Microsoft is trying to woo more users to OneDrive for Business with promises of better syncing, better access to Windows 8.1 support, easier setup and seamless client integration. 

In effect, Microsoft is offering the proverbial kitchen sink to users.

The announcements were made in a blog post this week by Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for OneDrive and SharePoint. Although OneDrive for Business was listed in the Leader’s section of a recent Forrester Wave on file sync and share programs, Microsoft is still pushing to improve functionality.

“We know there’s always more for us to do to improve the service," Teper wrote, before going on to explain "important improvements and new capabilities in our sync, browser and mobile experiences, as well as new IT controls for administrators."

The biggest benefit for business users is the improved sync, which comes in the shape of an upgraded OneDrive sync client.

The Next Generation Sync Client, which is now referred to as the new OneDrive sync client, was released in December, and is already getting a makeover, a clear indication of how important OneDrive for Business is to Microsoft’s enterprise strategy. Among the improvements are:

  • Office 2016 integration: Along with the Office 2016 update currently rolling out, key features like real-time co-authoring, open documents from the Most Recent list and share documents from within the Office app will become available during the summer
  • View documents online: You can now right click any document in Windows Explorer and select “view online” to navigate to the OneDrive for Business file or folder in the browser
  • SharePoint Document Library Sync: On its way later in the year, SharePoint Online document library sync, will go into preview in the third quarter and will be generally available by the end of the year

Sharing documents with people outside the organization will also be made a lot easier, and Microsoft will also integrate Outlook mobile with OneDrive for Business so users can share files through email on both iOS and Android.

M-Files Pushes Collaboration

Document management vendor M-Files announced the availability of M-Files 2015.2, with a focus on document collaboration, including the ability for users to share files from M-Files to external colleagues via secure hyperlinks.

Those shared documents can be easily deactivated and also configured to expire. This eliminates the need to sync with an external file sharing service by providing this capability in the core information management system.

The new release also features Microsoft Office Online Integration, which enables M-Files web users to modify Word, Excel and PowerPoint files directly in the browser window and without having to install the Desktop apps for Office.

This release also comes with major performance improvements with file access in the cloud 75 percent faster, along with faster dynamic views and replication, M-Files said in a statement.

DocsCorp Content Crawls SharePoint

That’s not all for SharePoint Online this week. DocsCorp has announced that contentCrawler, its integrated analysis, processing and reporting framework, now integrates with Microsoft SharePoint Online. What’s more, it is now available in the Azure Marketplace.

ContentCrawler searches SharePoint Online libraries for image files such as TIFF and scanned PDFs, even within email attachments.

It then scans these documents, and returns the resulting searchable documents back into SharePoint with little or no intervention.

Because contentCrawler and SharePoint Online are cloud-based solutions, processing is faster and more secure as files are never downloaded to local machines, the company said.

Alfresco Tackles New Compliance Challenges

Alfresco has its eye on the compliance ball with a new records management regulations for government agencies and other public bodies on the way later this year.

It has announced updates to its Records Management Module that increases the security and simplifies the management of classified content, particularly for large-scale deployments.

The new Alfresco Records Management version 2.4 adds granular content classifications and access controlled by a user’s security clearance with users only allowed to access content classified up to their clearance level.

The new module also supports US government standards for data cleansing and has been designed with scalability to meet the needs of state and local governments.

Alfresco’s open source enterprise content management already meets the Dept. of Defense 5015.02 specifications, which outlines mandatory baseline functional requirements for Records Management Applications.

The standard is widely recognized not only by the US government, but also in the private sector and by other governments around the world.

Exterro’s Project Management Play

Exterro, hot on the heels of its recent release for big data, released Exterro Project Management for Law Firms.

This new project management solution is designed to enable firms to manage the myriad of tasks, activities and deadlines involved across legal projects, including e-discovery, intake, witness ID and deposition, and case management.

According to a statement from the company, the new release has been designed specifically to enable law firms of any size to easily tailor tasks, activities and workflows to match their unique ways of managing projects across their firm.

It does this by allowing easy content and document process design as well as process optimization using customizable workflows and process templates.