First off, I have to admit that I actually came across the idea for this blog whilst I was catching up on the hype surrounding the royal wedding. I know you either love it or you hate it, but I admit that I tuned into BBC World News on Friday afternoon along with 3 billion or so others. But as I was watching, something else caught my eye. Scrolling across the bottom of the screen were the other news stories of the day, and at once the word Microsoft jumped out.

According to a BBC news report from Friday, Microsoft has just recorded a 31% rise in quarterly profits, despite lagging sales of the Windows 7 application. But what has this got to do with project management you might be asking?

Well the main reason for the jump was strong sales of Microsoft Office, which includes commonly used project management tools Outlook and Excel. We know that many people are already familiar with the Office suite, but the continuing strong sales of Office show that Microsoft is still one of the most dominant players in this market, and people are continuing to rely on this familiar application.

Still don’t see the connection with project management? Well, as Office tools such as Outlook and Excel are often used by project managers, and strong sales of these applications show they still continue to be widely used, wouldn’t it be ideal if dedicated project management software could integrate with Outlook and Excel to enhance these two useful tools and provide a more sophisticated project management platform?

Not all project management applications can boast such a close relationship with Microsoft though. But as IPM is built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM framework, it has the ability to integrate seamlessly with Outlook, so you can manage all your project information from within your email, and automatically track and store outgoing and incoming emails. And as we know project managers often rely heavily on Excel to manage projects, IPM users also have the ability to import and export information to and from Excel.

So as Microsoft Office continues to grow in popularity and use, IPM is definitely coming along for the ride. And who wouldn’t want project management software so closely integrated with a company that has such a strong presence in our workplace and the way we manage our projects?