Office Web Applications for iPad.jpg, productivity, document management, information management
Office Web Apps for iPad, iPhone

Microsoft has added Office Web Apps for iPad and iPhone, and opened up in 38 new markets. Perceptive has also been busy upgrading its search capabilities, while Nuance took on mobile printing. Here's a snapshot of document management in the past week.

Office OWA for iPad, iPhone

This week, Microsoft finally released the long awaited Web Apps for iPhone and iPad.

In a blog posts by Steve Chew of the Microsoft Exchange team, Microsoft says that the new apps will provide iPad and iPhone users with exactly the same email, calendar and contact functionality that they would expect to get with Outlook Web App in a browser, but with a few additional capabilities that are only possible with mobile devices.

The blog post is really pushing the new email experience using Exchange ActiveSync, but be warned, to use it you need to have the latest update of Exchange Online and to get that you must be an Office 365 subscriber. Microsoft is also planning to offer OWA for iPhone and iPad to Exchange Server 2013 customers at a future date.

You need an iPhone 4S or higher and an iPad 2 or higher. The device must also be running iOS 6 or higher.

OWA for iPhone and iPad is available in the same 60 languages that are supported by Exchange Online for Outlook Web App in the browser, while the default language in OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad will be the same as the language in Outlook Web App in the browser.

Whether or not you can access it at the moment or not depends on whether Exchange Online is available in the geography you are operating in, but as soon as it is available, OWA for iPad will automatically become available too.

The Office 365 plans which currently support Outlook Web App include: Office 365 Small Business; Office 365 Small Business Premium; Office 365 Midsize Business; Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3 and E4; Office 365 Kiosk K1 and K2; Office 365 Education A2, A3 and A4; and any Exchange Online plan.

Office Web Applications for iPad_Calendar.jpg

Office Web Applications for iPad - - Calendar

Office 365 in 38 Markets

For those that are currently not able to get Office 365, Microsoft has announced in the past week that it is expanding the commercial availability of Office 365 in 38 new markets with 3 new languages, and across 5 new currencies.

This means that it is now available in 127 markets worldwide with the Philippines and Thailand open for subscriptions now. The other new markets have a 120-day free trial option, before customers will be asked to sign on the dotted line. The new languages include Vietnamese, Arabic, and Malay. This raises the number of Office 365 languages to 36, including English.

Some of the new markets really are places that you might not have thought practical from a commercial point of view, with places like Nepal, Bangladesh or Cote d’Ivoire in Africa just three of the more unlikely places.

What this also shows, apart from the fact that Microsoft is pushing Office 365 hard, is that it is really expecting to pick up business in developing regions not just for Office 365, but also for all its other products. After all, if you’re not in the market some way and somehow in the first place, you are not in a position to sell other products.

Perceptive Upgrades Search

The past week also saw the release of Peceptive’s new Document 11 filters search technology that software companies and service providers can embed into their own solutions to provide advanced search capabilities.

With it, vendors are able to offer high definition document conversion and rendering capabilities enabling users in turn to preserve original data, formatting and pagination of an unstructured document. It also enables them to export it for viewing, archiving, analysis and another any other business need.

The key here is that even after treating documents, users will be left with the original of a document as well as an exact replica, which can be used for any of the numerous compliance regimes that are currently in place globally.

Document Filters 11 can also convert unstructured information into images, multipage TIFFs, searchable PDFs, paginated HTML, structured XML, XHTML, text and proprietary formats.

As a result, the technology can identify, index and search every document, email, legacy, archive and container format required as well as file metadata. It can be embedded quickly and cost-effectively using flexible APIs for C, C++, COM, .NET and Java, and  for deployment across 20 different platforms.

Nuance Upgrades Equitrac

Finally this week, speech and imaging solutions specialist Nuance has announced that it has released a new version of its Equitrac intelligent print management software. Believe it or not, even with email and all the social media and networks available to businesses at the moment, most are still heavily dependent on printing.

As IT systems become more complex, printing can become real headache as the printing infrastructure in enterprises requires more and better management. Equitrac Office and Equitrac Express print management software versions 5 deal with one of the really big issues in enterprise printing at the moment, which is printing from and for mobiles.

According to Nuance, Equitrac v5 allows users to print how they want and where they want, while removing IT dependencies on print servers and the management of print drivers.

Most significantly, the new versions includes the new I-Queue feature which enables enterprise-wide printing without the need to process print jobs through print servers.

On top of this, a repository called the driver store, where all print drivers for every output device on the network are stored, automatically manages print drivers for IT.

There is a whole list of new improvements with the new version that are too numerous to list here, but if enterprise printing coupled with a dispersed mobile workforce is a problem, this is worth checking out.