I would like to start a thread here for tips on influencing other IT groups or the business to use MSProject over Excel. In my experience I have had to manage projects with both depending on the audience (US manager likes project and France manager likes Excel). What I did in this case was to show that my time was valuable and that keeping both sets of tools up to date would impact the project schedule. They understood my argument but did not approve it in the end.
What type of strategy have you used to convince to move to one tool?? Any other strategy suggestions??
Have you considered use of Project Server? Project schedule and resource management type views can provide very powerful information to a seemingly disparate and geographically distributed userbase. A centralized database/system can provide easy access to valuable project and operational work data/information. If the information is perceived as valuable, and access is simple, you may be able to convince users that a common source of the data can be effective. In addition, if Excel or SQL reporting formats are preferrable to some, extacts or downloads from standard or customized views can be done easily.
Alternatively, could Excel extracts of data from MS Project be performed? This may allow you to retain a single source for your project schedule related information while allowing extracted Excel data to be reported for those with that particular preference.
I realize these comments may be over-simplified, but perhaps you can get an idea from them.