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It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in the document management space, made all the more interesting by the ongoing competition between Microsoft and Google around their productivity suites.

We also saw recently that most enterprises are still struggling with document management while both Metalogix and Accellion have released new products to help overcome this.

Take This, Microsoft

It’s been a tough few weeks for Google and Microsoft in the productivity suite space. Competition between the two for dominance is similar to a mud-wrestling match — both are slinging dirt at each other and no one seems to be winning.

However, Google appears to be slowly picking up ground that Microsoft once appeared to own. Only yesterday, we saw that Google pushed competition deeper into the classroom, while a number of upgrades over the past few weeks has really thrown the cat into the Microsoft pigeon coop.

While Google Docs or Drive might once have appeared to be a poor man’s alternative to Office or even Office 365, it now looks like a viable enterprise alternative based on price and functionality.

Leave aside the release of Google Classroom, which Google is using to hook users as soon as their parents buy them a Chromebook.  The rollout of new home screens for each of Drive’s web applications, which look similar to the interfaces of Google’s mobile apps for the same services, underscores the relationship between Google Drive on both desktops and mobile apps.

In doing so Google is emphasizing its role as an enterprise productivity app that can be taken on the road by mobile workers.

But it’s not the only thing that Google has been doing in recent weeks. At the I/0 conference in June it offered users the ability to edit Office documents in Google Docs, making the decision to jump from Office to Docs a lot easier.

The in July it added functionality that many Office users considered the last hurdle to making the move to Drive. It offered them the ability to track edits and changes. Those edits had, until this release, been difficult to follow and didn’t transfer from Office into Docs. With the new functionality, though, that’s all changed.

Microsoft has been responding, albeit slowly. It announced last month that it was slashing the price of Office 365 subscriptions, but not until October next year for existing user. New users will benefit from this price changes in the fall.  It has also made its Web apps easier to find and use through

But Google is still cheaper than Microsoft's offerings. With the added functionality on top of the fact that for many workers, buying the entire Office suite is overkill, Google is in the process of kicking the product suite stool from under Microsoft. 

Metalogix Improves SharePoint Backup

While Google and Microsoft fight like cats and dogs in the productivity space, SharePoint is still, for many organizations, the top dog of enterprise content management. If it doesn’t have everything it needs to keep everyone happy, there are a gazillion third-party vendors that are happy to fill the gaps.

One of those gaps is back-up and now Metalogix, which provides management tools for a number of platforms including SharePoint, has just released upgrades to both its backup and storage applications.

According to Metalogix, SharePoint Backup 5.0 and Metalogix StoragePoint 5.0 cuts the backup and storage of SharePoint content from hours to minutes and significantly improves their disaster recovery preparedness. At least that’s what Metalogix claims.

A statement from Metalogix says that these releases provide continuous and automatic backup of SharePoint content resulting in the continuous protection of mission-critical data.

StoragePoint uses Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) technology to shrink the size of content databases by up to 98 percent by moving content out of the SQL Server, resulting in higher performance and faster backup speeds. SharePoint Backup 5.0 backs up all aspects of SharePoint including service applications, search data, and farm configuration — via a single, easy-to-manage process. Both upgrades are available as of today.

The Document Management Mess

In spite of all this technology, document management or the lack of it is still creating problems for many enterprises. Last week we saw in new research from Docurated that even with the development of file sharing technology, cloud computing and agile document management, workers are still drowning in sea of untraceable and hard to track documents.

The research showed that the average sales or marketing professional is spending up to nine hours every week just looking for documents as they wrestle with legacy and contemporary file system architectures that haven’t been overhauled in years.

In total, that means every worker that is cursing his or her way through the document management mess that enterprises won’t clean up — and wasting 8.3 weeks per year. Get your CFO to do the math on this one and watch how quickly it starts changing.

Accellion’s Microsoft, Google Content Connectors

One of the ways of dealing with the loss of documents and other kinds of data is to connect all the data dots together. Accellion has just connected two of the more important information management dots by releasing kiteworks content connectors for Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.

The connectors enable universal, secure access to enterprise content, whether stored inside or outside the corporate firewall. The real value of this is that it connects across the different silos and content repositories, which the research by Docuarted cited earlier points to as the principal technology culprit in the document management debacle.

We say technology, because the other main problem is the lack of a coherent enterprise strategy to manage content... but that’s an argument for another day.

Meanwhile, the new kiteworks cloud connectors extend access to enterprise content stored in Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, all from within kiteworks’ secure mobile container, while IT has full control and visibility into data activity.

The complete list of kiteworks content connectors includes: SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013, SharePoint Online, Windows File Shares and Distributed File Systems, Documentum, OpenText, Google Drive for Work and Microsoft OneDrive for Business. The OneDrive and Drive connectors are available now.