flamingo staring at reflection
Box deepened its partnership with Google this week, Google upped its productivity apps and more news in the document management space PHOTO: jinterwas

Box moved a little deeper into the digital asset management space this week with the announcement that it's adding Google Images search technology to its platform via the Google Cloud Vision API. 

Google Cloud Vision API helps developers understand the content of an image through the use of machine learning models. 

The partnership, according to a blog post from Redwood City, Calif.-based Box, will provide Box users with advanced image recognition and "intelligent" classification of content.

Introducing Box Image Recognition

While the post references video and audio, the company will start with a focus on images:

“Images are the second most common and fastest growing content type in Box. Businesses of all sizes rely on massive libraries of images,” the blog reads.

“To help unlock the value of these images to your business, we're excited to introduce image recognition with Box. We're applying machine learning to images, making it even easier for companies to discover, organize and drive actionable insights from their content.”

If all goes as promised, this means once you upload an image or text into Box, the platform will automatically detect that content and add metadata, which in turn, provides actionable context to content.

The image recognition feature is currently in private beta for customers on the enterprise plan. To get it up and running, Box users need to give Google access to their Box account. But it’s only the beginning. The post continues:

“Our goal is to bring you new ways to work faster and smarter with machine learning, making your content most valuable in Box. We're excited to see how customers use these new capabilities to answer questions about their content they didn't know to ask, create more amazing experiences for their own customers and ultimately move their businesses forward."

This is not the first time Google and Box have partnered. At BoxWorks 2016, Box CEO Aaron Levie brought Google Cloud Platform Senior Vice President Diane Greene on stage for a fireside chat, during which the two revealed a new partnership

It wasn't clear then what form the partnership would take. However, Box has spent a lot of time stating its aim to create "a single place to work." This release clearly plays into that vision. 

Google Beefs-Up Productivity Offering

Google also released a number of upgrades to its productivity tools in the last week, namely to Docs, Sheets and Slides apps, its answer to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It also added support for Google Cloud Search.

The updates are designed to improve the collaboration capabilities of G Suite. Birkan Icacan, product manager for Google Docs, wrote about the release, stating this is about getting people “on the same page for a project.”

“We built our powerful real-time editing tools to help with this — Google Docs, Sheets and Slides — so that teams can work together at the same time, using the most up-to-date version,” he wrote.

“We’re introducing new updates to better help with 'version control,' to customize tools for your workflows, and to help teams locate information when they need it.”

Google is also introducing new templates with built-in add-ons and the ability to create customized templates.

To do that it has teamed up with LucidChart, DocuSign, LegalZoom and a number of other companies to create templates like the Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) template from LegalZoom. With this template, businesses can create an NDA and collect signatures using the DocuSign Add-on for Docs.

The Google Cloud Search upgrade means G Suite Business and Enterprise customers will be able to use the tool while working in Docs and Slides. Users access the tool from the "Explore" feature. Cloud Search searches first in G Suite apps, then elsewhere. 

OpenText Adds AI Search to eDocs

Box and Google aren't the only vendors in the information management space using machine learning to improve document delivery and processes. Waterloo, Ontario-based OpenText announced it was making OpenText Decisiv Search the default search engine for OpenTexr eDOCS. The change will arrive with the DM 2018 release.

OpenText Decisiv Search uses machine-learning technology to develop a deeper understanding of content, and surface more accurate and comprehensive search results.

eDOCS DM offers what the company calls a single, scalable library for documents, email, graphics, PDFs, engineering drawings, scanned paper and electronic-based records.

With this announcement, and the bundling of Decisiv into eDOCS, companies will be able to quickly extract results from within the firm’s eDOCS library or libraries.

For those wishing to extend Decisiv’s capabilities to search enterprise-wide repositories, OpenText will continue to offer Decisiv as a stand-alone module within the eDOCS suite.

Foxit Buys PDF Vendor CVISION

Finally this week, Fremont, Calif.-based Foxit Software, this week announced the acquisition of New York City-based CVISION Technologies, a PDF software company.

CVISION captures PDF documents and optimizes them using optical character recognition (OCR) processes powered by its patented technology.

According to the company, it also uses advanced file compression technology to streamline PDF file size for more rapid file transmission, faster access to documents on mobile platforms and cost-efficient document storage. The deal positions Foxit to provide a broad range of PDF software solutions to businesses to effectively manage their documents.

The acquisition of CVISION builds upon Foxit's 2015 acquisition of Luratech Software and gives the company deeper traction in the high volume, enterprise automation market for PDF compression, OCR solutions and conversion.

CVISION claims to have thousands of corporate clients in a wide variety of industry sectors including finance, banking, accounting, legal and education.