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May 1996

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From:
Geoffrey Duke <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 24 May 1996 15:00:08 -0400
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(Please excuse cross-postings)

Word Processing Support has Moved
---------------------------------

As of now, I am providing consulting services for clients using supported
microcomputer word processing software. Please refer questions, problems,
and other word processing issues to me:

        Geoffrey Duke   [log in to unmask]    6.1172



Word Processing Support Options
-------------------------------

Recent events are providing CIT and Client Services with an opportunity to
make some choices about consulting services and microcomputer application
support. 

 * The WordPerfect CAP program has expired.
 * WordPerfect has been purchased by Corel.
 * CIT is negotiating an agreement with Lotus to make the SmartSuite
   available to everyone--including students--on campus at an extremely
   low price.

We are in a position make decisions that will allow us to provide high
quality support for applications that provide good solutions for our clients.

We would like to invite you to help us determine what products we should
recommend to our (and your) clients. We have been working on this issue and
have come up with the following possibility. Please let us know how this
would impact you and your clients.


==========
Goals

 * Provide a high level of support for recommended applications, which
   may mean limiting the number of products we support.

 * Provide clients with support for integrated application suites.

 * Provide clients with choices.

 * Consciously choose direction for technology support.

 * Help clients avoid problematic products where there are
   reasonable alternatives.

 * Provide clients with support during period of transition.



==========
Possible New Direction

 * Downgrade support for WordPerfect.

 * Upgrade Support for Microsoft Word and Lotus Word Pro

 * Provide support and resources for clients making the transition from 
   WordPerfect to Word or Word Pro.



==========
Rationale

Downgrade support for WordPerfect.
     
     WordPerfect has served many users well for a long time,
     and there is a considerable user base here at UVM.
     However, we continue to be challenged by support
     issues related to WordPerfect that we don't see
     with other major word processing applications.
     
     Clients are demanding more integration among the
     business applications that they use. Currently, we
     provide no support for the other applications
     that are a part of the WordPerfect Office suite.
     
     With the end of CAP and the and the probability of the Lotus
     'Total Campus Option,' our level of support from vendors is 
     shifting. 
     

Upgrade Support for Microsoft Word and Lotus Word Pro

     These products have not presented us with the numbers
     and kinds of support issues that WordPerfect has. Word
     Pro is not well established on campus, but MS Word is
     widely used.
     
     These products are well integrated with other
     applications in their respective "Office" suites, and
     we support many other applications in those suites currently.
     
     For the Lotus SmartSuite, we have support arrangements
     with the publisher. For Microsoft Office, we have had
     success with their toll-call support, and their on-line
     support resources are very comprehensive.
     
     We are also investigating ClarisWorks as a reasonably 
     comprehensive package that is well integrated, cross-
     platform compatible, and for which we have vendor support.
     Trial versions can be downloaded from:
     http://www.claris.com/products/ClarisWorks/


Provide support and resources for clients making the transition from
WordPerfect to Word or Word Pro

     Both Microsoft and Lotus provide tools to assist WP users
     in moving to their word processors. I've tested the
     translators in both Word Pro (3.1 & 95) and MS Word (95) with
     successful importing of WP 5.1 and 6.1 documents with
     complex formatting.

     We will be evaluating Adobe File Utilities, a cross-platform
     product which incorporates Word-for-Word, as a migration tool.

     For support of WordPerfect during transition period,
       o We can still answer many questions
       o There are still many resources available to users
         (e.g., Church Street Center)
       o We will be able to provide alternatives that may better
         meet clients' needs, while focusing our support energies.



We appreciate the time and effort involved in product evaluation, and are
confident that together we can develop software solutions that will help our
clients successfully meet their goals. We look forward to your feedback.

Thanks,
Geoff

------------------------------------------------------
Geoffrey Duke                    [log in to unmask]
Computing Consultant II          http://mole.uvm.edu/~gcd

UVM CIT Client Services          CIT Helpline: 6-2604
 


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