Three Factors to Consider when Migrating to a Newer Version of MS Office

With all the news surrounding the newest solutions from Microsoft – the movement to the cloud with Microsoft Office 365; the launch of Office 2013 and Windows 8; Surface or Windows Phone – there is little doubt that a number of companies are considering upgrading to these emerging and innovative options.

This article focuses on a few of the critical details that need to be considered when deploying to a newer version of Office. ConverterTechnology has over 10 years experience in helping enterprises upgrade to newer versions of Windows and Microsoft Office. Our goal is to help companies avoid unnecessary risks, costs, productivity loss and other difficulties that arise in the absence of proper planning. If you have already started the migration or you’re in the planning phase, we offer some things to keep in mind and common problem organizations face throughout a deployment process.

  1. Compatibility Mode. Many companies are tempted to use this, but they often overlook the limits that this approach has. The most important being that the new features offered in the newest version of Office are not available in compatibility mode or co-existence. So you are actually denying users the benefits from the newest version, which are designed to boost productivity. If you want to learn more about this we invite you to read one of our previous articles: Coexistence… A step not a solution.
  2. Links, or better said interlinked documents, it’s the most common problem that can give your users AND help desk headaches. The file extensions’ name used by newer Microsoft Office versions is different than previous ones. This means that when Microsoft Office files are upgraded to the latest version, file links will be broken due to the fact that the file name has been changed by the new file extension.
  3. Security. As Microsoft Office utilizes the Trust Center for document security, its settings must be considered a part of the deployment. Remember that Access security has additional considerations.  Prior to Office 2007, Workgroup Security (.MDW) was available to secure Access applications. Newer versions of Microsoft Office (native mode) do not support Workgroup security and therefore a security model must be planned and implemented as part of the deployment.

There are plenty of other details that must be carefully examined before rolling out a newer version of Office, the three above being among the most common ones. There is no one single “right” approach. Planning for a migration must be customized to each business’s needs.

Having an experienced partner right by your side to guide your steps from critical files evaluation to employees’ training can assure a smooth and less costly or time-consuming deployment process.