Microsoft’s Office 2003 suite addresses major productivity challenges in small businesses by providing better visibility into business information. The Standard Edition includes Microsoft’s four core office productivity programs: Outlook 2003, Word 2003, Excel 2003 and PowerPoint 2003.

Microsoft Office 2003 Overview
Microsoft’s Office 2003Microsoft’s Office 2003 suite addresses major productivity challenges in small businesses by providing better visibility into business information. The Standard Edition includes Microsoft’s four core office productivity programs:

  • Outlook 2003
  • Word 2003
  • Excel 2003
  • PowerPoint 2003

    The Small Business Edition includes Publisher 2003, and the Professional Edition adds Access 2003.

    Office 2003 offers improvements over previous versions of the Office suite in four key areas:

  • Information management and control
  • Business processes
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Personal productivity

    Some of the significant changes of Office 2003 include:

    • Broader support for Extensible Markup Language (XML). Both Word 2003 and Excel 2003 offer XML schemas you can customize for using data, smart documents and programmable task panes (such as the Research task pane).
    • Greater integration with SharePoint Services. This provides increased collaboration through team sites such as Document Workspaces, Meeting Workspaces and other collaboration tools.
    • A new version of Microsoft Outlook with an improved Reading Pane, email conversation thread condensers, and cached email store.

    To get all the benefits of Office 2003 requires Exchange Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003. Exchange Server 2003 works with Outlook 2003 to provide a secure end-to-end messaging solution available on a variety of devices. Exchange 2003 also offers enhanced security and a superior messaging infrastructure. By adding smart clients and collaborative servers to Microsoft Windows Server 2003, your business gets easier, more secure, and more reliable access to individual and shared information such as team documents. Progent’s expert consultants can help your business upgrade to Exchange Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003.

    Microsoft Outlook 2003
    Microsoft’s Office 2003Outlook 2003 provides an integrated solution for managing and organizing email messages, tasks, schedules, notes, contacts and other information. Innovations include a Junk E-Mail Filter to prevent unwanted messages from cluttering your Inbox.

    With Outlook 2003 you no longer have to keep all your email messages in your Inbox to remind you of action items. Instead, you can use Quick Flags to flag messages by priority or by time sensitivity and find them in any folder. Outlook 2003 can also automatically organize messages and receive reminders. Enhanced Rules and Alerts organize incoming email messages according to your preferences and can automatically trigger alerts to remind you when tasks are due or meetings are about to begin.

    You can access shared team calendars in Outlook 2003 and view multiple calendars side by side in order to make scheduling meetings faster and more convenient.

    The new Outlook Web Access interface is dramatically superior to previous versions in terms of both speed and functionality. Authorized users can instantly access a full-featured and secure version of Outlook 2003 from any web-connected computer running a current version of Internet Explorer (see sample screen below):

    Microsoft Word 2003
    Microsoft’s Office 2003Microsoft Word 2003 includes important improvements in collaboration, information sharing and information access.

    Word 2003 lets you designate certain sections of your document to be modified by specific people to protect how your document is modified and reduce conflicting comments. You can prevent reviewers from making changes unless they turn revision marks on, or make the entire document read-only with key portions that can be modified only by specific individuals. This also protects your document’s formatting and style.

    Word 2003 supports both the Extensible Markup Language (XML) file format and custom schemas, providing the basis for building solutions to business problems such as data reporting, publishing, and submitting data to business processes. Word 2003 documents can be saved in a native XML file format which can be manipulated and searched using any program that can process industry standard XML. With Office Professional Edition 2003, you can also use customized XML formats—or schemas—to enable easier and more advanced information creation, capture, exchange and reuse.

    Smart tags in Word 2003 are more flexible. You can associate smart tags with specific content and have the appropriate smart tag appear when you point to the associated words. When an item is recognized, Word provides the user with a Smart Tag that makes it possible to obtain additional information from the Web or other Office applications.

    To save time when you do research, the Research task pane brings electronic dictionaries, thesauri, and online research sites into Word 2003 so that you can quickly find information and incorporate it into your documents without having to leave Word.

    Progent's Experts Team can help you incorporate Word's powerful features into the workflow of your business, assist with designing templates and building macros, or provide 1-on-1 training to keep your business up to speed on Word 2003.

    Microsoft Excel 2003
    Microsoft’s Office 2003Excel 2003 enables you to turn data into information with powerful tools to analyze, communicate and share results. Excel 2003 can help you work better in teams and also protect and control access to your work. In addition, you can work with industry-standard Extensible Markup Language (XML) data to make it easier to connect Excel 2003 to business processes.

    If you have Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and are running Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, you can save Excel 2003 spreadsheets to shared workspaces where other team members can get the latest version and save task lists, related files, links and member lists.

    If you have Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and are running Microsoft Windows Rights Management Services (RMS), you can protect company assets by preventing recipients from forwarding, copying or printing important spreadsheets using information rights management (IRM) functionality. You can grant others permission to view, review or modify your spreadsheet, and you can set an expiration date after which others cannot view or change it.

    Excel 2003, like Word 2003, can read data in any customer-defined XML schema without reformatting. You can analyze and manipulate XML data sources using charts, tables or graphs. Excel 2003 spreadsheets can be saved in a native XML file format which can be manipulated and searched using any program that can process industry standard XML.

    Progent’s Experts Team can help you create state-of-the-art Excel-based applications, create automated business reports using Crystal Reports or FRx, or provide 1-on-1 training in the latest features of Excel 2003.

    Infrastructure Support
    Progent's consultants can help your business build and maintain a secure, robust network and communications infrastructure to support Office 2003-based solutions.

    For more information, call Progent at 1-800-993-9400.

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