Within the office, Microsoft Office has become the go-to computer programming for anything relating to administration that needs to be completed on a PC. Indeed, it is not uncommon nowadays for any administrative jobs to list experience with the programs MS Office uses as a requirement for entry. However, what works for some offices may not always work for others. Each working environment is different, with its own needs and capabilities. With such a wide variation of conditions, it won’t be surprising to find MS Office is insufficient for your office’s needs.
This is not to say, of course, that you should not use MS Office at all. As a commonly used series of programs, you’ll be hard pressed to not use it at some point. However, it pays to broaden your tool set a little and to try gain as much coverage in software as possible, especially if you are working with older equipment.
If you are using modern, high-end PCs, then chances are you’ll find that Microsoft Office 2013 runs with remarkably few issues. About the most you’ll have to worry about is making sure everything you need is properly installed and set up, otherwise it all rather runs itself. Not everyone may have the luxury of state-of-the-art IT equipment though, especially for those who have a tiny IT base using tried and true PCs half a decade or more in age.
In such cases, you may find that Microsoft Office 2013 does not adequately function, whether it is due to slow loading times, poor responses or certain features being inaccessible. MS Office is a program that insists on the latest hardware, so unless you can upgrade you may find its performance less than satisfactory for your office’s needs.
Another issue that arises in using MS Office is that you may have a bit of difficulty in sharing documents if they use a format that the programs have difficulty reading. This makes receiving files from companies that use programs other than staples such as Word, Excel or Powerpoint a challenge, and could hamper your dealings with them. In particular, PDF documents are not usually able to be opened by Office programs.
This can be avoided, thankfully, through third-party software or through careful use of formatting abilities on the file itself before trying to open up the documents themselves.
Other File Sharing Difficulties
Another problem you may have noticed with programs such as Word is a lack of features that make file sharing tricky. In particular you may have noticed that Office has difficulty in using macros and pivot tables. This makes translation of charts a trickier task than it needs to be, and this can place great strain on your administration and data entry staff. Especially if your office has to deal with a broad set of spreadsheets and programs. Branch out a little, and you should be able to accommodate such varied files with a little more ease.
Poor IT Support
Should MS Office ever encounter technical difficulties that you or your office team cannot readily fix yourselves, you may be hard pressed to find any serious assistance from Microsoft’s support team. In fact you may find yourself hard pressed to pay for any assistance as well – in recent years, MS Office has been trying to push towards subscription to Office 365, which requires a monthly fee. This means that if your office needs technical assistance, you may have to pay for the privilege.
Naturally, your office cannot meet its daily or weekly requirements if the programs it relies on are currently suffering from a critical glitch. Thus you may find that, in moments of stress, MS Office is just as likely to let you down as carry you through.
There are a wide number of difficulties that lie behind MS Office and its use, mostly tied to the fact that it is only one set of programs all made by the same company. This is not to say that MS Office is bad or useless, only that you should not rely on it solely. A business cannot afford such a limited array of word processing capabilities or spreadsheet programs, if only because it leaves little recourse should MS Office fail to satisfy your office needs. Diversifying your IT department by using a wider range of alternative office programs, such as Scoro, can greatly improve your administration team’s file sharing and translation capabilities.
Guest Post by Christian Mills
The writer, Christian Mills, is a small business manager who has found that the almighty Microsoft Office doesn’t do everything that he needs, and blogs about these and other challenges he has faced. If you wish to learn more about Christian you can visit on Google+.