This week, with the general release of Office 2010, Google challenges with updates to Docs, and gets some added support from other companies like OpenDrop. On the BPM front, Oracle followed its ECM Suite 11g release with an upgraded BPM 11g.

Google Adds Docs Functionality

Who would ever have thought it! The day before Microsoft (news, site) puts Office 2010 out on general release, Google adds new functionality to Google Docs.

According to the Google Docs official blog their new documents and spreadsheets editors have been released making both easier to use and manipulate, as well as adding some more sauce to draw users away from Office 2010 and its online version, Web Apps. 

As of this week, all new documents will be created using the new documents editor. According to the blog, the new editor was built for faster real-time collaboration, better imports and more control over document’s layout.

Since the preview, they have also added new features including a table of contents, a special characters dialog, a dictionary, search as-you-type and re-sizable images.

A new version of spreadsheets is also available as the default to everyone starting this week too. New features here include formula highlighting, sheet dragging, sheet menu, faster scrolling, an editable formula bar, autocomplete in cells, copy sheet from one spreadsheet to another and range sorting.

These new editors will become the default editors for Google Apps users too. Google will begin activating the new editor for documents on June 21 and for spreadsheets on June 30.

Office 2010 Finally Available For All

And because you can’t have Google Docs without Microsoft Office a short word to say Office 2010 is finally on general release as of later today so that all those that haven’t been able to access it in work will finally be able to see what all the fuss is about.

There has been a lot of talk about Office 2010 here over the past few months so the features are probably familiar to most.

And the recommended pricing has also been released. Office Home and Student 2010, the most basic bundle of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, will cost US $150 and can be installed on as many as three computers.

A US $280 version includes the Outlook e-mail program while a US $500 bundle adds Publisher and Access. Along with the Office 2010 suite, users can now purchase Visio 2010 and Project 2010 both in stores and at the official Microsoft store online.

Computers will now be shipped pre-loaded with Office 2010 within the next 12 months. These pre-loaded Office 2010 suites can be activated by purchasing a product key card at a retail outlet or online.

OfficeDrop Puts Pressure On Microsoft

However, competition for Microsoft and Office 2010 is going to be stiff as other companies start getting in on the Google Docs act.

This week, for example, online document management company OfficeDrop has just launched a new product feature that will allow customers to automatically get their paper scanned and into Google Docs as text-searchable PDFs.

Using the new service, users can send paper documents to OfficeDrop in pre-paid envelopes and boxes. OfficeDrop then scans and uploads the files to a secure online document management portal that is both a search engine and organizational tool for paper and digital files.

When OfficeDrop folders or files are linked to Google Docs, the documents are automatically uploaded to Google Docs as text searchable PDFs.

This is a powerful collaboration tool for offices that struggle with the location and exchange of information, especially since the OfficeDrop system makes everything searchable by adding OCR (optical character recognition) to any document uploaded to the OfficeDrop document management system.

Currently, Google Docs does not provide OCR for non-text rich files, but OfficeDrop makes files text searchable, so any documents sent to Google Docs from OfficeDrop can then be searched effectively.

If you want to sign up for OfficeDrop you can do so through the Google Apps Marketplace or on OfficeDrop's website.

SAP Extends Open Text Agreement

An extended agreement between Open Text (news, site) and SAP (news, site) means that SAP is to start selling Open Text’s information management solution that includes file managements capabilities for personnel records and effectively streamlines their human resources operations.

This is not the first time the two have gotten together. SAP already sells Open Text solutions for document management including access and archiving as well as digital asset management.

This latest agreement will see Open Text’s solution for human resources management sold as SAP Employee File Management application by Open Text and will enable companies to create and complete digital records of all personnel-related documents natively integrated with the SAP ERP Human Capital Management platform.

The result is that all paper and electronic documents can be pulled from digital files relating to employees cutting the amount of time needed to administer human resources related tasks.

Oracle BPM Upgrade Follows Suite Upgrade

Last week Oracle (news, site) announced a major upgrade to its enterprise content management suite. This week it has announced it is upgrading its Business Process Management suite.

As a part of Oracle’s Fusion Middleware 11g, the new BPM Suite 11g is said to support all kinds of processes with a new process foundation, user-centric design, as well as new social BPM abilities.
Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g includes a native implementation of BPMN 2.0 with new components including:

  • Oracle UCM for document-centric processes
  • Unified management and monitoring of business processes
  • Role-based modeling and design using BPM studio
  • Process Composer: for web-based process modeling and deployment.
  • Business visibility, process status and operational reporting through business reporting

The new social abilities also enable enhanced collaboration by including wikis and blogs as well as customized team spaces through all phases of the business lifecycle.