Here are a number of approaches that are used with gamification:
What you can try to do is an approach as done in games. First the player is only exposed to few features (such as one type of Angry Bird). Also the player at this time doesn't know much about the game and how it works. The same can nowadays be assumed in business or any other software, as nobody is reading the manual anymore.
Once the player is familiar with the exposed features, the system unlocks new features (another bird type pops up in Angry Birds). And so on.
This follows the Flow theory from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, where skill and complexity are in a balance.
With having unlocked the features, users then may have a publicly displayed skill reputation, as used in professional communities such as StackOverflow or SAP Community Network. Learning new skills should be encouraged to become an integral part of working by having the users maintain their reputation status.
In addition if this is visible to the HR and management, this can also be used as basis for promotions and bonus.
Microsoft used a narrative to encourage users to discover new features in their Office package. Users could download an Office plugin called Microsoft Ribbonhero and discover new features, and even branching out to the other Office applications. The gamification design elements in addition to the narrative were little quizzes.
Also some gamified compliance training approaches use narratives,such as TrueOffice. When you need to get trained on financial fraud/security etc., they system puts you in the role of a detective (think Miss Marple) and suddenly learning new features becomes fun. Remember the game "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" That game taught geography...
To answer your side question: indirectly, the numbers that are displayed in the facts & figures sheet give an indication that there can be much done so that users learn better. Search for the learning-related examples and then you can see that there is a lot that can be improved with gamification.
Why they are not exploring new features today can be manifold. Exposure to too many features from the beginning make the frustrated, and fear to 'destroy something', not understanding the value of features, not even knowing that they are there, no time to explore and play with them.
A perceived advantage…so the statement is more a premise than an implication. Some software are graphical front-ends to command line utilities, so the only advantage they might have is exposing many software options and functionalities in a visual manner.