Seems Menlo Park, Calif.-based Google just can’t find a suitable name for its productivity software. 

In the last week it has placed everything related to its cloud, including its Cloud Platform, its enterprise mobile applications and Google Apps for Work, under the Google Cloud brand.

Google has an impressive record on renaming, so these moves are nothing new. The fact that the rebranding confuses the workers who need the tools doesn't seem to slow the name game down.

Google Apps for Work also got a new moniker. Now called the G Suite, it pulls together Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts and other productivity tools.

Previous names of this group of apps reads like a tech version of the name game: Google Apps, Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for Your Domain and now, G Suite.

New, 'Smarter' G Suite Functionality

While Google has been talking about the rebranding for a number of weeks now, it never explained why or if any additional apps would come with the new name. Currently the rebranding exercise is being regarded as exactly that — a rebranding exercise.

While no new apps were included, G Suite does come with new functionality, which fall under the following categories — all with the prefix ‘smarter’:

  • Storage
  • Scheduling
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations
  • Documents
  • Drive for teams
  • Meetings for teams

In a blog post about the name change and improvements, Prabhakar Raghavan, vice president Apps, Google Cloud wrote:

“Google has been driving machine intelligence research for over a decade. A year ago, Smart Reply launched, offering auto-generated replies for emails that only need a quick response. Now, more than 10 percent of all replies on mobile are sent using Smart Reply. The reception has been so strong that we're continuing to apply machine intelligence across our suite to solve customer problems.”

The response has been generally positive, with some noting the enhanced collaboration features across the suite.

Ragahavan cited research which found workers spend up to three work days on mundane tasks like emailing, scheduling and attending meetings and gathering information, and only two days doing what they were hired to do.

G Suite, he writes, will “help employees reclaim their time and come together as teams on strategic and creative projects so they can better serve their customers.”

The new functionality will become available over the coming weeks and months.

AIIM Underlines Paper Problems

Recently released research from Silver Spring, Md.-based Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) shows paper is still clogging up the enterprise.

The results shouldn't come as a surprise. Over the past 10 years report after report from organizations like AIIM and Gartner have underscored the difficulties organizations face when moving to paperless environments.

AIIM released the findings in advance of the Nov. 4 observation of World Paper Free Day (WPFD). The research does indicate that significant progress has been made in the ongoing move towards a paper-free office.

The research also shows a steady drop in the amount of paper entering the organization for 44 percent of respondents and a rapid drop for 9 percent.

The "Paper-Free in 2016, Are We There Yet?" report is a result of an August survey of 199 members of the AIIM community.

“The once elusive concept of paper-free business operations is today a real possibility and real progress has been made over the past 12 months. It remains unrealistic to think that all business processes and transactions will be paper-free in the near future, but there are definitely certain processes where paper can be removed,” Bob Larrivee, chief analyst at AIIM said in a statement.

It points to a number of processes and business functions that have been particularly effective in reducing the use of paper, notably human resources and recruitment (49 percent). Other areas include:

  • Employee lifecycle (48 percent)
  • Accounts Payables (41 percent)
  • Accounts Receivables (39 percent).

But at the end of the day, people and their paper-loving ways remains the main problem. Note taking (47 percent) and lack of C-Suite initiatives (47 percent) are the biggest offenders, while 39 percent said they weren’t aware of paper free options. 

M-Files Research Confirms Paper Problems

The AIIM report findings were confirmed by research from Dallas-based M-Files, which also appeared in the past week. The results show 81 percent of the hundreds of workers surveyed online by M-Files are carrying out at least one print job per day.

More importantly, it also shows that more than half of all organizations (55 percent) are still using manual paper-based processes for capturing signatures for documents that require approval.

The good news here is that a similar number of respondents (55 percent) said the organization they work in is actively trying to reduce the dependency on paper.

"Managing paper documents is inconvenient and expensive. Turning paper documents into digital files leads to a substantial increase in efficiency and reduced operational costs. It's really past time for companies to move beyond paper documents and bulky file cabinets as the default approach for managing important business documents,” Greg Milliken, vice president of marketing at M-Files Corporation, said in a statement. 

OpenText Upgrades Exstream

Waterloo, Ontario-based OpenText released the latest version of OpenText Exstream which, according to the company, will help organizations with digital transformation projects.

OpenText acquired Exstream as part of its HP buy back in June and folded the software into its Customer Experience Management suite.

The updated Exstream provides personalized, consistent, anytime/anywhere communications across channels and content forms including interactive charts, perform controlled in-context editing, and better PDF management.

With this update, users can create mobile-ready content for HTML email output which incorporate responsive features.

The in-context editing is particularly useful here for workers building and editing documents for email, PDFs or print

The update also provides internal support for internal PDF hyperlinks and page dictionaries, while the dictionary indexing allows for dynamically importing HTML with formatted text, tables, images and variable content.