Microsoft’s Office suite is legendary for its success. The software generates the lion’s share of Microsoft’s revenue and profits and it’s used almost universally in companies around the world. Even consumers are still flocking to Office, despite an increasing number of alternatives entering the marketplace. Not even the mighty Apple, with its iWork suite, has been able to overcome Office on the Macintosh and other Apple hardware.
Given all that, it’s hard to believe that some would say that Office isn’t important any longer. It’s so successful and been around for so long that people just take it for granted. And while the software isn’t as prominent in the market and in people’s minds as the iPhone or iPad and some of the Software-as-a-Service business applications that are getting so much attention, it remains a sales juggernaut.
Microsoft couldn’t remain as profitable or successful as it is without it. In many ways, Office could very well be the reason Steve Ballmer is still chief executive and why Bill Gates continues to be one of the richest men in the world.
But that’s just a small part of it. Office remains the most important office productivity suite in the enterprise for many far more important, reasons.
Read on to learn what those reasons are.
1. Google Docs is underpowered
Google Docs is called by some, the best alternative to Office. But this cloud-based option still lacks the power that customers have come to expect from Office. Just try analyzing data in Excel to find out why Google Docs doesn’t hold up. For corporate users, Office is still the natural choice.
2. Apple’s iWork is too consumer focused
Apple has its sights set firmly on Office with its iWork platform. But there’s just one problem: the software is too consumer-focused for corporate users. Enterprise needs are becoming more sophisticated by the day. For now, iWork just doesn’t cut it.
3. Employee productivity is a major problem
When analyzing the impact on employee productivity, it’s hard to find a single solution that’s better than Office. The software is familiar to users; it has all of the bells and whistles power users could possibly want; and it’s designed in such a way as to speed up processes. In other words, employees are more productive with Office.
4. Microsoft is going to the cloud
Microsoft is fully aware that the cloud is the future. With help from services like Office 365, the company is making serious inroads into that space. Better yet, it’s doing it on the backs of enterprise users that require more cloud functionality. With Office 365 and other cloud components, Microsoft is ensuring its software stays ahead of the curve, not behind it.
5. Open source isn’t for the enterprise
Over the years, some Microsoft haters have argued that the company’s proprietary software is bad for users. So, they’ve tried to push open-source alternatives like Open Office. However, those open-source options don’t come with the neither the features nor the technical support that enterprises demand. In other words, they just don’t cut it. Office does.
6. Look at the cash it generates
Want to find out why Office is so important? Look no further than Microsoft’s financials. During Microsoft’s last fiscal year ended June 30, Office generated $24 billion, representing the largest chunk of the company’s $73.7 billion in revenue. In terms of profit, Office made up $15.7 billion of the total $21.8 billion. If that’s not enough to show its importance, what is?
7. More and better features keep coming
With each new launch, Microsoft shows off software that comes with more and better features. In other words, Microsoft isn’t content to simply keep Office as-is and enjoy its success. Quite the contrary, the company wants to improve upon previous iterations to keep customers coming back. It works.
8. Consumers still use it
Although much of this discussion has revolved around the corporate world, it’s important to note that consumers are still using Office in a big way. In fact, people buying the software for their personal use at home is still a driving factor in Office’s success. Until that changes, Office’s popularity, and thus, its importance, will not wane.
9. Trust goes a long way
Today’s consumers and enterprise users trust Office. And because they trust Office, they continue to use the software. No other suite has managed to win such a level of trust. Microsoft has proven that trust truly goes a long way.
10. The corporate world is resistant to change
The corporate world is notoriously resistant to change. So, it’s no wonder Office is still so popular. Until something huge comes along to convince enterprises that it’s worth making a change, Office will continue in its role as the supreme application suite. This means Office will remain dominant in enterprises for many years to come.