This week, Forrester answers one of the questions we have been looking at for some time, notably, whether enterprises are taking to MS Office alternatives; Cabinet NG releases v7.0 of CNG-SAFE; Workshare releases an upgrade to its collaboration solution Workshare Compare; eGistics adds to its cloud storage capabilities and CloudMagic searches Gmail and Google Docs.

Enterprises Not Going for MS Office Alternatives Yet

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at some of the alternatives to Microsoft Office that enterprises have been examining. There are a number of them, but none, as yet, have caught the general interest of enterprises.

According to a report by Forrester (news, site) entitled Market Update: Office Productivity Alternatives, while companies have been looking at alternatives such as Google Apps or LibreOffice, they haven’t really been buying into them and Office still remains the dominant suite.

While the free versions of these programs make it easy for companies to try, concerns over user acceptance and compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats continue to hinder broader deployments,” the report says.

However, it's early days, really, given that many companies are only slowly releasing alternatives and there are indications that Google Apps is starting to cause some concern over at Redmond.

There are others, too, including Lotus Symphony and Zoho’s range of products, not to mention Oracle's OpenOffice -- although where this goes is still a moot point at the moment after throwing the towel in with OOo -- and a large number of smaller vendors that offer specific productivity products.

The survey also shows that 3% said they are in the process of deploying Web-based alternatives, 10% say they are trying new alternatives out, 15% are actively looking and 44% said they might be interested. Lots to chew on in this and we’ll be taking a deeper looker later in the week.

Cabinet NG Releases CNG-SAFE v7.0

Cabinet NG (news, site) has upgraded CNG-SAFE to v7.0, which brings with it scheduling, workflow and document management.

According to Cabinet NG, this new version aligns document and contact management through its scheduling capability, enabling users to assign schedules at the cabinet, folder, and document level.

The result delivers a process flow for completing tasks with visibility to time and content. In addition to this, scheduling is an embedded component of CNG-SAFE as opposed to a standalone module or plugin.

This provides tighter integration across the system. Its scheduling functionality incorporates several individual features, making it a fit for all organizations needing to complete tasks more successfully and on time.

Other features include:

  • Scheduling items at the individual document, folder or cabinet level within CNG-SAFE
  • Scheduled items can be assigned to the current user, multiple users, or a defined user group
  • Integration with CNG-SAFE workflow sends the item into workflow for review/approval and processing

It also comes with integration with Microsoft Outlook, allowing users to add appointments to their Outlook Calendar and/or send Outlook Calendar invitations to other users assigned to the item.

With this release, CNG President Andrew Bailey says that, while CNG-SAFE’s roots started in document management for SMBs, this version represents a solution for any business still operating based on paper.

Workshare Upgrades Compare Server

Meanwhile, Workshare (news, site) has announced the release of Workshare Compare Server 5.23, an upgrade to its server-based document collaboration solution. Among other enhancements, the new release provides support for additional output file formats for comparison, reducing the file size of the resulting redline.

Workshare Compare Server can be used with a company’s enterprise content management system, or SharePoint, to provide document comparison capabilities.

It streamlines document approval processes by identifying and reviewing a summary of the document changes rather than going page-by-page to review each change.

The upgrade also delivers support for new formats for the output comparison document so that, in addition to RTF or WDF versions, the comparison redline document may be output in DOC, DOCX or PDF formats. The file size produced with the new DOC and DOCX outputs is reduced and saves storage costs.

eGistics Adds to Cloud Storage Abilities

Cloud-based document storage vendor eGistics has recently released CloudDocs, a feature-rich cloud-based e-document storage management solution for businesses of any size, in any vertical market.

CloudDocs is designed to manage structured, electronic documents for departmental and enterprise business processes, such as accounts payable, branch management and loan origination.

CloudDocs includes tools designed to make capturing, storing, managing, securing and finding business documents more quickly, no matter how long they need to be stored. These capabilities include: Scan-to-web; bar code recognition, data integration with legacy systems and document search functionality, among others, as well as being HIPAA-compliant.

CloudMagic Search for Gmail, Google Docs

Finally, if you missed it earlier, CloudMagic has released a lightweight extension that installs to your browser, and provides a quicker way to search Gmail, Google Docs and contacts. Because CloudMagic is a browser extension, it works in combination with the actual service you will use it for, namely Gmail and Google Docs.

With it, you get instant-search functionality for your Gmail messages, which is something akin to OSX Spotlight or Windows 7 Search-as-you-Type. CloudMagic gives the added functionality of offline search. Interested in more?