Microsoft has claimed that on average employees working off its Small Business Server, Business Contact Manager and related Office products experience a 20pc productivity boost and across the board. The company acknowledged, however, that more work needs to be done by software vendors to encourage Irish firms to gain business value from productivity software by investing in training employees to use the technology properly.
Quoting research on the North American small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market, Microsoft Ireland’s Paul Mason (pictured) told siliconrepublic.com that 25 companies with between five and 50 IT users reported a return on investment ranging between 63pc and 1,000pc.
“Proper use of productivity software is resulting in serious productivity gains and cost savings for businesses. However, to get these benefits, businesses need to set aside the resources to train people properly in the use of productivity software. There is so much demand for this technology, yet the resources aren’t there to train people,” Mason warned.
“We know of lots of companies who buy the software and put it in themselves and off they go. That’s fine, but we would encourage companies to make use of professional advice and training to get full value and a proper gain. We would emphasise that companies continue to talk to experts when rolling out applications such as customer relationship modules, no matter how big or small they are,” Mason said.
Microsoft Ireland will be sponsoring a free seminar aimed at owners or managers of SMEs that will examine how investing in IT can be invaluable for driving growth, increasing productivity and maximizing profitability in a fast-paced Irish economy. High-level speakers from business and technology will include Dr Dan McLaughlin, chief economist at Bank of Ireland; Paul Mason, Microsoft Ireland; Patricia Callan, Small Firms Association; and David McWilliams, economist and broadcaster.
The event will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin, between 7.30 and 9.30 on Tuesday, 16 November. To register, go to: www.microsoft.com/ireland/events.
By John Kennedy