If you haven’t tried out OpenOffice you should. OpenOffice is a free software bundle similar to Microsoft Office but one that is based on an open standard called the OpenDocument Format (ODF), which means that it is free to use and develop into whatever uses you need it for. Because it is free, there are no added license costs as your business grows.
There are some things that Microsoft Office does better—spreadsheets for one. Excel has been developed for a much longer time and has more advanced features and functions. MS Office integrates into other Microsoft software and networks, which is what a large percentage of small and medium sized business use.
One excellent use for OpenOffice is the ability to create Xforms. Xforms are document forms which save user inputted information into XML files. For example you might have a list of product information that you need to work in all of your software systems such as your P.O.S., your website and mobile app as well as your printed marketing materials. Storing your data as XML ensures that no matter what the future holds, your organization will be able to use and share company data without any incompatibilities.
Future is Bright for Open Document Format
OpenOffice and Xforms is an excellent combination, especially for startups who do not have a lot of money and who have their own ways of organizing company data. There is no cost barrier, the data created can be exported to every platform and if there is ever a need to upgrade to a more robust system it can be done simply and efficiently.