With cloud computing and services now one of the buzz words in the SMB space, IBM has teamed up with the European Union to examine how to make the cloud move easier for companies. Ease-of-use and cloud is also in the news this week with the announcement that document management software M-Files is moving there too with the SMB market in mind.

IBM-EU Think Tank On Cloud Use

A research group forms to help businesses understand the nature, structure and business purposes of cloud systems and make it possible even for SMBs to use e-services, aka cloud-based services, to smooth out tricky IT-related business processes.

While many SMBs are still deciding whether they will risk moving to the cloud for expensive business processes, IBM (news, site) has announced that it is to enter into a research project with the European Union to iron out difficulties SMBs may have moving to the cloud.

Called Artifact-Centric Service Interoperation (ACSI), the project tackles the problems faced by most e-businesses today in simplifying and streamlining the costly process of blending multiple, separately managed e-services into a dynamic, organic whole.

According to IBM the goal of the project is to develop a new computer science model that will enable organizations to accelerate the time it takes to move to the cloud as well as the automation and efficiency around deploying new e-service groupings.

The research will enable even SMBs to create or join into flexible e-service blends, without investing in expensive IT expertise.

A final outcome of this will be the creation of open-source software to enable organizations around the world take advantage of the technology.

ACSI interoperation hubs will be provided as SaaS and hosted in cloud environments. This will enable businesses to enjoy a pay-per-use model for data storage, task executions and service integration costs. If you are interested in more check out the website.

M-Files is in The Cloud

Document management software provider Motive Systems has said that it is to take its M-Files (news, site) application M-File Vault to the cloud in a move that CEO Greg Milliken says is going to cause a considerable stir based on its price and ease of use.

Speaking to CMSWire, Milliken said that the M-Files Vault will be unveiled in slow steps over the summer will the full cloud version available by the end of August. Working out of a Windows Explorer interface, M-File Vault is a full-fledged document management system that can be scaled up for large enterprises, but one that will be most effective for companies up to 100 seats.

Development has focused on providing document management capabilities for users that would not be overly familiar with this kind of software and comes with secure access permissions, version tracking, check-in/check-out, automated workflow, support for emails and scanners, and connections to external systems like a CRM, Accounting or ERP systems.

As of next week the first phase of Vault will be generally available and comes with an SMB-friendly price-tag of US$ 20 per user per month. Watch this space for more details early next week.

SMBs Get Tool for Easy Website Creation

Microsoft (news, site) has also been busy in the SMB sector this week, with the release of WebMatrix. Whether you are a small business or a development shop, Microsoft is providing more ways for you to create websites built on their technology and a number of web content management systems.

Described as “. . . everything you need to build, run and deploy your Web site for free", WebMatrix is a solution bundle that includes the core technology your team needs to get started including:

  • IIS Express
  • ASP.NET
  • SQL Server Compact

You can also download and install one of a number of open source solutions (Umbraco, Drupal, DotNetNuke, WordPress or anything else you can find in the Gallery), or use a number of out-of-the-box templates if a Web CMS is not to your liking.

There's a lot more to learn about how WebMatrix works, check out our full article: WebMatrix Provides SMBs, Developers a Tool For Easy Website Creation and Deployment.

Additional Doc Security for SharePoint

And with the rush on SharePoint from SMBs, document and email security vendor Titus Labs has just released a new version of Titus Labs Metadata Security for SharePoint which offers support for Microsoft SharePoint 2010.

It offers companies that have deployed, or are looking at deploying SharePoint an additional layer of security for SharePoint information by enabling administrators to protect any document type or item, and restrict access in SharePoint based on metadata properties or SharePoint content types.

Metadata Security for SharePoint automates the process of creating item level security permissions for sensitive information.

Webroot Extends SMB Security

More SMB security news. Webroot, an Internet security provider for the SMB market has bought BrightCloud, a Web content classification and security services provider. Webroot will integrate BrightCloud's technology with its own proprietary malware detection and SaaS technologies to protect consumers and businesses worldwide.

Founded in 2005, BrightCloud provides Web reputation and content classification capabilities that maximize productivity and mitigate Web-based security risks.

The acquisition will enable Webroot to build innovative services utilizing website classification and reputation across its business. It will deliver Web security via the cloud to consumers as part of Webroot Internet Security Complete, a new product launching later this month. BrightCloud's products also support for more than 30 languages.