For those of you attending Lotusphere 2010 (Orlando, FL, January 17-21), you may want to stop by to see my presentation on alternatives to Microsoft Office. It's session INV108 within the Futures and Innovations track, entitled, "Microsoft Office Alternatives: Considerations and Best Practices."
For those of you who have read my Market Insight: Productivity Suites 2009 or Productivity Suite Proliferation: Is It Time to Ditch Microsoft Office? reports (note: Burton Group subscription required for access), the session's findings will not be surprising.
However, it will be my latest thinking, which continues to evolve as I talk to more clients about their productivity suite strategy and issues they worry about. For example, as time goes on, I've become convinced that segmenting your users is not only key, but required. I've always said you have to segment your users (e.g., casual users, expert users, Twenty Somethings used to the web, veteran workers wedded to Microsoft Office) to figure out where it makes sense to displace Office--or if you can even do it. But at this point, I think you need to put a permanent process in place where you continually segment users. You can't get away with thinking that segmenting your users is a one-off deal. Instead, you must create a feedback loop that ensures that you're fielding a set of productivity suite options that map to your workers' evolving needs. If you don't do that, you'll fail.
In the past, enterprises ensured that workers didn't bump into any feature constraints by overbuying--by buying all the features for everyone. Today, if you can successfully segment your users, you can buy different sets of features for different segments, and save money in the process.
In any case, I think it will be an interesting session, and I hope to see you there.