One half of me can totally understand IBM wanting its employees to simply use software being offered by the company over using Microsoft’s. Sadly, however, it seems that IBM’s powers that be might have not thought things out all that well here.
First of all, migrating advanced spreadsheets using various macros over to something non-MS based is a nightmare. This is not saying one product is better or worse, just that switching with existing documents in play is going to be really messy.
Then there is the fact that if MS software is already paid for, why break what is not broken? I am sorry, but Symphony is not providing any definable advantage over MS Office or OpenOffice based on my experience. It’s slower than both of the previous suites and it is really not offering anything so compelling that making IBM employees switch will see a gain on productivity.