Office documents in Google Drive have always been a bit of an issue.

If you had Office documents stored in Drive, you had to open Drive to access and use them before saving them back into Drive. But in a world obsessed with accessing content from a single place this proved awkward — so much so, that some users might be tempted to move their Office documents to Microsoft OneDrive and leave Google behind.

Google doesn't like to lose. So in an ongoing effort to make Drive more flexible, it this week released a new plug-in for Office that enables users to access Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents stored in Google Drive directly from Microsoft desktop apps.

Given that these three apps are probably the most used of all the Office apps, it's pretty smart thinking. Google describes it as evidence of its commitment to its open approach to computing.

And with all the additions and features that Microsoft has announced over the past year, it makes sense for Google to stay on its toes to attract and retain Microsoft users.

In effect, Google is acknowledging what has been clear for a long time: namely, that Office is the productivity suite par excellence for the enterprise — for the moment. 

Searching For SharePoint?

BA Insight just announced the availability of Elasticsearch for SharePoint. It lets SharePoint users access Elasticsearch from SharePoint portals without having to get into customized software development.

Elasticsearch is a search server based on Lucene. It provides a distributed, multi-tenant capable, full-text search engine with a RESTful web interface.

Elasticsearch gives SharePoint some powerful real time search and analytics capabilities that are not possible with native SharePoint and could help customers save time and money on the development of portals to access Elasticsearch applications.

It also adds new capabilities to Elasticsearch, including connectors, auto-classification of metadata and mash-up queries, along with pre-built search applications.

Customers now have the flexibility to use the search engine within SharePoint or Elasticsearch or combine the results from both into a single result set.

Anything that improves search in and for SharePoint is always good news, as is anything that avoids the thorny issue of customization in SharePoint.

There’s Money in E-Signatures

DocuSign announced the expansion of its Chicagoland Research and Development Innovation Hub in Illinois.

Employees at the new facility "will drive innovation" across the DocuSign Global Trust Network of its customer base, which DocuSign boasts consists more than 100,000 customers and more than 50 million users.

The acquisition of Chicago-based Cartavi in 2013 and integration of its transaction rooms within DocuSign's Digital Transaction Management platform have led to innovations for the real estate industry, and the DocuSign Global Trust Network is growing as a result, Tom Gonser, founder and Chief Strategy Officer at DocuSign said in a statement.

DocuSign has also emerged as a unicorn — a company with a valuation of $1 billion dollars or more.

DocuSign hit a $3 billion valuation, according to analysts at CB Insights,  with help from Google Ventures, Intel Capital, Dell Ventures, Samsung Ventures and Salesforce Ventures.

Dropbox and Clementine

Finally, Dropbox bought voice, messaging and conferencing provider Clementine. 

Clementine was launched in September 2014, and according to a statement about the sale, it set out to reinvent messaging, voice and conferencing for end users and IT alike.

The deal may be good for Dropbox but it's bad for Clementine users: the service will be shutting down.  The free portions of the app will remain active for current users until August 31 and Clementine will assist regular and premium subscribers as the service transitions.

Dropbox declined comment when asked about its plans for Clementine.