Microsoft Excel is extremely popular. In many cases people are very comfortable working with product data in Excel files. But Excel files need to be managed and this is unpleasant side of Excel story. What we can do with this? – We can take all intelligence of product data and inject Excel to behave in similar way. This is sounds like something we are almost doing today. But by using this we create multiple dozens/hundreds Excel files spread out in your organization. How possible to unify excel story?
One of the possible option I see is to introduce Excel Services combined with Web Access. It will allow to provide users with familiar with Excel user experience to continue with their excel experience. On the other side data will not be part of Excel file anymore and can be located in your PLM system or other Enterprise systems and vaults in organization. You can also combine data from PLM system (such as Bill of Material) with information coming from external databases (i.e. compliance data or any other). By moving data on cloud or consuming SaaS application services you can discover additional options to transfer Excel into composite application with user experience adopted by many users in your organization.
Any comments on such approach? Do you see it possible in your organization?