It should be called Lotus Wildfire, ‘cuz that’s how it’s spreading!
A Domino Administrator told me about his company. They use Lotus Notes for email and several homegrown applications. They use Microsoft Office for documents and very complicated, very customized Excel spreadsheets. The Excel spreadsheets have so many macros and programming, they have nearly grown to application status. They are currently using Office 2003 and due to the customized Excel files (1000s of them), they are reticent to upgrade to Office 2007. These 1000s of spreadsheets are “mission critical”, they need/want to do extensive testing before upgrading and finding their whole system breaks on the new Office.
No problem, right? Except many of the vendors and clients they deal with send them Office 2007 documents on a daily basis. As damage control, this company has installed Office 2007 on one workstation, and a member of IT has to “downgrade” any incoming Office 2007 files to Office 2003 files. Frustrating for IT and for the users. They don’t want to install Office 2007 on the users’ workstations for fear of breaking the 1000s of Excel 2003 files. The fear was that users would mistakenly open the customized files in Excel 2007 and not realizing their mistake would save the file in the new format.
My suggestion was to install Lotus Symphony on a few users’ workstations. Let them see they can open Office 2007 documents to view them. There is little fear the users would open the customized Excel files and go through the many warnings and steps required to save the file over in a different format.
Lotus Symphony has taken off like wildfire. Users have loved being able to open Office 2007 files without waiting for/bothering IT. The Admin has installed Symphony on an “as needed” basis, if a user needed to view an Office 2007 document, he has installed Symphony for the user. He tells me now that a manager at this company has just requested that her entire team have Symphony installed. The users are thrilled.
What a great way to get Lotus Symphony on their radar. It fills a NEED. There is no IT department forcing them to use new software for reasons that mean nothing to users. Users are REQUESTING it because it HELPS them do their jobs! Imagine that.