Indian Suites or Microsoft?EUR(TM)s?

Published Date
01 - Dec - 2004
| Last Updated
01 - Dec - 2004
Indian Suites or Microsoft’s?

Should your ‘Office’ suit itself with Microsoft or a cost-effective Indian alternative?

“At Rs 1,995, Shakti Office is a steal... ”

Gururaj Kulkarni,
Manager, Information Technology, 20:20 MEDIA

20:20Media decided to purchase and implement Shakti Office way back in mid-2003. Many executives and managers in the company worked with multiple documents in just the very languages supported by Shakti. The decision was also influenced by the fact that virii entered systems via e-mails received by these very middle-managers and executives. Shakti has an inbuilt virus-protection feature that takes care of this. That said, on the usability front, it is very intuitive and light on the operating system, which in turn enables the usage of limited storage and memory resource.

Yes, we did have Microsoft Office Suite installed on our systems prior to Shakti Office. But then the latter package has similar features and better stability. All this at a price as low as Rs 1995 makes Shakti Office quite a steal of a deal. We did look at Shakti Office from all these angles so to say and decided that it was the package that met our requirements.

All Shakti needs is a Celeron with Windows 98 (or a higher version) coupled with 128 MB of RAM, Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher and minimal hard disk space. These met, installation was a breeze without any irritating glitches whatsoever. CK Technologies (the developers of Shakti Office) provides technical support. We had a technical team from the company in our office to check problems and fix bugs related to the application. Thereafter, in terms of maintenance, the package has had a smooth run.

We imparted training to employees to familiarise them with the package. The effort has paid off and people have taken to it well enough.

“Microsoft has put in millions... ”

Chinar Deshpande,

Chief, Information Technology, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd 

Pantaloon makes extensive use of Microsoft Office Suite. With back office operations and other such IT process departments being established, it is an indispensable tool. MS Excel thus serves as a useful tool for ad hoc reports and analysis of data accumulated by transaction systems. Pivot tables help in the construction of 'what-if' systems. Concept discussions and business proposals come alive through Powerpoint presentations, while Word comes in handy to draft letters, etc, for inter-office communication.

A few departments do make use of OpenOffice though. The reason for this is that Pantaloon has grown rapidly and such low-cost solutions do help conserve resources. However, this does bring up software incompatibility issues. Certain documents created in one application may not open using the other and vice-versa. Hence, we do plan to set up a team for an internal software audit. We would like to tilt in favour of Microsoft's package. After all, they have invested millions of dollars to come up with a package that is easily intuitive, sturdy and not much of a hassle to use.

Yes, certain Indian software packages do offer the same features at a lower cost, but then we feel they are still in the nascent stage. Then there are migration issues as well: Right now, employees as well as our clients, etc, are quite conversant with Microsoft Office. New software translates to training, which in turn entail costs and take up company time. Why go through all unnecessary hassles when here is a solution that mingles well with the organisation?

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