Replacing the Microsoft Office Suite was complicated still some time ago. Among the main difficulties :
- the lack of compatibility between the various formats of Office files (doc, odt, xls, ods, odp, etc.), which significantly constrained users
- user habits, overwhelmingly inspired by the ergonomics of Microsoft tools, complicated change management
- many features available in the Microsoft Office Suite were not always available in the alternatives, or more difficult to access
Note that the most frequent criticism seems to be that of the lack of compatibility between formats and MS-Office application, which made the transition from one tool to another extremely difficult, or impossible.
Why choosing an alternative to Microsoft Office ?
There are various reasons why CIOs are looking for an alternative to the Microsoft Office Suite, but always under conditions to limit the impact of the change on users. The main goals of implementing an alternative to MS Office are :
- cost reduction of Office license
- more independence from the conditions imposed by large software publisher
- better control of their data with sovereign solutions and / or by hosting "Onpremise" rather than in the Microsoft Cloud, especially in the case of Office365 and the Cloud Act
Regarding the need for independence and sovereignty, Cigref published "Open source, an alternative to major IT providers" (December 2018).
The choice of CEO-Vision for GoFAST : the OnlyOffice Collaborative Suite
As technology and standards have evolved, much more compatible Office Suites exist today to more easily achieve these goals of free choice and data control. With the need for more transversality and the possibility of co-editing Office files, practices also evolve towards much more collaboration.
After numerous tests, CEO-Vision had chosen, in 2017, to integrate the Collaborative OnlyOffice Suite with the GoFAST platform (in v3.0). The choice was motivated by :
- the full-web app (nothing to install on PCs)
- good compatibility with MS Office files (docx, xlsx, pptx)
- ergonomics very close to MS Office Suite
- simultaneous co-editing of Office files
- monitoring of changes
- standard formats "docx", "xlsx", "pptx"
- the availability of essential features ("full-web" Office apps don’t have all the features present in PC apps yet , including Office365)
- Open Source technology
- the existence of PC apps, with the objective of eventually being able to guarantee their operation through the "online editing" feature of GoFAST (already available for MS Office and LibreOffice)
The integration of OnlyOffice with GoFAST has been strongly urged by client-users (GoFAST evolution approach) and is now widely used.
To go further, that is to offer even more freedom of choice, CEO-Vision has started a series of tests on the OnlyOffice PC application.
Editing documents with OnlyOffice apps from GoFAST allows responding to certain requests: being able to edit through a PC app and not in the web browser, to put a lock on the document that prevents co-publishing, to have certain features not supported by browser app.
Once again, the online edition from GoFAST is available for MS Office and LibreOffice PC application since the first versions of the DMS Collaborative platform. The idea here is to offer users a new alternative.