SMB Tech Roll-up: Google Takes Docs Offline Again, IBM Offers Cloud Services Management

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David Roe avatar

News in the SMB space this week is dominated by new releases. Bitrix has just upgraded its Intranet Portal offering with new social functionality, IBM has launched a SaaS services management help desk for SMBs while Google has been steadily adding more functionality to Docs. Microsoft is also targeting SMBs by paying for a move from Salesforce to Dynamics CRM Online.

Bitrix Releases v9.5

Bitrix (news, site) has just released Intranet 9.5 -- a new version of its social-enabled collaboration suite for SMBs.

Previously known as Bitrix Intranet Portal, Bitrix says the new name reflects its nature and business benefits while strengthening its position as an SMB-oriented solution. It also avoids any misunderstanding that the word "Portal" applies to an expensive enterprise-level ECM system.

The product is now available in three editions -- InfoSpace, TeamSpace and BizSpace. The new editions were released following a major reworking, offering users better insight into key intranet functionality.

It also comes with simplified, but improved, document and records management, as well as a whole range of improvements across other modules.

Users can also benefit from an extended trial period of 90 days. The new edition is available now from US$ 499, which should make it accessible to even the smallest SMB.

IBM Offers Cloud Services Management

IBM (news, site) has just announced the release of a SaaS-based help desk software that specifically targets SMBs and looks to make the move to the cloud easier.

Called IBM Tivoli Live -- Service Manager (TLSM), it provides integrated service management capabilities as a monthly subscription on the IBM Cloud. Along with IBM Tivoli Live monitoring services, Tivoli Live enables users to adopt and deploy key IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes. It offers a comprehensive set of capabilities for implementing problem, incident, change, release and asset management processes, using a common data model and change management database.

For SMBs without large IT departments, the services are a quick and easy path towards improving IT performance. For larger organizations, it can complement an existing IT management infrastructure.

Google to Re-release Docs Offline

Google has also been busy this week with a number of small improvements to Docs that should be popular with small businesses.

The first is the return of offline access to Docs. In the past, files were downloaded to a special folder on the user's machine where they could be opened and edited whether the computer was connected to the internet or not. Unfortunately, Google killed off that capability over a year ago.

Learning Opportunities

However, in a recent blog post Google announces that it will be reintroducing the feature in early 2011, along with improved features that “take advantage of advancements in modern browser technology like HTML5."

It also said it would be introducing a new addition to Google Calendar called event time zones. Users can specify the time of a particular event within the calendar. Targeted at frequent travelers, it is a small but very useful improvement.

MS Targets Oracle, Salesforce SMBs

Earlier this week, we saw Microsoft making an interesting offer to organizations currently using Salesforce.com CRM or Oracle's Seibel (CRM). The company said it would give US$ 200 per license to users who make the jump to Dynamics CRM Online.

In the small print, it is clear that the offer is again targeting the SMB market as it applies only to organizations with between 15 and 250 users -- effectively the SMB market or departments within larger enterprises -- with no incentives offered outside of that relatively small group. Find out more here.

Bocada Offers Data Protection

Finally, data protection vendor Bocada has just announced the release of Prism Lite, a data protection reporting solution that provides the ability to determine the overall health of data protection environments at organizations with less than 500 data protection clients in house.

Prism Lite provides the ability to determine the health of the overall data protection environment, troubleshoot problem areas and trend use over time for auditing, capacity planning and policy management purposes.

The full version of Bocada Prism is sold on a per unit basis at a list price of US$ 150 per unit, while Prism Lite is sold by license tier. Bocada provides data protection management software, based on its Data Protection Service Management (DPSM) process, a workflow analysis that the company developed.

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