Doc Mgt Roll-up: IBM Releases Productivity Suite, Office 2013 Available For Businesses

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David Roe avatar

The holiday season may be fast approaching but it doesn't seem to be having much effect in the document management space.  Among this week’s highlights -- the release of IBM’s productivity suite, Microsoft finally releases Office 2013 to the business community, Perceptive releases new Outlook app, Snowbound offers right to left functionality for documents and Accusoft upgrades its ImagXpress application.

IBM’s Productivity Suite

Last week, IBM finally released its productivity suite after a lot of talk -- and a lot of articles -- over the past few months. With the release, IBM has entered a space where it will have to compete with the likes of Microsoft Office and Google Apps.

Called SmartCloud Docs (SCD) the announcement comes as part of a much bigger picture around IBM’s cloud computing ambitions. It also sees the release of new services like the IBM SmartCloud.

After the initial excitement wears off and users start looking at the other services available on the SmartCloud, they will find new products that focus on enabling social business across the enterprise, as well as facilitating easier collaboration in the cloud and across a wide range of mobile devices in a secure environment. But is it really ready to compete?

Office 2013 For Business

Also last week, Office 2013 was finally made available for business users -- don't get too excited though, because home users will have to wait until the first quarter 2013 to get their hands on it.

One interesting thing about it -- it was released exactly the same week that IBM decided to launch its new Cloud Docs productivity suite. While IBM’s Cloud Docs has quite a lot of punch to it, Microsoft has been doing productivity suites since, well, forever — and it will be hard for anyone to compete, especially in the same week of a new release.

Perceptive's Outlook App

Perceptive has also been busy, announcing the release of Perceptive Interact for Microsoft Outlook. This basically enables users of Perceptive content management software to capture and access content in Perceptive through their Outlook interface.

The objective is to enable users in capturing content at the point that it enters the system, treating content that comes in through Outlook as a business asset that is acted upon and processed in exactly the same way that other business content is.

It may not appear too impressive at first glance, but keep in mind that despite the growth in the use of social media as a collaboration tool, email reigns supreme.

Love it or hate it, email is here and many vendors are still pumping a lot of effort and time into it, with Microsoft only yesterday enhancing its new Outlook.com offering with new security features. 

Learning Opportunities

Snowbound’s Right-Left Functionality

Document viewing vendor Snowbound has announced that it is providing right to left functionality for Word documents and PDFs across multiple products -- including its VirtualViewer and Conversion SDKS. This means that users in Arabic, Hebrew and other languages that require contextual shaping will be able to edit and annotate scripts in these languages much easier than they have up until now.

It looks like a small addition, but its business impact will be huge given the rise in the use of document management tools in developing countries, many of whom use right to left scripts. 

With VirtualViewer AJAX, Snowbound's pure HTML document viewer, users can open and annotate documents with right to left scripts without installing MS Office or Adobe Acrobat on the client. It also offers support for VirtualViewer AJAX Java or .NET, as well as the Java applet and content server model.

Accusoft Upgrades ImagXpress

Last but not least, document and imaging solution vendor Accusoft has announced the release of ImagXpress v12, which comes with better image processing, annotation, scanning and printing support -- among the long list of features that comes with the new version.

The result -- users will be able to work with bigger images that before, while optimized insertion or deletion of images will make the processing of large documents with mule-page images a lot faster than it used to be. The new version also offers better and more advanced PDF functionality with a new SDK as well as improved support for passing information between scanning components like ISIS Xpress.

ImagXpress v12 includes simplified integration options to add advanced PDF functionality with the PDF Xpress PDF SDK to create a complete PDF solution. This release also provides improved support for passing information between scanning components like ISIS Xpress.