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“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve gotten.”

Variously attributed to everyone from Henry Ford and Moms Mabley to Tony Robbins and Ann Landers, this little gem keeps coming up in business settings because it keeps being true.  Habits are hard to break, even those that aren’t productive.

Which brings us to one of business’s longest-running habits:  using PowerPoint to build important presentations.

The venerable presentation builder turned 30 last year and while it’s come a long way from its Mac-only origins, the are lots of reasons to look beyond the Microsoft mainstay.

Let’s take a look at four reasons why PowerPoint doesn’t always cut it.

Reason #1: PowerPoint Simply Isn’t Built to Make Collaboration Easy.

As a desktop/laptop-first application, Microsoft PowerPoint saves presentations to your hard drive by default. Even in settings where document and asset storage server- or cloud-based, keeping track of all the pieces that go into building out presentations is a challenge.

Charts from spreadsheets. Photos. Videos. Active links. PDFs. Audio files. Site mockups. CAD files.   Chances are good that you’re fielding dozens of assets that are arriving by email. Downloading, uploading, resizing, updating to more current versions.  It’s all a lot to keep track of.

Embedding the live assets in your presentation can create a multi-gigabyte monster that chokes email and may or may not successfully open. Linking your desktop presentation to the assets stored and served from the cloud creates myriad challenges of its own.

And when the presentation is done? Uploading the “final version” to a server or sending it via email for edits, review, or submission can result in multiple versions of the presentation ending up in email boxes, taking up space, and going unread.

Ecos is built from the ground up to make creation, review, and publishing as easy a sending a link. Ecos’s Software As A Service approach (SaaS) means that you create, edit, save, review, store, and share every element on your presentation from the cloud. Ecos’s secure servers make your completed and in-progress presentations available from any web browser for editing, viewing, or sharing.

Reason #2: PowerPoint Doesn’t Like Your Older Computers

PowerPoint is powerful. But whether you’re creating a presentation or viewing one, it requires a lot of horsepower to run—6 GB of RAM, up to 10 GB of hard drive space, and a dual-core processor for starters. As the .pptx presentation has videos, photos, complex builds and more added to it, the file becomes larger and larger, creating a real challenge.

The median age for a PC is about five years, according to avast.com. More than 28 percent of PCs out in the wild are at least eight years old. While business computers may be somewhat younger as a group, it’s fair to assume that the PC or Mac your client will be using to view the presentation is not as robust as the hardware you’re using to create them.

Ecos puts everything up in the cloud. Large motion assets, charts, and photos are uploaded to the Ecos servers, resized, re-renders and integrated into your presentation.   With a decent internet connection, you can present from any browser. Ecos has got you covered in non-Wi-Fi settings as well. You can download a PDF. Or you can download the presentation to your PC or Mac.  The file will open in an offline web browser in HTML format, keeping intact any videos, animations, from your presentation.

Reason #3: PowerPoint Isn’t Built to Make Tracking Easy

You created the presentation to accompany a meeting or sales call. It’s supposed to function as your leave-behind. With PowerPoint, you email a file—or a link to a file—and it’s anybody’s guess as to whether the presentation gets read.  Microsoft’s integration with Sharepoint enables some sharing, of course, but it’s not intuitive and doesn’t provide detailed tracking of who has seen what. PowerPoint doesn’t make it easy to track who’s seen and read your presentation.

Ecos has analytics tracking built in.  As your presentation is published and shared via a secure link, your team gets easy-to-understand insights … who’s seen which slides and when, how long they’ve viewed them, and cumulative stats for the entire presentation

Reason #4: PowerPoint Doesn’t Make Updating Easy

Once you send it out into the world, your PowerPoint presentation represents a moment in time. So if additional slides are added, or information is corrected/updated, you’ll need to resend the presentation or have it available for downloading, often with a filename that becomes more obtuse as time goes on.

  • Smith Presentation
  • Smith Presentation – Updated
  • Smith Presentation – Updated 2.0

Or think about the number of times you’ve sent a presentation out, only to have someone come into your cube saying, “Hey, the Smith presentation has a typo on the cover slide.”  Nobody wants to have to send an update, but sometimes, there’s no choice.

Ecos is built for easy updating. Presentations use shared libraries of assets that can be updated in one place and automatically show the most recent version in any presentation that uses them.  Which means no more needing the send the “Use this one instead email.”

Change for its own sake can be disruptive. But change, in order to work more effectively,0 is always worth exploring.  If PowerPoint isn’t quite cutting it anymore for your business, let’s talk about how Ecos can help you build a better deck.