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OpenOffice Rollout

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OpenOffice Rollout

rkuhn
I'm getting ready to test a rollout of OpenOffice on a limited basis within our organization.

Anyone have any advice?

Manageability, training, etc?
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    boxfiddler Moderator

    If you can manage to test it with users of different types you'll get a better idea of how it will go across the entire organization. By user types I mean to get to users who think rigidly and perform by routine set in concrete, never ever clicking on an unknown menu item; as compared to users who are mentally agile, not hesitating to explore their software to see just what is in front of them. I think you'll find the latter will have little to no trouble, but the former will need some training and time to become accustomed to the new thing they didn't want in the first place.

    While this seems pretty common sensical, I have found that sometimes it's not thought of.

    etu

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    rkuhn

    We're a construction company and so far my plan is only to roll it out to the construction guys in the field.

    The thought process was something akin to this. These guys use Office only a few times a day. And mostly just to view documents in Word and Excel.

    They do the bulk of their work on their cell phones...our ERP system has a mobile version to simplify their jobs.

    Excellent candidates to save money!

    I have no plans so far to roll it out to anyone else including more power users.

    Without taking a stance on Microsoft vs open source, this is purely a business decision...save money.

    Eventually, I'll roll it out to 25 users in 25 different locations. At about $300 a pop for Office, I'm think $7,500+ might be worth it.

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    CharlieSpencer

    If all they're doing is viewing existing files, there are free stand-alone viewers available from MS for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Journal, and Visio.

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    rkuhn

    But occasionally they do need to make edits. Not often but they do.

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    Tig2

    Palmetto's suggestion is right on the money as far as I can see it. But I would take the step of actually asking your guys how they are currently using Office.

    The good news is that as long as you stay in the .doc and .xls formats, your people won't hardly notice the difference. I don't know what version of Office your company is on but the new format with the most recent format may not be compatible across your board.

    You may find yourself with some minor challenges all centered around the "Save As" concept. While the majority of us here wouldn't have an issue, you may find some users that have difficulty with it.

    Without question, you will encounter that cost savings that you are looking for, even if you have to make a small additional effort to introduce the new system.

    I got the SO to give Open Office a try by putting it on his machine side by side with his existing Office XP install. He is looking to switch to a Mac in the future and the Mac version of Office doesn't give him the database tools he wants so that will likely not be his first choice. By using the two tools side by side he had an opportunity to adapt to the workflow of Open Office before making a commitment to it. While the two scenarios aren't equal, I found that to be a great way to introduce Open Office to someone who has always been deeply rooted in Microsoft products.

    Do please come back and tell us how this shift goes for you.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I believe there's an option to can set the default format.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Got any macro users or authors? You may want to check any existing macros for compatibility.

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    rkuhn

    See my above comments.

    No macros used by these people. They barely know how to turn their PC on to begin with.

    What do you think? Am I crazy to even try this? I'm thinking if done correctly, we could save some $.

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    Dumphrey

    tends to load up slower then MS Office. Some people think its "stuck," I usually let people know to expect this.

    And there is still some formatting issues with very complex pages, but for 99.9% of what i have seen its fine.

    You may want to set their default file type to ms compatible, expecting them (utility user)to remember to "save as" is not a reasonable or productive request.

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    rkuhn

    I did already set the default to the MS file format.

    I also tested other suites like Symphony and a few others but I think OO gets the best reviews. None of them seem to open as fast as MS Office.

    Oh, and I'm also replacing WinZip with 7-Zip. WinZip gets downloaded all to often (illegally) so I'm hoping to encourage use of 7-Zip instead.

    I figure easier to encourage a replacement than to blindly police the unpolicable.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Assuming all they need to do is compress and decompress. I'm not sure about 2000.

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    rkuhn

    With weaker security measures like encrypting files.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    It does load slower. And setting the default so that these guys don't have to think about that is a good idea. Remembering to 'Save As' is something most non-power users don't often do.
    Thanks for reminding me.

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    jdclyde

    First, I see someone mentioned the obvious step of setting the save default to Ms.

    As for loading faster, is that with the preload crap going? MS had Office half loaded before you start using it, so it will be there faster when/if you actually do use it.

    Another thing, OO3 is almost ready for launch. Might hold off your launch to get that, or end up going to the work stations a second time to update.

    I am switching my users to OO. Other than macros, OO2 is doing well. Had problems with the first version, of it not handling printing spreadsheets worth a crap. They fixed that.

    Do your office users make docx files? I don't know if OO3 will open them or not, but OO2 doesn't.

    Let us know how this goes for you.

    I am switching to get my users used to the open software, and made the move to FF years ago. Vista is not seen as a part of our future, and in about a year, I can see a move to linux desktops.

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    rkuhn

    Wait for OO3 but not sure if that's really necessary.

    And just about anyway you cut it, OO is slower. I've tried everything.

    Across the board our company uses Office XP and/or 2003 so I don't think .docx and such will be a problem unless it is an external document.

    My main concern thus far is the lack of management features. With MS Office and WSUS, I can approve, push and verify updates. I don't see anytime like that for OO yet.

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    jdclyde

    would be a problem either way, so agreed, not an issue.

    Love how people point out OO not being compatible, while Office is not compatible... with office.....

  • +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    If you can manage to test it with users of different types you'll get a better idea of how it will go across the entire organization. By user types I mean to get to users who think rigidly and perform by routine set in concrete, never ever clicking on an unknown menu item; as compared to users who are mentally agile, not hesitating to explore their software to see just what is in front of them. I think you'll find the latter will have little to no trouble, but the former will need some training and time to become accustomed to the new thing they didn't want in the first place.

    While this seems pretty common sensical, I have found that sometimes it's not thought of.

    etu

    +
    0 Votes
    rkuhn

    We're a construction company and so far my plan is only to roll it out to the construction guys in the field.

    The thought process was something akin to this. These guys use Office only a few times a day. And mostly just to view documents in Word and Excel.

    They do the bulk of their work on their cell phones...our ERP system has a mobile version to simplify their jobs.

    Excellent candidates to save money!

    I have no plans so far to roll it out to anyone else including more power users.

    Without taking a stance on Microsoft vs open source, this is purely a business decision...save money.

    Eventually, I'll roll it out to 25 users in 25 different locations. At about $300 a pop for Office, I'm think $7,500+ might be worth it.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    If all they're doing is viewing existing files, there are free stand-alone viewers available from MS for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Journal, and Visio.

    +
    0 Votes
    rkuhn

    But occasionally they do need to make edits. Not often but they do.

    +
    0 Votes
    Tig2

    Palmetto's suggestion is right on the money as far as I can see it. But I would take the step of actually asking your guys how they are currently using Office.

    The good news is that as long as you stay in the .doc and .xls formats, your people won't hardly notice the difference. I don't know what version of Office your company is on but the new format with the most recent format may not be compatible across your board.

    You may find yourself with some minor challenges all centered around the "Save As" concept. While the majority of us here wouldn't have an issue, you may find some users that have difficulty with it.

    Without question, you will encounter that cost savings that you are looking for, even if you have to make a small additional effort to introduce the new system.

    I got the SO to give Open Office a try by putting it on his machine side by side with his existing Office XP install. He is looking to switch to a Mac in the future and the Mac version of Office doesn't give him the database tools he wants so that will likely not be his first choice. By using the two tools side by side he had an opportunity to adapt to the workflow of Open Office before making a commitment to it. While the two scenarios aren't equal, I found that to be a great way to introduce Open Office to someone who has always been deeply rooted in Microsoft products.

    Do please come back and tell us how this shift goes for you.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    I believe there's an option to can set the default format.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    Got any macro users or authors? You may want to check any existing macros for compatibility.

    +
    0 Votes
    rkuhn

    See my above comments.

    No macros used by these people. They barely know how to turn their PC on to begin with.

    What do you think? Am I crazy to even try this? I'm thinking if done correctly, we could save some $.

    +
    0 Votes
    Dumphrey

    tends to load up slower then MS Office. Some people think its "stuck," I usually let people know to expect this.

    And there is still some formatting issues with very complex pages, but for 99.9% of what i have seen its fine.

    You may want to set their default file type to ms compatible, expecting them (utility user)to remember to "save as" is not a reasonable or productive request.

    +
    0 Votes
    rkuhn

    I did already set the default to the MS file format.

    I also tested other suites like Symphony and a few others but I think OO gets the best reviews. None of them seem to open as fast as MS Office.

    Oh, and I'm also replacing WinZip with 7-Zip. WinZip gets downloaded all to often (illegally) so I'm hoping to encourage use of 7-Zip instead.

    I figure easier to encourage a replacement than to blindly police the unpolicable.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    Assuming all they need to do is compress and decompress. I'm not sure about 2000.

    +
    0 Votes
    rkuhn

    With weaker security measures like encrypting files.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    It does load slower. And setting the default so that these guys don't have to think about that is a good idea. Remembering to 'Save As' is something most non-power users don't often do.
    Thanks for reminding me.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    First, I see someone mentioned the obvious step of setting the save default to Ms.

    As for loading faster, is that with the preload crap going? MS had Office half loaded before you start using it, so it will be there faster when/if you actually do use it.

    Another thing, OO3 is almost ready for launch. Might hold off your launch to get that, or end up going to the work stations a second time to update.

    I am switching my users to OO. Other than macros, OO2 is doing well. Had problems with the first version, of it not handling printing spreadsheets worth a crap. They fixed that.

    Do your office users make docx files? I don't know if OO3 will open them or not, but OO2 doesn't.

    Let us know how this goes for you.

    I am switching to get my users used to the open software, and made the move to FF years ago. Vista is not seen as a part of our future, and in about a year, I can see a move to linux desktops.

    +
    0 Votes
    rkuhn

    Wait for OO3 but not sure if that's really necessary.

    And just about anyway you cut it, OO is slower. I've tried everything.

    Across the board our company uses Office XP and/or 2003 so I don't think .docx and such will be a problem unless it is an external document.

    My main concern thus far is the lack of management features. With MS Office and WSUS, I can approve, push and verify updates. I don't see anytime like that for OO yet.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    would be a problem either way, so agreed, not an issue.

    Love how people point out OO not being compatible, while Office is not compatible... with office.....