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On 3/11/2011 4:36 PM, drew wrote:
On Fri, 2011-03-11 at 19:22 -0500, webmaster for Kracked Press
Productions wrote:
On 03/11/2011 07:04 PM, drew wrote:
or marketing group.  Since they have several college/universities in the
Ithaca area.
Cornell is a major player in status for New York State Colleges.  A lot
of major research
partners with industries at Cornell.
Actually from what I can see MSO is not the competitor any longer, not
in the USA and not in Education - it is Google Docs.
Yup. Google Apps (which includes Docs) and, I'd argue to a lesser extent, Microsoft Live.

I just want to re-emphasize Drew's assertion and go a step further. The relative importance of office suites is in flux. In terms of importance, collaboration is ascendent. This means having, not only productivity tools but, document management (i.e. versioning) and calendaring.

For the last 4 or 5 years, MS' lunch has been eaten in the higher education space, not by other applications but by Google Apps. And this is only because Google is the furthest along in recognizing the tools important to collaboration. MS is late to the party but, it'd be wishful thinking to believe they won't stay & fight.

I live & work in the San Francisco Peninsula. The community college system in San Mateo County hands out branded gmail & apps to every one of their students, faculty & admins. That's over 25,000 students & what, maybe another 5,000 staff across three campuses. Students collaborate on projects, receive and send homework, schedule and synch their schedules. A lot of them don't bother to pack around a computing device larger than their mobile phone. They use their lappies at home and desktops "in the lab." It doesn't matter because it's all on their school-branded cloud serviced by Google.

Another example: A small group w/in a County agency is staffed by volunteers (me included). Of course, with a volunteer staff the organization suffered from regular turnover and bizarre scheduling requirements. The group needed collaboration tools: document management and group calendaring. No IT budget and a very restrictive (and old) IT policy, i.e. nothing gets installed that isn't on the blessed list. We fired up a domain, handed it over to Google and now the organization is running better than it ever has. Higher quality services, fewer mistakes, the whole enchilada.

The company I work for is spread out. It lives & breathes collaboration. Right now, it's laboring in part because our IT works in centralized fashion. They also have a "blessed list" and a process with many checks and balances. It blunts our effectiveness. I didn't call for a roll-out of (then) OpenOffice because that was only going to solve one of our secondary problems concerning collaboration. I showed my boss Google Apps and now that's a possibility.

Google's productivity suite is too basic for our needs regarding text editing and spreadsheets. But they're getting better. What we are considering now is; whether the other collaboration tools (email, calendaring, storage) justify enrolling in Google Apps now. I even tried an OOo add-on which makes it easy to down- and up-load doc to Google storage right from the app. Didn't work too well though but, that effort does point in the right direction.

If you've read this far, I apologize for the heft of the post but, I promise to end it soon.

All of this is why, when I first posted to this list, I asked about a roadmap. I think LibreOffice is a quality application which needs to become a quality Collaboration suite. I don't know what that looks like. But that's how people are working today, which is why Google & MS are moving in this direction.


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