
Project Mendocino is a formidable demonstration
of the power of Enterprise Services Architecture
Project Mendocino also allows true interaction
between the structured and formal processes of an
enterprise SAP system and the unstructured and informal
environment of email. SAP budgets, reports, alerts,
and leave requests can be delivered right into your
Outlook Inbox, and they can be viewed and acted upon
with a simple point and click. The Project Mendocino
software bridges the experiential differences between
the ERP system and the desktop productivity application.
The Project Mendocino Flight Plan
Project Mendocino demonstrates how real-world, valuable
business processes can be run in Microsoft Office
and produce a whole new proposition for SAP users
around business value on the desktop.
The flight plan for the software is to expand the
business processes and the user scenarios, and to
deliver on the promise of providing SAP customers
with the ability to create their own Mendocino-based
scenarios. This is a new opportunity for both SAP
and Microsoft developers.
Fostering a New Breed of Information Workers
"Project Mendocino empowers information workers
to become enterprise information workers," says
Moore. "It extends their reach by providing intuitive
and familiar access to helpful data and business processes
from their SAP systems, all within the everyday environment
of their desktop applications. Project Mendocino expands
an employee's business knowledge without compromising
their comfort zone."
For more information on Project Mendocino, please
Top 10 Benefits of
redundancy and tedium for information
workers — Project Mendocino
removes the need for redundant tasks
such as making leave requests, filling
out time sheets for billing, and requesting
or generating standard financial reports.
|| Improves compliance — By
more closely integrating SAP with Microsoft
Office applications, Project Mendocino
improves audit traceability and transparency.
|| Reduces information
inconsistency — Project
Mendocino eliminates many different versions
of the truth, in particular inconsistencies
between desktop and enterprise applications
that are the result of errors when rekeying
information from one to the other.
||Integrates smoothly — Project
Mendocino is a separate product, promising
easy integration for customers with mySAP
ERP 2004 or later, Microsoft Office 2003
or later, and Microsoft Active Directory
2000 or later.
||Speeds user acceptance
and adoption — By employing
Microsoft Office as a user interface,
Project Mendocino improves business process
automation across the organization and
reduces reliance on power users, who
because of their role can become workflow
||Achieves wider dissemination
of better information — Analytics
and other reports from SAP arrive in
a manager's inbox in a best-practices
template for easy consumption in Microsoft
Excel. Information workers personalize,
format, and subscribe to new reports
|| Enables offline
use with invisible synchronization — All
Project Mendocino functions can be performed
offline and will automatically synchronize
and update ERP databases when one returns
to the network.
|| Promotes customization
and personalization — Project
Mendocino recognizes Windows NT authorizations
and maps them to SAP roles, giving information
workers access to appropriate, secure
transactional data and enabling them
to modify data and report templates.
in its proper context — Project
Mendocino can be configured to include
links to information sources in other
systems to provide information workers
with the most up-to-date and, most importantly,
consistent information required to make
|| Increases the value
of existing investments in both Microsoft
Office and SAP — By initiating
SAP business processes through the familiar
Microsoft Office interface, a higher
degree of business process automation
occurs across the organization with less
Moore is General Manager,
Emerging Solutions PTU, at SAP Labs in Palo
Alto, California. His team is responsible
for creating solutions for untapped markets.
Dennis's team has
pioneered many SAP firsts including xApps and
composite applications, Project Mendocino for
information worker productivity, model-based
development, service-oriented architecture,
and Guided Procedures and Work Centers for
Dennis joined SAP in 2001 and has 20 years
of experience in the enterprise software market.
Before joining SAP, he spent four years working
with numerous startups as a founder, key executive,
and consultant. Previously, Dennis spent nearly
eight years in a number of senior management
positions in product development and marketing
Prior to joining Oracle, Dennis
held a number of product development and
management positions with Ingres Corp. (now
Computer Associates), Dendrite International,
and Procter & Gamble.
Dennis graduated from Princeton University,
earning a BSE in Chemical Engineering.