This week there has been a lot of talk about SharePoint and while there are as many opinions as there are use cases, SmartLogic in a new paper says it could be a lot better. Elsewhere, newbie SkyKick has launched its Application Suite, while DocPath has integrated its document management system with Dynamics AX.

SharePoint Could Do Better

While there has been some debate over SharePoint's merits or demerits -- and we’ve covered a lot of it here  - there’s no getting away from it, especially with the general release of SharePoint 2013 on the way.

However, according to a report just released by SmartLogic, written by founder and CEO Jeremy Bentley, while SharePoint is fast becoming the information gateway in the enterprise in both the US and Europe, even in the new version it still has some major functional gaps.

In fact, he says, according to Gartner, mass-tagging of content and ingestion of existing content and the management of taxonomies and structures are some of these gaps.

The result, is that search and difficulties finding information in SharePoint environments is turning into a major problem as more and more information gets dumped into it.

In fact, according to Bentley, 80% of SharePoint users say their enterprise search facility is falling short of expectations, with 34% saying that the platform is failing in this regard by a considerable margin.

Probably the most damning statistic of all is that 78% of SharePoint users are disappointed with the platform’s ability to deliver satisfactory access to internal information. We’ll be taking a deeper look at this report late this week, but if you are interested in finding out more, you can access it here.

SkyKick Application Suite

Meanwhile, SkyKick has also been busy this week with the launch of SkyKick Application Suite. With it, users can automate an entire Office 365 migration project from initial sales to project completion for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

A relative newcomer on the block, it has already managed to raise US$ 3.7 million for its migration technology that has focused principally on that SMB market, and while it has spent the past year in beta, it is now available to all its IT partners.

SkyKick Application Suite manages the entire migration process from sales, planning, migration and on-site phases of the migration by using a cloud-based project management system that streamlines the whole migration process, which for a 25 seat office, can take up to 40 hours to complete.

The SkyKick Application Suite consists of three products:

  • Web Planner: An online sales, assessment, planning, configuration and project management application designed to help partners streamline the migration planning process.
  • Migration Sync: An online service that moves the customer’s account and user information as well as the required DNS settings.
  • Outlook Assistant: A lightweight client app that configures Outlook and moves client-side data.
  • Portal App: Enables project management, reporting and similar administrative tasks.

If you’re interested in finding out more here, you can check out the blog here. Interesting times ahead for SkyKick in migration market that is increasingly important and competitive.

DocPath, and Dynamics AX

Also this week, DocPath, announced upgrades to its document management system that enables flexible integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX users. But why integrate ERP with document management software?

While there are all kinds of arguments around issues of less paper, less management, and eco-friendly environments, the real benefit here, DocPath says, is that it offers integration without having to ‘code’ that integration.

As such, DocPath says, this new approach to integration will enables users to continue working with Dynamics AX while drastically increasing both performance and productivity of their document-based business processes.

An increasing number of companies of any size, globally, are turning their efforts to enhancing overall performance of their business processes and reducing the related costs. In view of this trend, one of the main goals of the majority of Microsoft Dynamics AX users is to automate and improve their document processes," says Julio Olivares, DocPath CEO and Founder.

For the user, the advantages includes converting Dynamics AX output into professional, high-quality documents.

It also applies a wide variety of processes to the data like sorting data or retrieving data from a database to be used in the final document. It does this through integrated visual, easy to use multi-language interfaces that can be manipulated through dag and drop functionality.

Microsoft Account Security

Finally this week, Microsoft has announced that it is securing accounts for those that are using Outlook.com. The security upgrade includes two step-verification, the ability to sign in with an alias and new international domains for your email address.

It's no surprise that Microsoft should be working so hard on security and related issues around Outlook.com as the deadline for the switch from Hotmail to Outlook draws close. That nasty lingering feeling persists around Outlook.com outages in recent weeks -- after all, who wants to jump to a ship that sinks as soon as you get on board.

Maybe that’s a bit churlish, but it happened and Microsoft really has to work on this one. While two-step authentication has little to do with the reasons Outllook.com went down, it does offer the user the comfort that Microsoft cares about security and its new email baby.

Users can now choose to enable two-step verification for their entire account. Two-step verification is when you're asked for two pieces of information when you sign in to your account -- your password plus a code sent to a phone or email that previously provided as security info.

Two-step verification does give you that extra layer of security that is needed if Microsoft is going to convince people that the next Outlook.com is a good way to do business. If you want to find out more, you can check it out here.