Sometimes, with all the fireworks surrounding Microsoft vs Google for dominance of the business cloud market, we forget that there are indeed other players. KnowledgeTree, another competitor, continues to build its cloud offering for the SMB sector with this week’s new release offering Office integration and new pricing levels that drop as low as US$ 35/month.
The new features collectively aim to address what is increasingly seen as a need to improve the abilities of workers across entire enterprises to share and collaborate.
Citing a recent report from AIIM, Knowledge Tree says that even in small enterprises the growth of information passing through companies is so great that only a well thought-out enterprise content management deployment will impose order.
KnowledgeTree for Office
KnowledgeTree for Office enables users to interact with KnowledgeTree content and collaborate with other KnowledgeTree users directly from within their Microsoft Office productivity apps. Office Add-ins let them browse the repository, upload, download, search and email documents from within Microsoft Office applications -- including Microsoft Outlook. They can also drag and drop documents into the repository from Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX or Linux desktops.
Flexible Pricing, Licensing
While working from an Office environment will be welcomed by most users, it is the new flexibility within new structures that should be most useful for enterprises.
Information sharing, for example, is now possible with third-party users who have no KnowledgeTree affiliation on an 'as-needed' basis.
There are also no restrictions on the number of users within an enterprise that can be added to the document management system. Pricing is based on the number of documents and storage, so adding users is done simply by providing email addresses.
All of this is tied together using the new subscription packages. While the cheapest starts at US$ 35/month, access control, document alerts and other functions are only available with more expensive subscriptions like the “company” subscription, which costs US$ 475/month for unlimited users, 150,000 Documents and 150GB of Storage.
SMB Document Management
It’s not surprising that KnowledgeTree has restructured its subscription packages and offered additional Office functionality given the state of play with other competitors in the same market like Box.net or SpringCM.
Google Apps is also building steadily by adding to its already substantial functionality at a cost of US$ 50/month.
And while at first glance there doesn’t appear to be any real challenge from the soon-to-be relaunched Office365, there could be a problem in the future considering the functionality that will be available.
The SMB document management space is going to one of the real areas of interest next year as the bigger companies start looking at a market that they have, to a large extent, ignored. However, there are already well established players like KNowledgTree, SrpingCM and HyperOffice working along quite nicely, so it won’t be as open as many of the bigger companies might hope.