This week, with some of the dust beginning to settle on Oracle’s OpenOffice decision, Google is backing LibreOffice with advice and funding, SharePoint seems to be gaining ground in records management, Nuance closes the Equitrac deal, we took a look at document management on-premise or as an SaaS and Office 365 may be on the way.

Google Backs LibreOffice

Whatever the impact Oracle’s decision to hand (OOo) to the Apache Foundation, as opposed to the Document Foundation (TDF ), which is developing the other side of that fork in the shape of LibreOffice (news, site), it seems that LibreOffice will not be short of some very heavyweight supporters.

During the week, TDF announced the first members of its Advisory Board, which includes Google, SUSE and Red Hat among others, all of whom will serve for an initial period of a year.

The body represents TDF's sponsors, with each sponsor having the right to one representative. They will provide the future Board of Directors with advice, guidance and proposals, and will consult regularly on the further development of the Foundation and its associated projects.

Seems everyone’s happy to be there. Jeremy Allison, co-founder of Samba and member of Google’s Open Source Programs Office, described the creation of the Document Foundation’s Advisory board as a great step and said Google would provide funding and advice to advance TDF’s work. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

Records Management Traction in SharePoint?

Recently, Colligo (news, site) held a webinar about the use of SharePoint for records management, which was interesting in itself. Following the webinar, it released some of the information about who and what attended, which holds an interest in itself as it seems to suggest that SharePoint is really beginning to gain traction in this space.

Nearly 3,000 SharePoint professionals participated in the event entitled Unleashing SharePoint 2010 for Records Management, Governance and Compliance, the largest number for any SharePoint webinar to date, Colligo says.

A survey of webinar participants revealed:

  • Using SharePoint 2010 for records management shows significant traction in large enterprises, with nearly half of all webinar participants representing organizations of over 1,000 employees.
  • Records management is the primary business driver for enterprises over 1,000 employees that deploy SharePoint, followed by document management and collaboration.
  • Nearly half of all participants held IT/Technical positions, suggesting that records management in SharePoint is still driven by an organization’s IT department.
  • The top industry represented in the webinar was government, followed closely by computer services and computer software.

It’s hard to draw conclusions from a survey of people at a webinar, but Colligo’s findings here support anecdotal evidence in many quarters, suggesting the improvements to records management with SharePoint 2010 has been a success. If you care to, have a listen here.

Document Management: On-premise vs. SaaS

It is almost a given that going the SaaS route for enterprise software is the best way to go. In the case of document management packages, whether you should or shouldn’t really depends on what you need. Earlier on in the week, we looked at some of the issues you need to consider before taking that all-important step.

The traditional route for enterprises buying document management is to buy the software after looking at its IT infrastructure, its budget and business requirements, and install the software on the enterprise servers and desktops.

With SaaS, a new alternative is offered that, on the face of it, looks like it might be considerably cheaper, easier to manage, require less maintenance and less storage space than on-premise deployments. Interested in more?

Nuance Closes Equitrac Deal

Nuance (news, site) has recently announced that the company has closed the acquisition of Equitrac for US$ 157 million in cash, which was initially supposed to closed in September, a deal that put an end to speculation that Apple might be looking to buy Nuance in turn.

The company is strongest in the healthcare sector, where it provides document scanning, document management, OCR and forms processing solutions.

Equitrac expands Nuance's document imaging portfolio, adding Equitrac print management products to Nuance eCopy ShareScan scanning and workflow solutions, and to Nuance OmniPage, PaperPort and PDF Converter Professional desktop applications. The integration of Equitrac with Nuance eCopy will provide integrated, cross-platform MFP-based document solutions.

Office 365 Launch?

Microsoft is to announce news from its Office Division live from New York via webcast on June 28 from 10 to 11 a.m. EDT. We’re not saying that it is the official general release of Office 365, but it really couldn’t be anything else.

Add to that the fact that Steve Ballmer is turning up for “the event” and, the announcement says, he "will share the news." Again we’re not saying it is that, but the announcement also says that the event will “detail the latest on Microsoft Office 365." It has to be the release.