For IT managers, deploying Office 2007 will mean introducing change to users, many of whom will not be immediately open to adopting the new ribbon interface or figuring out the new XML file formats.
To make the upgrade path easier, Microsoft has made available a number of training tools and videos for IT managers and users. eWEEK Labs has evaluated some of these tools, and weve found them to be helpful in educating users on how to work comfortably and productively in Office 2007. All the Office 2007 training materials are available at Office Online and are free.
When we first started testing Office 2007, it took us a while to figure out where the commands we used most often in Office 2003 were located in Office 2007. Realizing that most users would have the same problem, Microsoft released interactive command reference guides that allow users to click on a specific Office 2003 command and then be automatically directed to the location of that tool in the Office 2007 versions of Excel, PowerPoint and Word.
Users who need more hands-on help with Excel and Outlook can get in-depth training at Office Online. Also available are 30- to 60-minute “Get up to Speed” training courses that familiarize users with the Office 2007 suite of applications and the ribbon interface.
IT managers concerned about the new file formats introduced in Office 2007 can point users to the file-format section of Office Online, which includes videos explaining the new file formats, how to use the compatibility modes and how documents can be shared among different versions of Microsoft Office.
Not all the training materials are user-focused. Microsoft also is offering tools that help corporations develop training programs for employees during Office 2007 deployment. The tool, called the Enterprise Learning Framework, asks IT managers a series of questions regarding their deployment and then recommends learning topics that they can relay in the form of URLs to users.