microsystemsA year ago, the question everybody was asking was -When are you migrating to Office 2010 or 2007? The emerging questions are, "How much of Office 2010 or 2007 will you take advantage of?" and "How will you arm your users to cope with a dual-format environment?"

No aspect of this upgrade can be taken lightly; it may impact everything-hardware, operating system, DMS Client, CRM desktop, third-party templates, precedent libraries, forms, automation, email and the myriad add-ins deployed, and not to mention, training needs. Beyond the usual project concerns, there are also risks inherent in the conversion of the documents.

Fundamental to achieving the full range of benefits this upgrade has to offer is the adoption of MicrosoftTM Word's .docx (OpenXML) format. However, the only way you can get there is by providing a predictable path that is easily accessible and seamless to your users. This ensures they can quickly navigate the firm's templates, styles and DMS workflows moving you safely out of Word's .doc (binary) format.

The purpose of this paper is to inform you about the impact your file format choice has on your users and client relationships; then to provide you with recommendations to make the move safely with a minimum amount of risk to firm reputation. You are juggling a lot of moving parts and pieces; be careful not to overlook the considerations and ramifications of the .docx format.

The last major move as significant as the migration to the .docx format was the upgrade from WordPerfect. Although there are some similarities, enough differences exist that you cannot just repeat the process. You need a new, comprehensive plan for managing the existence of dual file formats.

In this white paper, you will learn:
• Why you need to consider the .docx format
• When to time your move to the .docx format
• How to handle precedent, boilerplate and -top-drawer‖ or model documents
• How to avoid content loss and unwanted formatting changes even before the move
• What steps you can take to ensure client service isn't negatively affected

Conclusion
Like all upgrades, there are risks and rewards to the move. In this case, you are impacted by the change in file format whether or not your firm migrates. Currently, Microsystems has uncovered at least 14 scenarios that affect content or user experience in documents traveling from .doc to .docx. Failure to understand the firm's exposure to these risks, and to institute processes for preventing and resolving them could negatively affect client service.
Click here to get the full "It's a Dual-Format World" White Paper.

Contributed by:
Microsystems
3025 Highland Parkway,
Suite 450, Downers Grove
IL 60515
www.microsystems.com

About Microsystems
Microsystems software and services drive document quality and production efficiency while reducing the risks associated with collaboration. Specifically, DocXtools enhances the productivity of expert and non-expert Microsoft Word users by extending the application's compare, cross reference, style, numbering and table of contents functionality and providing automation to identify and correct document issues. To reduce risk, in addition to DocXtools, Microsystems offers a technologically advanced metadata solution that prevents leakage from the burgeoning use of mobile devices as well as from the desktop. Since 1995, Microsystems software and services have improved a law firm's ability to exceed client expectations by allowing them to deliver the highest quality work product-safely and efficiently.

Learn how Microsystems clients are maximizing the Word environment for their lawyers, secretaries, legal assistants and Word experts. Call 630.598.1100 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

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