There have been a number of interesting announcements this week in the document management space. Nuxeo Drive for content synchronization was released, Adobe EchoSign has upgraded its Salesforce offering to v13, while Alfresco is now offering users a single sign-on to cloud services. M-Files has also announced nearly US$ 8 million in Series A funding. 

Nuxeo Drive Sync

More open source document management goodness from Nuxeo, this time in the shape of content synchronization. The new functionality comes in the shape of Nuxeo Drive, which works with all applications built on the Nuxeo platform and works by updating content when changes are detected in either the Nuxeo repository, or in the local environment.

Installed as a light client on the desktop of the device you are working on, it works across secure connections between the Nuxeo repositories, whether the repository in question is located in the cloud or on premises.

It also works with all the kinds of content that Nuxeo clients might be dealing with in their applications, including images from the Digital Asset Management Suite, to their core document management applications, as well as custom designed content-centric applications.

In fact, it is the custom content that appears to be the differentiator between it and other sync tools, and, indeed, it is this aspect that Nuxeo appears to be pushing. Here’s what CEO Eric Barroca had to say about it:

This goes far beyond simple cloud-based file sharing systems, because the Nuxeo Platform provides a full content management application…But the beauty of Nuxeo Drive is its ability to handle custom content. For example, you can create a custom content type in the Nuxeo Platform to handle insurance claims. It can be synced on the client as an XML file, edited with a local application, such as an offline form application, and then synced back to the Nuxeo repository, where other team members can access the most recent version. No other solution can do that.”

Like all other Nuxeo products there is a lot more to it than this, offering all kinds of other functionality for precise content management. Some of the other things worth noting include the ability to synchronize all or just parts of a repository, offline access, conflict management and the ability to feed into workflow processes.

Alfresco Single Sign-On

It’s often the small things that count, and Alfresco has just announced yet another small upgrade. Its single sign-on in the cloud. The result is that organizations can now integrate existing user directories intoAlfresco’s cloud service so that instead of having to have multiple sign-ins for all the cloud services available to users, they can simply sign in to them all using the same password and username.

The service itself is easy to set up and simply requires a specific URL for an organization to bookmark when users want to login to Alfresco in the cloud. When users access the URL they will be directed to a login page using existing credentials. For new Alfresco users, this functionality is automatically installed. 

Adobe EchoSign for Salesforce v13

Adobe has also been busy over the week with the release of a new version of EchoSign for Salesforce v13. Adobe has really been pushing EchoSign’s e-signature tool in recent weeks and last month produced some interesting research that showed that despite the availability of electronic signatures, most workers still prefer to sign contracts with ink and paper.

But it’s changing ever so slowly. The result has been the development of electronic signature tools for a number of specific applications, particularly in the customer relationship management space, where contracts are common.

Learning Opportunities

The result -- products for Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, Google Apps, and needless to say, SharePoint. But today, it is upgrade time for the Salesforce e-signature in v13 which brings new functionality in collaboration to onboarding and signer verification.

This version also comes with integration with Chatter, helping groups stay on top of deals and enabling them to close faster, while users now receive updates informing them of when deals are sent, signed, and closed. Users can also now include an approver role within the document workflow as well.

One other area worth noting, especially in light of security concerns around contracts, is signer identity authentication. In v13, Salesforce offers two new ways to sign on where the signer proves their identity by answering questions from public and commercial databases that help ensure that the person signing on is who they say they are. 

M-Files’ US$ 7.8M Series A Funding

Finally this week, Finnish-based M-Files has just announced that it has managed to raise US$ 7.8 million in Series A funding following a funding round led by DFJ Esprit and with the backing of Finnish Industry Investment. The money, it says, will be used to push its sales and marketing channels globally, as well as developing its presence in the US.

M-Files hasbeen powering along for the past few years and has worked out a number of integrations with bigger players like Salesforce andNetSuite,  while last year it also launched itself on Azure. It also made its way onto Gartner’s Enterprise CMS Magic Quadrant. Its success probably lies in the fact that it has done away with the older, traditional document management dependency on files and folders and stores documents based on their metadata, which depends on the documents’ content rather than on its location.

M-Files has managed to cut itself some serious traction in the mid-sized enterprise space and already has a number of well-known customers on its books.