The only suite of tools that avoids the hidden costs of lost productivity by automatically identifying, scanning, and remediating broken Microsoft Office files before rolling out the new version of Office.
ConverterTechnology, provider of software and services to help enterprises upgrade to new versions of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows without the risks, costs, productivity loss and headaches that typically arise from enterprise deployments, today published a comprehensive comparison of its M3 Suite for Office and Microsoft’s Office Telemetry Dashboard. Both are tools that can be used to help organizations during a migration to a newer version of Microsoft Office.
Significant technical and philosophical differences exist in how these two solutions function, including M3 Suite for Office’s ability to avoid the hidden costs of lost productivity that can result when using the Office Telemetry Dashboard.
Comparative details are outlined in the recently published whitepaper “M3 Suite for Office versus Telemetry Dashboard,” and validate the ability of ConverterTechnology’s M3 Suite to save significant time and reduce costs throughout the entire migration process by addressing compatibility issues before rolling out new versions of MS Office and avoiding a fix-on-fail approach to file remediation.
“On the surface the methodologies used by Microsoft and ConverterTechnology appear quite similar, but the information provided, the impact on end users, IT and help desk teams, and the overall project duration are considerably different,” said Shawn Allaway, CEO, ConverterTechnology. “No other solution is capable of identifying and automatically remediating ‘at risk’ Office files – with minimal human intervention – as quickly, thoroughly and accurately as ConverterTechnology’s M3 Suite for Office.
Debate about Addressing Compatibility Before or After Deployment
Generally speaking, there are three approaches to identifying corrupt files, repairing the files, and mitigating risks associated with a migration. They are:
- Fix-on-Fail – a post-deployment approach that limits the need to test each file. It results in remediating only actively used files but does not avoid end users uncovering compatibility issues in a live environment. Every corrupt file found results in lost productivity and end user dissatisfaction. As more broken files are identified, greater pressure is placed on the IT team to provide ‘instant’ fixes or risk an overwhelming influx of user requests for status updates to their file fix issues. End users may also begin to believe the new version of Office is unstable as the number of broken files increase.
- Test and fix prior to deployment – avoids the downtime and aggravation associated with ‘fix-on-fail’ but it can delay the Office deployment. Some companies opt to test and fix a subset of all files (i.e., files modified within the last 60 or 90 days).
- Test and fix prior to deployment with support for end-user submission of broken files – this hybrid approach allows organizations to test and remediate files on the network prior to deployment and adds the ability for end-user submission of broken files from their local machines.
Determining the best approach depends on a company’s required level of risk mitigation. Companies with many users who depend upon their Office files working typically focus their migration efforts prior to deployment. The ‘fix-on-fail’ or hybrid approaches suit organizations with less reliance on Office files working at the time of deployment.
Benefits of Automation vs. Human Intervention – Speed Deployment, Reduce Downtime
Both the MS Office Telemetry Dashboard and ConverterTechnology’s M3 Suite for Office identify ‘at risk’ files. The Office Telemetry Dashboard is designed to log and track compatibility issues when they occur – fix-on-fail – compared to the M3 Suite for Office, which identifies compatibility issues before they occur. Other differences include:
- M3 Suite for Office is the only approach that collects information in a matter of days or weeks depending on the size of the file shares, while Microsoft’s approach can take upwards of 90 days depending on the usage timeframe identified for the file set.
- The use of the Telemetry Dashboard requires human intervention to analyze collected information and to manually repair files, which complicates the remediation efforts and can slow down the duration of the Office migration. Business users and IT staff must review a list of file names to identify business critical documents, and then spend time, say on average 10 minutes per file to open, test, and remediate files individually.
- ConverterTechnology’s M3 Suite for Office employs a single, automated approach to scanning and identifying broken files. This ability to scan and convert a files takes an average of 10 seconds compared to the Telemetry Dashboard approach, which requires one person on average over two weeks to process 500 file requests.
The real power in the M3 Suite for Office comes during the testing phase which validates the resolution of compatibility issues before end users receive the files. This minimizes end user contact with help desk for added support, unlike the Telemetry Dashboard approach that requires the IT staff or help desk team to monitor the Telemetry Dashboard for incompatible files and to troubleshoot the issues. End users will still contact the help desk when they encounter broken files or may attempt to fix issues themselves, both of which waste time and money.
Allaway points out, “The entire Telemetry Dashboard approach has inherent risks – select too many files and slow down the deployment, select too few or the wrong files and inundate the IT help desk with end users requests from file fixes. ConverterTechnology’s solutions minimize the chance of selecting the wrong file set and provides most companies with a 90 percent or better success rate for automatic remediation of compatibility issues.”
To read more about the product comparisons, download the “M3 Suite for Office versus Telemetry Dashboard” whitepaper .