3 months Opinion Pieces

Are Your MS Office Applications Taking Too Long to Load?

When MS Office applications take a long time to load, it can be incredibly frustrating. In today’s world, basic applications like Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel are a fundamental part of most job roles but people are also becoming less patient – they expect instantaneous results. In the e-commerce world, acceptable page load times are approximately 2 seconds, which causes people to expect the same at work. Consequently, for many organisations, any degradation in performance can be extremely detrimental to their productivity and therefore revenue generation. If employees constantly experience issues, not only will they lose confidence in the IT department, they might even consider a new job – one where technology makes them more productive – not less!

That’s not to say that it is easy to ensure a system performs well. But a pragmatic approach is needed when tacking this challenge…

ROQ work with a large multi-national law firm, who had been experiencing issues with the performance of their Microsoft Office Suite. Following each major release, there were inconsistencies across various devices/machines, with quite a disparity between transaction times. On one particular occasion, they experienced a significant performance issue with MS Word, which was taking a full 30 secs to load and unfortunately, they were unable to correctly diagnose this issue using the existing toolset.

On the face of it, their main performance tool has an impressive range of functionality but in this instance, it was providing false-negative results before getting to the root cause - a sledgehammer to crack a nut. To mitigate the risk going forward, we designed a new way of performance testing to derive the necessary transaction timings.

A more pragmatic, bespoke solution was provided, which performed the key transactions and recorded the timings. All of the results were then compiled in a report, designed to be easily understandable for the key stakeholders, allowing comparison of benchmarking timings and comparison between devices. For further diagnostics and insights into any spikes in performance degradation, Windows Performance Recorder records the run in the background. Importantly, this gives very detailed insight into CPU usage but also storage, memory, power and system activity so that we can better help the engineers troubleshoot the problems.

Using these freely available tools, we now have a comprehensive solution which truly meets the needs of the business. This has saved huge amounts of time spent attempting to diagnose problems and trying to fix them without knowing the true cause. Creating clear, concise and quicker feedback, also means that the risk of the same issues repeating is dramatically reduced. This solution has had fantastic feedback from the wider team and is now being rolled out across the portfolio due the great success it has had.

This is a topic we will be discussing in our upcoming webinar – Navigating the Challenges and Ensuring Success of Windows 10 Upgrade. Join us for what promises to be an informative webinar.

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