Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Productivity Suite Discussion

Barry Buchanon wrote a post about the various options available for our teams to use for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. Most of us think of Microsoft Office for these programs. I usually refer to these programs as productivity software.

Barry's post sparked a dialogue between us about the whether or not Open Office, a free competitor to MS Office, could work in a church or ministry office. I told him:
I don’t think staff would stand for Open Office or any other solution than MS Office. Though I hate many aspects of MS Office (see my blog entry), one of the things I've learned over the years is that church staffs are vociferously dedicated to it. I have seen executive and IT staff members lose their jobs over this issue!

I could tell you story after story about situations like this. And the money spent (some would say wasted) on MS Office and many other programs doesn't matter! Many staff members won’t stand for anything else. Sounds almost cultish, doesn't it!
He responded with:
I think you are totally correct, the staff would revolt before giving up Office. My article was really for users having a solution for home or ministries starting up.
Barry makes a good point. If someone is starting a new ministry and isn't already a full-fledged member of the Microsoft tribe, Open Office is a great way to go. It will save lots of precious ministry-launch dollars, and could always be abandoned in later years if desired.

There's an interesting Wiki list and comparison of productivity suites that might be worth looking at if you're considering your options.



Hey Norton said...

Using OpenOffice at home, I tested it for a month at the church office. I would have no hesitation in switching to the Write component of OpenOffice. The other components however, lack some of the features we use regularly for other tasks.

The real OpenOffice killer, is that I've found MS Office licenses for under $100 a piece. At that price, it's worth continuing the Gates-monopoly... as much as I dislike it.

Nick Nicholaou said...

You're right! CCB (Consistent Computer Bargains, 800/342-4222) sells legitimate MS Office 2007 Pro Plus licenses for only $67! They do this through the MS charitable licensing program.

If you're not familiar with CCB, they're worth checking out. They practically invented the charitable licensing niche!