Google is the source of quite a lot of news this week particularly around rumours that it is packing a new punch, and the new competition between it and Microsoft for federal email. Meanwhile, ACS has put in a good show for Xerox in the recently released Q2 figures.

Microsoft, Google Fight for Email

Just when we thought it was going to get quiet for the month of August and we’d have to make up something to fill the news space, Microsoft (news, site) and Google start bashing each other again.

Well, not exactly bashing but certainly fighting, this time on the email front where both companies are already competing for contracts in the private and public sector to provide cloud-based email.

Over the past week, however, this has taken on a more competitive edge as it has emerged that both are competing to provide email services to the General Services Administration, the federal organization that oversees federal property and, more importantly for both companies, federal procurement.

This is now the six area in which the two companies are squaring-up, with online docs, mobile operating systems, and search amongst the other areas.

According to the Wall Street Journal Google Apps already meets GSA security requirements while Microsoft, which is used by most federal departments anyway, is close to doing the same.

While the actual numbers here are small -- around 15,000 email users -- what is far more significant is the ‘prestige’ factor as the GSA takes care of all federal procurement issues, including email.

If Google can manage to pull the email contract from under Microsoft’s feet, then it might be interpreted as a signal that not all email in federal agencies must by default be Microsoft.

What Kind of Punch Is Google Packing?

In the meantime, there was a new fission of excitement across the web this week as talk about the new Google Punch and what it might be did the usual rounds.

To be said first and foremost is that no one is standing by any of what they are saying and most of what is being said is speculative based on an icon for the service that appeared in an official Google Docs demo video.

The bottom line is that no one knows what it is, OK? However speculation has placed it as Google’s answer to Microsoft Publisher to it just being a placeholder for new versions of Docs, Spreadsheets or Presentations.

Again, no big deal, except that it may mean a new version of Google Docs is on the way, or even the first step towards integrating DocVerse, which Google bought in March and which enables users to collaborate directly on Microsoft Office documents.

The only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that something is happening as the video identified by the unofficial blog Google Operating System where the new icon appeared, seems to indicate. Check out the video yourself and watch this space for more news.

ACS Performs For Xerox

That the document management sector is on an upward bounce following the last 18 economically difficult months was underlined this week by the announcement from Xerox (news, site) that its Q2 profits jumped 62%, topping expectations, as SMBs continued to show renewed interest in spending.

Revenue from technology, which represents the sale of document systems as well as the supplies, technical service and financing of products, was up 4%.

Total install activity for Xerox equipment was up 45 percent, reflecting strong demand across all segments including a 56 percent increase in entry-level printers and multifunction devices.

However, the results everyone was waiting for were those from ACS. You might recall that Xerox acquired ACS last year as it moved in to the business outsourcing space.

And it hasn’t disappointed. Revenues from services last quarter tripled helped by deals like the one in May where ACS signed a US$ 1.6 billion contract to manage California’s Medicaid information system for 10 years.

The company has signed 10 deals by selling ACS services to Xerox customers and vice versa since the acquisition closed in February. “These are signs of modest, yet steady economic improvement,” Burns said at a conference call. “Demand continues to improve.” Relief all round!

Kofax Upgrades Communication Server

On the software front this week, Kofax (news, site) has just announced a new release of Kofax Communication Server (KCS), which automates the receipt, exchange and output of business critical information between applications, devices and people.

KCS 9.0 features new capabilities that improve the integration of inbound and outbound communications to reduce the manual, slow and error prone processes typically associated with the receipt and transmission of large volumes of documents, messages or other communications.

It links devices such as multifunction peripherals (MFPs) and phone systems using media types such as email, fax, SMS, MMS, voice mail and telex with applications from SAP, IBM, Kofax and other software providers.

With KCS, organizations can exchange information in the formats most appropriate for their customers and partners, enable intelligent routing and track the flow of information for compliance and other purposes. Kofax Communication Server 9.0 is available now.

DocuLex Adds Customized Workflow

DocuLex (news, site) has upgraded its Archive Studio WebSearch with the addition of customized workflow. WebSearch now includes a new intelligent “decision engine” that organizes project information, orchestrates flow to each staffer involved, notifies them of action needed and documents their information revisions and additions. The end result is project simplification with time and cost conservation.

WebSearch is browser-based, document management software for collaboration, email archiving and compliance, knowledge management and records retention.

It was developed for use throughout a business's operations to enable secure content access from any location with convenience of use that is similar, yet easier, than an Internet search engine. If you’re interested you can access an online self-guided demonstration, visit

Computhink’s Mobile DM

And finally, Computhink has released a ViewWise Web Access client to enable users of its ViewWise document management platform to fully access documents while on the move.

In particular, the Web Access client allows users to search for and download content to PCs, Apple iPads and iPhones, the Blackberry, Palm mobile devices, the Motorola Droid, HTC products and others.

Computhink's ViewWise Document Management software allows customers to capture, manage, secure and share their electronic content. Adding the Web Access client, built on top of ViewWise Web Services, gives them additional access to content whenever and wherever a web browser is available.

The Web Access interface is highly customizable and built using standard web architecture, allowing for easy integration with an organization’s existing website or portal. If you want to know more check out their website.