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Document lifecycle management vendor Litéra (news, site) aims to make its products easier to use with Office 2010 and earlier versions, with the release of its new Launchpad that gives access to its solutions without integrating directly into Office.

Litéra provides easy-to-use software for document lifecycle management enabling users to, amongst other things, compare documents, clean document metadata and extract PDF files to Microsoft Word efficiently.

Speaking to CMSWire just before the general release, Deepak Massand, CEO of Litéra, said the objective in developing Launchpad was to provide a product that deals with third-party integration problems that can slow down the speed Office works at, and also prevents companies from needing to upgrade to new versions of Office.

Office Add-Ins Problems?

So what is the problem? Many organizations that use Office have third-party product integrations into Office that have been implemented over years and are often launched using a button on the ribbon.

While this enables users access to a function, at the back end when there are too many programs Microsoft Office starts to overload. In some cases, Massand says, they have come across situations where organizations find that they have ten or fifteen third-party products that are all integrated into Office.

Different products from different vendors pull a lot of different code into Office that can clash dramatically increasing the time need to access documents. In some cases, this has resulted in load times rising from the normal four seconds to almost 20 seconds. As add-ins are removed Office’s performance improves dramatically.

Until this happens, Office is very slow, the IT organization [in enterprises] need to provide more support calls and they are constantly having to deal with third party vendors, because for companies that want to upgrade to higher version of Office, they have to ensure that all third-party vendors are ready with their [upgraded] integrations, Massand said.

Launchpad as a Solution

With Launchpad, Litéra is making sure that its products are not causing these kinds of problems. Launchpad is a desktop toolbar that provides instant access to Litéra's document lifeycle management solutions.

While Litéra will cater to clients that want to work without add-ins, the purpose of Launchpad is to provide Litéra fuctionality without insinuating it into Office.

This means that enterprises using Litéra products can upgrade to higher versions of Office without having to take into account how the higher version will work with Litéra. So far Launchpad works with:

  • Change-Pro: Provides Word, PowerPoint and PDF comparisons
  • Change-Pro for Excel: Spreadsheet comparison
  • LDF for PDF control and management
  • Litéra PDF Suite:Extracts and prints PDFs

It also provides access to its metadata cleaning product and Litera’s capture screen as well providing the capacity to allow third party products use the technology and place their products on Launchpad. Launchpad is now on general release and costs US$ 50/user.