Excel® is flexible, easy to use, and powerful, and as such is widely used for preliminary design; engineering calculations; and configuration, pricing and proposal generation.
However, work-processes frequently require the deployment of spreadsheets to multiple users. Spreadsheets are then pushed beyond the role of a desktop solution into the role of an enterprise collaboration tool, often resulting in serious problems.
“No matter the popularity of spreadsheets, when used improperly or incorrectly, or without sufficient control, spreadsheets pose a greater threat to your business than almost anything you can imagine.”
Philip Howard, Bloor Research. (Read full article here)
Typical problems include:
- No version control – multiple versions of spreadsheets may reside on many desktops with resulting confusion on which version is “current”.
- Introduction of errors – formulas and cell contents can be inadvertently overwritten and propagated.
- No audit trail — who used which version of a given tool on a given date for a given project?
- No collaboration or ability to share results.
- Risks of exposed intellectual property.
- No ability to link to other systems such as CAD, CRM, PLM and databases.
- Difficulty of usage by those lacking familiarity with a particular spreadsheet.
- Unreliable execution across IT infrastructure due to subtle differences in versions, settings, VBA, etc.
EASA helps companies overcome all of these problems by making spreadsheets “behave” like enterprise applications. EASA enables rapid deployment of spreadsheets as collaborative web applications, accessible to any authorized user. This enables organizations to securely leverage the investment and intellectual property in existing spreadsheets, and avoiding the costly and disruptive approach of replacing the entire system with a custom developed or commercial tool.