Chrome Office Viewer beta.jpg Chrome Office Viewer (Beta)

Some interesting new releases this week in the document management space, not least of which is the new ability offered by Google to open and edit Office documents using Chrome. In other news, Hyland and DocuSign have inked a new partnership, Microsoft has outlined the future roadmap for Yammer with some interesting document capabilities and M-Files has been ISO certified. 

Office Documents Without Office

Oh that pesky Google! Microsoft was just getting people to sign up to its online version of the Office Suite when along Google comes and offers users access to some of their Office documents -- without actually having to buy Office. Included are Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.

Previously, Chromebook users were able to open and edit different formats without having to buy Office. Now, according to a recent blog post, all users of Chrome Beta on Windows or Mac and who install the Chrome Office Viewer, which is also in beta, will also be able to click a link to an Office file and open it directly in Chrome.

Google says that as well as saving you time -- and money -- it also protects you from the nastiness that comes with the malware that can be transmitted through Office files.

For Microsoft, the fact that this ability was available with Chrombook was probably a little more than a minor nuisance. But now that three of the major file formats in the Office suite are accessible to all Chrome beta users, Microsoft must find this downright annoying.

For many users, Word, PowerPoint and Excel are enough to get their day-to-day work done, and while it probably wont’s stop people buying into Office for the moment, if Google continues to develop this functionality, it could turn into a problem for Microsoft as more people download Chrome. Definitely an evolving situation to watch.

Hyland, DocuSign Partnership

We've seen over the past few months that the use of e-signatures, especially in legal departments, is becoming increasingly popular with the addition of security features making these tools safer and more reliable.

One company that has been pushing the boundaries -- though not the only one -- in the e-signature space is DocuSign, which has just announced a strategic partnership with Hyland Software that will enable Hyland to integrate e-signature into its enterprise CMS system.

Hyland is one of a number of enterprise CMS vendors in market at the moment that has consistently offered targeted solutions that carter to specific verticals -- the target vertical in this case being financial services, healthcare and higher education.

As a result of this partnership, enterprises working in these verticals will be able to access a secure e-signature tool that is a core part of an enterprise CMS. The integration enables users of Hyland’s enterprise CMS to manage all parts of their business workflows from the initial ingestion of content into OnBase right through to signing-off of documents using DocuSign.

It can also create workflows that send documents to all the people, or departments, that are required to sign off and then pulls the completed document into a single, secure storage location for use in the future. The result is a complete history of the document, including all details and sign-offs.

Yammers Future Document Abilities

In other news, we saw this week that Yammer is nearing the 8 million user level, and Microsoft has updated the product road map

In a blog post outlining what has been happening over the past year and what is likely to happen in the coming months, it specifically mentions the following features as areas that are likely to receive attention:

  • SharePoint search integration.
  • Yammer groups in SharePoint sites
  • Yammer messaging enhancements
  • Email interoperability.
  • External communication.
  • Mobile apps.

Aside from the jump in user numbers, user activity has nearly doubled in a year, and paid networks have grown over 200% year over year, the post says.

M-Files Gets ISO Cert

Document management vendor M-Files is also making news this week as it has been developing not just its customer base, but also its functionality with the announcement that it has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification for the design, development, delivery and support of its information management software and related services.

Published by the International Organization for Standardization, the ISO 9000 family of standards ensure that products meet a number of strict quality criteria while at the same time complying with statutory and regulatory requirements related to the product in question.

What does it mean for M-Files? According to Greg Milliken, president of M-Files:

Achieving ISO 9001:2008 certification is an important milestone for M-Files because it validates that we've embraced the concept of quality, efficiency and continuous improvement throughout our entire operations, including research and development, professional services, technical support and sales, which leads directly to high levels of customer satisfaction and broad user adoption in M-Files implementations;”

In short, it says M-Files has reached another milestone in its development and has produced a document management solution that has been independently judged as being pretty good. We’ll undoubtedly be hearing a lot more about this in the coming months so wait and watch.