The Lost Tribe

OK, so your organization has gone through the trials and tribulations of an Office 2010 upgrade. After months of planning, discovery, testing, file remediation, Office Ribbon training and, finally, deployment, the IT team is taking a well-deserved breather. Your entire organization is up on Office 2010. Mission accomplished. But wait!  There’s still a group that’s running in compatibility mode! How can this be and why?

With all the benefits of Open XML documents, why are these people still working in binary file format?  The main reason – FUD.  Fear, uncertainty and doubt.  In most organizations, there is a department or group of users living in a virtual lost world. They have legacy applications or documents (Access Database ’97 anyone?) that are usually business critical and they are not convinced, nor do they see the need to go to full native mode (Open XML format). Sure, they are running Office 2010, but it is merely wrapped around an earlier version, say Office 2003. The good news: there is a way to coax these users off their legacy dependence, but you have to prove that there is a solid path to get those big, complicated, app-like files to upgrade without worry or incident.  Sometimes jurisdictional issues, legal or departmental, come into play, as well.  Some groups will never let anyone touch their files, never mind performing an analysis and possible manual tinkering to get the files to play nice in full native mode at the hands of an outside consultant.  There are tools, such as ConverterTechnology’s Click2Fix, that can facilitate the set up a file testing kiosk within the business unit which can help overcome some of these blockers for full native mode deployment. What are some additional hurdles to full deployment of an office upgrade that your organization is facing?