Since HyperOffice went into beta last December with a new version of its cloud suite it has been threatening to take the collaboration thunder in the SMB space from Microsoft and Google. In the meantime Google outlines how much it is worth to the SMB market.

HyperOffice to Rumble With Google, Microsoft?

Finally, after six months of testing by thousands of users and numerous enhancements, HyperOffice (news, site) is making its cloud collaboration suite generally available to SMBs.

While the release will give small companies the ability to collaborate with inexpensive and accessible tools, the release should also stir up the already turbulent and cloud app invested waters which Google and Microsoft (news, site) (with its upcoming Web Apps release) have been fighting in for months.

The new HyperOffice release, which can be up and running in less than an hour, gives users a wide range of any SaaS business applications including forums, wikis, intranets, extranets, email, project portals and web conferencing.

In the PR accompanying the release there are numerous testaments to how good this new version is --why wouldn’t there be?. But even taking that into account there is no getting away from the fact that it can do anything Microsoft Outlook can, centralizes and secures data online, and offers multiple methods of remote access. And then there is the mobile version for Blackberry -- HyperSynch.

And HyperOffice is making no secret of its intentions towards its competitors. At the time of the beta launch its president, Farzin Arsanjani, said this of the competition:

Google Apps has reached more than two million businesses that recognize the value of messaging and collaboration capabilities delivered online. HyperOffice is distinctively positioned as SMBs discover hosted business collaboration services and realize they require a more comprehensive suite of tools …”

The new platform has been built from the ground up with Ajax, Java and an array of other Web 2.0 technologies to improve performance, scalability and security and will cost in the region of US $7 per user per month.

Google Values Its Value to SMBs

And if you’ve ever wondered how much Google is worth to the SMB sector, then wonder no longer. Earlier this week, Google, at a press conference to mark National Small Business Week finally put a figure on how much it reckons it generates for this sector.

Taking the total value of its search and advertising program to publishers, businesses and nonprofits, the company estimated that it was worth US$ 54 billion to SMBs in 2009.

Google determined this by estimating the economic benefit businesses enjoyed from visibility on its search pages and the profits SMBs made by using AdWords spending, as well as the amount it paid out in ad revenue to website publishers and the value of the free advertising the company gave away to nonprofits through its Google Grants program.

The biggest beneficiary was California, Google said, where it calculated that it was worth US$ 14.1 billion, while the area that benefitted the least was Alaska, which earned US$ 15.9 million.

Symantec Expands SMB Protection

Symantec (news,site) is back in the news today, this time with the announcement that it will be releasing new enhancements to its Small and Midsized Business (SMB) Protection Portfolio later this summer.

The new Symantec Protection Suite Advanced Business Edition will include endpoint and messaging security as well as desktop, laptop and server backup and recovery in the event of a systems failure.

According to recent Symantec research, even though SMBs are familiar with the information risks they face, a surprisingly high number have yet to take even the most basic steps towards protecting their businesses. The survey found that 50 percent do not have endpoint protection and 47 percent were not backing up their data.

Features with the upgrade include messaging security, advanced content filtering at the mail gateway along with real-time security intelligence from the Symantec Global Intelligence Network that provides early threat warnings and automatic backups when new threats emerge.

There is also a new hosted option that comes with additional add-on options for hosted email and Web security from Symantec Hosted Services.

Kofax Upgrades Transformation Modules

Another recent upgrade for SMBs is the release of Kofax Transformation Modules 5.0. Transformation Modules (TM) is the classification, sorting and separation of paper and electronic forms and documents as well as extracting and validating the accuracy of the information they contain.

The new version adds browser-based character correction to online validation through new thin client keying modules, folder support and batch editing. It also enables the extraction of cursive and writing from unstructured documents like letters and notes.

The company says that SMBs will be able to manage their document processing requirements faster, more accurately and -- more importantly -- at significantly reduced costs.

TM 5.0 also includes support for enterprise class server hardware with multi-core processing capabilities as well as automatic batch restructuring and single document routing capabilities.