A busy week in the document management space with the relaunch of the rebuilt iOS app from Box and the addition of a new activity stream to Google Drive,. There is also a new mobile capture platform from Kofax and more SharePoint migration expertise from Metalogix.
Google Drive’s New Activity Stream
Google Drive Activity Stream
You may recall earlier this month we reported the City of Boston and turned its back on Microsoft’s Office suite and Office 365. We questioned whether pricing might be one of the major issues, given that Office 365 has considerable more functionality than Google Apps.
However, we also pointed out that for an office worker who only needs to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and PowerPoint-type creations, Google Drive is probably enough. Google has been building out Google Drive (where Google Docs previously resided), so Microsoft has to make a strong case to persuade its clients to invest in Office 365.
Today, Google has extended Drive's functionally by adding a new activity stream that will provide users with a single view of all actions taken on their files and folders.
In a Google Enterprise blog post, Ian Gunn, Google Drive interaction designer, noted that the idea is to give workers a complete overview of their teams' activities as well as providing the ability to edit and insert notes into all documents, whether they are spreadsheets or presentations.
This follows last month’s improvements that made it easier to rename, share, organize and move folders using a drop-down menu at the top of each shared folder.
The addition of the activity stream is not a big move in itself, but it keeps the pressure on other productivity providers to keep building their offerings.
In this case, Google underlines Drive’s use as a social collaboration tool and adds another string to Google’s social enterprise bow along with Google Plus. While it still doesn’t equal Office 365 as a productivity suite, Google Drive is becoming increasingly attractive for businesses and enterprises that have limited productivity needs.
Box Revamps iOS App
Box kicks off what is likely to be a big year for it — we are not going to talk IPO here — with a revamp of it iOS app. In fact, according to a blog post by David Still, this is not so much a revamp as a complete rebuild.
Box iOS app
Before looking at the app itself, it's worth noting that to mark the occasion, Box is offering anyone who downloads it over the next 30 days a total of 50GB of free storage, about five times more than it usually offers its new users. Chalk it up to pressure from the battle to keep potential customers away from the likes of Dropbox and to pull in users that haven’t yet signed up for any such service.
According to Still, the new version is simpler and faster to use — he describes it as "superfast" — and offers a level of iOS document viewing that Box hasn’t offered before.
There is a whole range of new features here, including an intuitive interface, faster document rendering and progressive low-to-high resolution photo loading for fast scrolling and previewing. It has also made it easier to move and copy files, something that was previously only possible through its website. If you’re interested and want to get the free storage, it’s available for download now.
Metalogix Offers Migration Expert
That’s right, free. According to Metalogix, the initial release of Expert is free and offers those that are considering a move to SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 an analysis of what is needed to make the jump successfully.
Anyone who has ever migrated into SharePoint or from SharePoint to a newer version knows that it is a long and often very costly exercise that can create considerable business disruption, particularly as many environments have been in place for a long time and have become extremely complex.
Migration Expert mitigates this by providing an analysis of the environment and offering advice on immediate an actionable steps to take before moving onto the new version.
According to Metalogix, it can scan web applications, content databases, site collections and sites against Microsoft recommended thresholds, and provide reports in PDF formats that offer insights based against 60 different criteria.
The new tool is on offer at the moment for free, but Metalogix does not say how long it will remain so. So probably best to get moving on it now, particularly if you are looking to upgrade, as many enterprises seem to be doing.
Kofax’s New Mobile Capture Platform
Finally this week, document capture vendor Kofax announced the release of the new Kofax Mobile Capture Platform, which extends document capture beyond the traditional enterprise applications and to mobile customers that need to scan information where they are working.
According to Kofax, the new platform enables organizations to develop and deploy any number of mobile apps on a single platform that uses Kofax’s image capture and perfection, real time data extraction and validation and analytics capabilities.
While the development of capture technology is often overlooked, it should be kept in mind that, as most of the big enterprise applications that are helping workers do their jobs are fed on data, effective capture is key to an effective information management strategy.
In addition to this, as more and more workers go mobile and are connecting with content silos on the road, mobile capture is also key to maximizing workers’ effectiveness.
This is the thinking behind Kofax’s new platform which enables users turn smart phones and tablets into devices that can capture real time transactions and send them back to the appropriate enterprise department for analysis and treatment.
Prior to the launch of the Kofax Mobile Capture Platform, banks and insurance organizations had limited options for mobility and were investing in unique, proprietary solutions for each individual use case while relying upon the related vendor to maintain and enhance those apps. By empowering businesses with tools that allow them to drive their own mobile development on a single platform, Kofax has blown away the early market limitations… Drew Hyatt, VP of Mobile Applications at Kofax, said.
It is also launching Kofax Mobile Bill Pay, with patented image perfection, enabling banks and their customers to easily and effectively capture bills and Kofax Mobile Check Deposit gives banking customers the ability to deposit checks by mobile.
While Kofax is not the only company providing mobile capture, Kofax as a vendor that has specialized in capture for many years and is in a strong position to exploit this growing need.
Title image by Maksim Kabakou (Shutterstock).