There were a number of interesting releases in the document management space that are definitely worth a look. Among them are the new Service Pack 2 beta releases for Office and SharePoint 2010, WatchDox apps for mobile-desktop collaboration and sharing, and Docstocs new link-up to the Microsoft store. We also revisited the paperless office through EchoSign.

Office 2010, SharePoint 2010

With all the talk of Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013, sometimes it’s forgotten that there are earlier versions of both. This week, however, both got some Microsoft loving with the release of betas for both Office 2010 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and SharePoint 2010 SP2.

For the moment, the betas are only for use in test environments. And they also come with the following warning from Stefan Goßner Senior Escalation Engineer for SharePoint.

…As with all Beta products: don't use it in production. Also be aware that an upgrade from SP2 Beta to the final SP2 might not be possible or supported. That means you need to ensure to only evaluate this Beta version in a test environment which you can reinstall after the evaluation…”

However, it seems that this means future Service Packs will be contained in the normal release cycle for Office, which Microsoft suggested during the Office 2013 launch, would be sped up.

For the moment though Office 2010 SP2 includes the usual security patches as well as a number of patches that have been made specifically available in this service pack and are designed to improve stability, performance and security fixes.

Microsoft did not describe the contents of SP2 in detail, but said it would when it shipped the final code. You can download the SP 2 releases here.

WatchDox Apps

Also this week, WatchDox has released new apps for enabling sharing and collaborating on documents between desktops and mobiles, including iOS devices and HTML5-capable browsers. Watchdox says that while many security and file-sharing vendors claim to offer native versions of Microsoft, WatchDox Apps for WatchDox Enterprise and Enterprise ES is the first set of apps to really offer this possibility.

With it users can connect disjointed workflow through annotation, editing and real-time multi-user collaboration, and all from a single app that also offers the possibility of secure file sharing across multiple platforms and devices.

Watchdox iPad app.jpg

Watchdox iPad app

Watchdox also says that the app has already been picked up by a number of large institutions, including a 100-year-old financial institution which it doesn’t name and says that the app has enabled the same institution to unroll a Bring-Your-Own-Device strategy securely.

One of the big pluses, it says, is the simplified user experience as well as a new tiered enterprise pricing that competes with freemium file-sharing solutions that are currently on the market at the moment.

WatchDox Enterprise includes a complete mobile productivity solution with collaborative file sync and sharing capabilities while the ES version extends this to desktops to track, control or revoke files from PCs. WatchDox pricing starts at US$ 15 per seat per month.

EchoSign and the Paperless Office

Meanwhile, over the past two weeks there has been more discussion around the concept of the paperless office. We have already seen from recent research by AIIM that the idea of a paperless office is getting further and further away.

Then Adobe had its say, this time through research from EchoSign that suggests that while many companies are committed in principal to the idea of signing off contracts, for example, using electronic signatures, in reality it just not happening.

In fact, in the survey of 1051 managers in the US, the results of which appear in the Adobe paper entitled "Paper: An Endangered Species", the majority have come around to a digital way of thinking with security, productivity, human resources and ‘green’ issues as their major concern. But they are still reluctant to make the jump.

Docstoc Through Microsoft

Finally this week, Docstoc, which first saw the light of day in 2007, has just announced that it has partnered with Microsoft to enable it to sell its content directly to Microsoft Office users from inside Office applications. Access to those templates requires a subscription fee which can be paid in monthly, three month and 12 month installments.

With it, when Office users search for templates, they will now encounter a Docstoc provider that will enable them start buying what they need from inside Office.

Docstoc_Microsoft store.jpg
Docstoc Microsoft store

Docstoc has also built an Office 365 and Office 2013 application that gives users direct access to all of the documents in the company’s library.