The 12 Most Common Deployment Hurdles During a Microsoft Office Upgrade

Migration experts ConverterTechnology work with leading enterprises, helping them successfully upgrade to newer versions of Microsoft Office while avoiding the biggest migration risks, including data corruption, reduced productivity and compatibility issues. The ConverterTechnology team has identified the 12 most common challenges when upgrading to Microsoft Office 2010.

“Every upgrade carries some risks – such as broken links, compatibility issues and file security issues – and it’s important to be aware of these risks so your company can avoid them,” said Shawn Allaway, President of ConverterTechnology.  “With the proper planning – and the correct suite of tools – you’ll minimize the risks and maximize the advantages during and after an enterprise-wide upgrade.”

According to Allaway, the biggest deployment hurdles include:

  • VBA Compatibility – Files can have a high concentration of critical Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code errors during and after an upgrade.
  • Links Compatibility – If files have links to Microsoft Office 2003 files, they’ll break when upgraded to the Microsoft Office 2010 file format.
  • Undocumented Compatibility Issues – Errors can arise during file remediation and file format conversion, extending resolution and completion times.
  • Unsupported File Types – Files that were previously supported in Office 2003 and earlier versions that won’t be supported in Office 2010.
  • Changed Functionality – Some file sets rely on Office 2003 functionality, which are discontinued in Office 2010.  Therefore, companies need to implement a systems redevelopment initiative to successfully upgrade the files.
  • File Security – Office 2010 upgrade projects risk compromising certain government-mandated security and compliance initiatives, placing organizations at risk for security breaches and compliance violations.
  • Add-Ins – Add-ins developed internally or externally can pose compatibility issues, as many will break when you upgrade to Office 2010.
  • Finding and Repairing Files at Risk – Some organizations have millions of files to convert, so identifying at-risk files can be time-consuming and tedious.
  • File Testing and User Acceptance Testing – Organizations need to test files for compatibility with Office 2010 applications, but may worry that it’s too time-intensive to accurately test all of their files.
  • Disk Space – Many organizations fear they don’t have enough disk space to adequately handle file conversions during an upgrade. Most approaches require users to copy all of the files to be upgraded, thereby doubling the necessary disk space.
  • Deployment Timeline – CIOs are concerned about meeting the rollout timelines dictated by the organization.
  • Co-Existence – Deploying Office 2010 while having users run in compatibility mode can be a huge challenge.

ConverterTechnology offers proven solutions for all of these deployment hurdles. Their full suite of tools finds and fixes an assortment of problems, including broken links and incompatibility issues, ensuring that your files and codes conform to best practice standards.  Unlike other approaches, ConverterTechnology’s OfficeConverter automatically remediates, finds (and fixes) many errors during and after an upgrade. OfficeConverter also accurately discovers and reports on any issues that require special attention or manual remediation.

Additionally, ConverterTechnology’s Click2Fix, an online file submittal portal, provides a predefined workflow process, streamlining communication between end-users and IT departments during and after an upgrade. Click2Fix offers significant benefits, including reducing remediation time, providing faster access to fixed files, and increasing productivity for IT departments and end-users.

And ConverterTechnology’s newest product, LinkLab, empowers end-users to test their own files for broken links and fix any broken links they discover, increasing their accuracy and productivity while freeing up IT resources.

“We’ve handled thousands of upgrades for a variety of Fortune 500 companies, and we understand the inherent risks that keep CIOs up at night. There’s always some apprehension that comes with a Microsoft Office upgrade, as business leaders worry about errors, downtime, loss of productivity, compatibility issues and security risks,” Allaway continued.  “They know that even one problem can cause havoc.”

“ConverterTechnology has developed proven solutions to address and prevent the most common, widespread problems associated with an upgrade.  Our comprehensive suite of tools increase accuracy, efficiency, productivity and security, while minimizing risk, errors, downtime and cost,” Allaway explained.

ConverterTechnology’s tools also provide a host of other benefits, including a complete code-change audit trail and security features to safeguard sensitive data from project teams.

“While a handful of organizations may choose the ‘Big Bang’ approach of upgrading all files at the same time, most execute the upgrade in phases. Our tools provide flexibility, allowing CIOs and IT managers to choose how they want to convert files based on a host of variables, such as department, geographic location and business function,” Allaway explained.

“The highest risk of business disruption due to a Microsoft Office 2010 upgrade is present when an enterprise is operating in a ‘mixed environment,’ where some users are working with Office 2010 while others are using earlier Office versions. Collapsing the Office 2010 deployment timeline is the best way to minimize this disruption,” he added.

ConverterTechnology is the only company to provide a comprehensive, automated Microsoft® Windows and Office migration solution that manages, tracks and reports on the entire process. The company’s innovative suite of tools, such as OfficeConverter, DiscoverIT, Click2Fix, LinkLab, and AOK, bring tremendous value to the entire upgrade process, including planning, workflow, discovering files, identifying compatibility issues and remediation.

ConverterTechnology has worked with industry leaders, including Fortune 500 companies, global financial and pharmaceutical corporations and the world’s most renowned theme park.