This week in the document management space is a focus on document viewers and a couple of new releases, including one from Nuance that lets users hear their documents. Accusoft has also released a viewer for the cloud and Box has been busy buying Crocodocs for its HTML 5 viewer technology. Meanwhile, Xerox is on tour of the Middle East.

Accusoft’s Prizim Cloud

This week, Accusoft released its new document service. Called Prizim Cloud, it is a service that enables online content creators, like web developers, bloggers or contributors to social media, to display documents from within their content through a new document viewer.

There are many document viewers on the market at the moment and it's really big business. Only last week, for example, Box spent an undisclosed sum of money to buy Crocodocs for its HTML5 document viewer technology. This, however, is a different thing altogether, leaving the documents on the content creator’s server while the viewer stays in the cloud.

Accusoft says that it is also different from all the others by virtue of the number of files it can display. Competitors, it says, can only display a number of different file types, forcing users to convert documents into a supported format, which not only takes away from the quality of the document but can also take a lot of time.

Prizim Cloud works with more than 300 different file types, Accusoft says, ranging from the entire range of Office formats to CAD and CAM documents as well as all the image file-types on the market at the moment. Prizm Cloud works in any Flash-enabled or HTML5 browser, including most mobile browsers.

Box Buys Crocodocs

Speaking of Box and Crocodocs, the announcement that Box had bought Crocodocs came at the end of last week. Details of the transaction were not disclosed, and the result is that Crocodoc’s HTML5 viewer will be integrated into the very core of the Box platform.

That is not to say that Crocodoc will disappear completely, as Box says that it will also be available as a core standalone platform enabling third party applications to use the viewer across web and mobile devices. 

Xerox’s Middle East Hard Sell

Xerox is taking its business to the Middle East in a roadshow to sell the services and digital technologies in its portfolio across the entire region. We have already seen over the past few weeks that earnings in some of the major IT players fell off in the last quarter. At the end of April, Xerox's Q2 revenues figures fell short of estimates even if it still reported a 10% rise in profits. However, problems still plague hardware as spending has fallen, and services didn't have a great quarter. Keeping in mind that Xerox intends to make two-thirds of its income through services by 2017, this is a problem.

However, since Ursula Burns took over at the helm of Xerox, she has taken it in directions that CEO’s before her might never have dreamed of. While its office hardware business is still solid, you may recall that three years ago she pushed the global giant in the direction of document management.

She is now prospecting hard in the Middle East, which has been identified by many of the bigger IT companies as an area of growth, even if most of them are taking their time getting around to doing anything about it.

The workshops will elaborate on Xerox's workflow automation, business development consultancy, color management, industry best technology and depth of offerings as well as staff experience levels...,” said John Paul Teti, Xerox Manager of Production Technologies for the Middle East said.

The tour started on Monday and is on the road until the 24th. With the European economy facing another two years of poor growth and poor business prospects, moving strong in the Middle East and Africa is one way to counter this.

Nuance OmniPage Update

Meanwhile, imaging vendor Nuance has recently announced the release of OmniPage Ultimate, a document scanning and conversion solution that is built specifically for Microsoft Windows.

With it, users capture documents in formats that they are unable to work in, and convert them into file types that they can work, edit, search and share with.

But there is a real differentiator here that not many other vendors can boast of. In addition to capturing and converting documents into common file formats, it can also convert paper files into natural sounding audio files, enabling users to listen to the content of the files while mobile.

It can also convert documents stored in leading cloud services for anywhere, anytime, information access through the new tablet-like interface called the OmniPage Launchpad. And this is not the only mobile attribute. OmniPage Ultimate now supports the popular ePub format that is compatible with popular eBook readers. Users can quickly convert documents and take them anywhere to be read with eBook application