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Office Automation And Group Collaboration

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The introduction of office automation and group collaboration software in a business environment has made everyday tasks easier to accomplish. In this paper, I will discuss different kinds of office automation and group collaboration software available and their advantages and disadvantages. Because I am a stay-at-home mother and do not have organization to use I will use my knowledge of office automation and group collaboration software to write this paper.

According to Kioskea.net (2008), "Office automation is intended to provide elements which make it possible to simplify, improve, and automate the organization of activities of a company or group of people." In today's market, there are many different office automation applications to choose. For the purpose of this paper, I have chosen Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Access.

Microsoft Word is word processing software, designed for developing textual documents, permits users to create, format, modify, and print documents electronically. With word processing software, a user can perform such functions as: add, copy, correct, delete, or move text; automatically number pages; create form letters and merge these with mailing lists; check documents for spelling errors; designated some characters as boldfaced or underlined or italic; and search for and change text within a document. Some disadvantages are the cost, and it cannot open documents created by other word processing applications.

Microsoft Excel is spreadsheet software used extensively for accounting and financial purposes. Excel is designed for maintaining, manipulating, and calculating numerical data. A user can add, delete, or modify the numerical records maintained in these spreadsheets. Excel provides formulas, functions, and commands to manipulate or calculate the data to meet multiple report formats. One disadvantage as mentioned above is the cost. A second disadvantage is the overwhelming number of options and functions available, a new user would need extra training to learn everything Microsoft Excel has to offer.

Microsoft Access is a database software program that makes manipulating data manageable for many skill levels. Users can input data and sort filter or group information according to user needs. Reports can be created by using certain parameters to pull information out of the database. Microsoft Access offers templates, which have the capability to be customized as needed. A user would not have to create a database from scratch. A disadvantage is the extensive options available make it a challenge to learn. Another disadvantage that has been reported is that very large databases are slow in uploading.

Group collaboration software or what is also known as "groupware" is software that allows members of a group who may or may not be located in the same office to share information. For information to be shared members must be connected to a local area network (LAN), intranet, or the Internet. There are many diverse groupware packages available from vendors that include different functions and features. Typical features found in most groupware packages are, e-mail, shared calendars, task management, video web conferencing, discussion boards, or forums, and document sharing. For the purpose of this paper, I have chosen Microsoft Outlook, and Google Cloud as examples of groupware software.

Microsoft Outlook is an e-mail application which users can send and receive

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