Office 2010: What Will Be the Tipping Point for Your Clients?
With the upcoming release of Office 2010 expected in June, businesses at all levels are considering the upgrade to Microsoft’s latest iteration of productivity software. However, after the adoption problems of Office 2007, Office 2010 might be a hard sell. It’s likely that the many of your clients skipped 2007 altogether and are still using 2003 or perhaps even 2000. Some clients may view the specter of a new version of Office with more trepidation than excitement.
In addition, Office’s chunky price tag makes selling the benefits even more onerous. However, if you have some patience and are selective regarding your target segment, Office 2010 has the potential to turn profits for MSPs this summer and fall. Here’s why:
First of all, Office is the de facto productivity software for most businesses, organizations, and individuals. According to Microsoft, even 77% of Mac users install Office software. Though Google’s browser-based apps are making a small dent in the market, Office remains the foundation of most businesses processes. This is good news for you: the sheer dominance of Microsoft alone might convince some SMBs to purchase 2010.
Secondly, if focus on your clients who are early adopters or those who are the most technically savvy, you’ll find a better return on your efforts. Other users will eventually follow suit, but that won’t help you for 2010 (and maybe not for 2011 either). Early adopters are less likely to be scared off by the Ribbon interface that’s now on Excel, Project, and Outlook (among others) and more likely to be excited by the new social connection features.
Furthermore, the free online beta version can co-exist with older versions of Office, allowing users to try out the software without fully committing. This trial will help your clients feel more comfortable with the interface and more open to buying the fully-loaded desktop version.
The biggest transformation in Office 2010 is its leap into the cloud: users can work collaboratively on documents and presentations in real time over the Internet. This direct challenge to Google Apps will have a palpable email-mitigating affect—a breath of fresh air most users desperately need.
Speaking of email, Microsoft has attempted to make email more manageable by compressing email threads to a single message. And in equal measures insensitive and alleviating, 2010 included an “Ignore” button. Everyone knows what it’s like to be hostage to an out of control email thread. The Ignore button deletes all messages in the thread including future e-mail tied to that thread.
That feature alone might be enough to convince busy SMB owners to jump on the Office 2010 bandwagon.
Eric Webster is VP of sales and marketing for Intronis. Find Intronis partner program information here. Guest blog entries such as this one are contributed on a monthly basis as part of The VAR Guy’s 2010 Platinum sponsorship. Read all of Eric’s guest blog entries here.