Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a consulting and want to share part of the experience I gained.
At the time I was added to the communication, in a chain of emails between team members located in different countries, I came folder containing 8 Excel files, each with multiple tabs, which were connected with each other and that in order to change a value, you had to have all 8 files open simultaneously to review how the project affected with different assumptions they were being taken into account. it
was about 5 years since I used Excel, even had it installed on my laptop and was the only one on the computer using Mac OS X instead of Windows, but not for not using Excel did not use sheets calculation and it is that, precisely one of the current trends, and people began to avoid legendary programs that were very expensive for business, of any size, free substitutes and having basic functionality, and even advanced to meet most important within an office and allow open, edit and even save files with extensions office tasks. Among these programs I can mention:
Open Office: Apache, with over 160 million downloads and possessing Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base and Math among its programs as substitutes for the most popular programs Windows Office suite, Office.
iWork: Apple; as part of its strategy to promote the use of its platform OS X, since October 2013 Apple began offering free office suite iWork for those who acquired new equipment. Among the programs are iWork Pages, Numbers and Keynote, Keynote being the favorite of many people when making presentations, because its interface offers a plethora of options that were never considered by PowerPoint to newer versions. With this move, it was clear that software licenses are not the core business of Apple.
Google Apps : Google as the business is not to sell licenses but have subscribers, this free office suite, using a Gmail account, has the Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides, Forms, Hangouts, among other programs; It helps download an application, but its main strength is that documents that are generated are hosted in the cloud, so you can access and share from any laptop with internet access or device which have been downloaded and activated applications.
While, as usual was pirating Office programs, following the instructions in an .nfo or .txt file, or adding cracks; almost all go through there, directly or indirectly, but this brought all the consequences that we live in our time, the Office crashed without explanation (not when), up annoying pop-ups warning you were using an illegal copy of software and last was showing a red stripe reporting not had a legal version of the software, all these detrimental to the user experience with the software. It was the same with the Windows operating system, the Windows Market Share was huge, but how many of these licenses were legal? When we had a problem with Windows, first thing one was exclaiming “Damn Blue Screen”, referring to the Blue Screen of Death; one does not say, “Why have I not the official software?” For its part, Apple, since the release of its OS X Snow Leopard, 10.6 in 2009, started with very low prices, $ 29.99, and with all the advantages of having the official version of the software, compared with a Windows license which at that time could be between $ 300 if you wanted to upgrade legally. I remember the last OS X I bought was the Lion 10.7 OS X in 2011, also at $ 29.99, downloaded from the App Store, since from Snow Leopard stopped selling software on disks, and from there, with Mavericks OS X 10.9 in 2013, they began to “give away” the Operating System updates. I emphasize “give away” by the premium price paid for purchasing a computer with the apple logo. Microsoft, if your business is the licensing of software, not stand and now gives his version of Windows 10 since the end of 2015.
Following Google for Work vs. Office 365; the current market and current business models, favoring subscriptions, or, now instead of paying $ 300 for a license Office, as it was before, now paid $ 12.50 per month per user for the Enterprise version of Office, so you will always have the latest version of the software package and cloud backup for documents and work collaboratively. Google Apps for Work, also offers an office suite for $ 10 per month per user.
Returning with consulting experience, I felt that much time was lost with that of sending .zip folders with all the files and had to have them all open at once in order to be updated and to see the results. When receiving the folder containing the files needed to validate that the changes that had sent had gone to version ” Final Final, now if this is the documento10.xlsx ” and review all the new changes that had built all this while we a call by videoconference, sharing the screen and the time it took for all were in the same cell, tab and file.
One of these days, after receiving the folder, I asked the Project Manager who was up all documents to the cloud using Google Spreadsheets, Excel version of Google and it would share when everything was ready. It took me less than a week to have everything in the cloud, review and validate all formulas that all changes were updated without the need to have all open documents at once. Now if they could work collaboratively, all at once in a single file and make the calls were much easier, since there was no prior validate many things to make a change.
And when the email arrived, we wondered “how did before to work with fax?” We got used very easily to the amenities offered by the technology, now one wonders “how did before to work when there was no cloud?”
Google Spreadsheets, after some changes and check all the links, has nothing to ask Excel to Office 365. As opinion, Office does not have yet very clear what working in the cloud, as certain functions are only allowed to have the version Local file using the software installed on your computer, not let you do with the online version of the files. In order to validate the changes in Excel 365, keep all open files and must save the document, which does not happen with Google Spreadsheets, that all changes are updated in the cloud, although other open documents cannot have and no need to press the button to save the document to update the changes.
Before deciding on an office automation solution for your office or work team, I recommend reviewing the following points:
Type of platform to be used in the project, PC, Mac, Linux…?
The 5 year plan for the team
Licensing, is it necessary to pay for having a service for the project?
Migration, how long it will take to pass all documents to one version or another?