Think Free sells a web based suite of applications similar to that offered by Microsoft Office. Although the use of hosted applications is on the rise.
On the other hand, there is a surge of interest in hosted applications, businesses are not leaving Microsoft Office in droves. It’s still a very popular product, for good reason.
Computer World writes “Most SMBs, whether they are a law office or a beauty salon, are too busy putting their nose to the grindstone,” said Laurie McCabe, the AMI analyst who led the survey. “Their motivation to seek an alternative to Office is quite low.”
There’s two challenges or key issues in why smaller businesses are not tossing out all of their software and using hosted applications.
1. Comfort Zone – how many people switch their bank? Why? You have a fear of the unknown and don’t want the hassle of switching. Why get rid of using Office, which you’ve used for years to use an “un-proven” technology.
2. Brain Share – Think Free and other hosted applications are quite well known to the advanced geeks amongst us. However for your “average” small business they really don’t know much about technology beyond a few household name brands.
What does this mean to you?
The Computer World article reviews the challenges faced by Think Free using one of its customers as an example.
Before throwing out your software in favor of hosted applications, do a pilot, a test and really make sure it’s for you and your employees.
Microsoft Office offers a lot of features and product maturity that you can’t find, at this time in hosted applications. If you only type letters and hit print – any office suite will do. But if you are doing collaboration and if integration into Outlook or other Microsoft products are important to you, you might not want to switch.
If you like Think Free, also check out Zoho.com.
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