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posted by martyb on Saturday May 03 2014, @05:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the most-employees-are-not-in-Office-most-of-the-day dept.

A recent article in PCWorld reveals that many companies are simply throwing money away:

Organisations are wasting money licensing Microsoft Office applications that the majority of employees barely use, a study released this week by application analytics startup SoftWatch has found. Conclusion: many users could easly be migrated to far cheaper cloud applications such as Google Apps.

The firm carried out a 3-month analysis of Office suite use in 51 global firms representing 148,500 employees, revealing that seven out of ten employees weren't using any single application heavily, launching them only for viewing or light editing.

The average employee spent only 48 minutes per day using Office, largely the Outlook email client, which consumed about 68 percent of that activity. Excel was in second place with 17 percent, or an average of 8 minutes per day, leaving Word and PowerPoint trailing with only 5 minutes and 2 minutes per day each.

That email is popular and spreadsheets and presentations less so is not a surprise. The latter are occasional applications that non-specialist employees use only when they really have to and their importance can't necessarily be measured in terms of how often they are used so much as the impact that use has.

 
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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Tork on Saturday May 03 2014, @06:04PM

    by Tork (3914) on Saturday May 03 2014, @06:04PM (#39287)
    Office's entire purpose on this planet is communication. The reason a whole company uses it is so when one employee receives a document from another, it is rendered exactly as intended. Teasing aside from the anecdotal stories about how Office messed something up, frequency of use of these applications is not a measurement of money wasted. If my job doesn't require me to use Excel every day, but once quarter an executive sends me a spreadsheet I need to review, then Office has earned its keep.

    I'm sorry but you'll have to find another approach to support your agenda. The reason my company doesn't use Office is the alternatives have advantages that work in our favor. Maybe you should focus on the positive benefits instead of 'well leaving it wont hurt as much as you think.'
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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by cbiltcliffe on Saturday May 03 2014, @10:16PM

    by cbiltcliffe (1659) on Saturday May 03 2014, @10:16PM (#39333)

    The reason a whole company uses it is so when one employee receives a document from another, it is rendered exactly as intended.

    As long as you all have the same default printer driver, sure. What happens when you don't? Word completely changes its formatting, depending on the printer driver. WTF kind of an "enterprise" feature is that?

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by emg on Sunday May 04 2014, @07:31AM

      by emg (3464) on Sunday May 04 2014, @07:31AM (#39406)

      Don't forget that you also need the same version of Office if you want to see documents the same way, or even be able to open them at all. So you have to keep updating to read documents from customers, even if Office 2000 had every feature you actually needed.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Sunday May 04 2014, @01:59AM

    by VLM (445) on Sunday May 04 2014, @01:59AM (#39361)

    "so when one employee receives a document from another, it is rendered exactly as intended"

    At my employer we also have MS Office, etc, but the employees have invented their own strategy to ensure proper rendering, where they alt-prtscrn into the clipboard, then crop or scribble on it in MSPaint, then print it out, then scan the printout, then send the scan via email. Unfortunately this is the best bug submission system I've been able to set up, so far.

    It all makes sense in an insane sort of way, where they need to share exactly how something appears (like a bug) and they don't understand the "file" analogy so the easiest form of data interchange between programs (like paint-into-email) is using paper as an intermediate step. Also for awhile (admittedly a long time ago) the email virus scanner killed any image attachment over X kilobytes in length (silently discarding the entire message, of course) but whitelisted anything that came from the scanner.

    So yeah, love that data interchange thats "only available from MS products" LOL.

    Of course at my volunteer gig, everyone uses google docs/drive. Everyone. It actually works, believe it or not.

    • (Score: 1) by OffTheWallSoccer on Sunday May 04 2014, @02:34PM

      by OffTheWallSoccer (1010) on Sunday May 04 2014, @02:34PM (#39475)

      > where they alt-prtscrn into the clipboard,
      > then crop or scribble on it in MSPaint,
      > then print it out,
      > then scan the printout,
      > then send the scan via email.

      Are the print/scan steps done because the scan produces a particularly global file format? Why not replace print/scan with "convert to PDF"?

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday May 05 2014, @12:17AM

        by VLM (445) on Monday May 05 2014, @12:17AM (#39613)

        Where would you save the file if you're "not too good at that computer stuff" like knowing the concept of a file or directory.

        If you ever have to re-send it, and you will, its easier (for some) to find the paper.

        Some folks skip the MS Paint step and scribble on the printout. They tend to be completely illiterate so I can't read their writing. Ideally everyone would enter text in MS Paint and draw lines by hand, but whatever.

        Also insert draconian rules about all emails older than 90 days are deleted so if it ever becomes important in the future, like for annual reviews, you need hard copy.

        Finally insert draconian file storage quotas. Its not that a gig of disk space is expensive, its a gig of disk space total for a fraction of a million employees times exhaustive backup procedures starts adding up.