SMB Tech Roll-up: Salesforce Enables Deal Closures, Microsoft Not Finished with Office 2010

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David Roe avatar

Interesting week in the SMB space with the possibility that Microsoft will be launching a new version of Office 2010 specifically for small companies, while Salesforce and DocuSign get together to make signing off business deals in the cloud easier for SMBs

Is Microsoft Planning Office 2010 Surprise?

Just when you thought all the shouting was over, Microsoft (news, site) appears to be getting ready to release a small business version of Office 2010 for emerging markets.

We say ‘appears’ because Microsoft is saying nothing about it at all even thoughwhat are claimed tobe screen shots of the new version appeared on Smart Max News and My Digital Life, while Microsoft itself has even listed the new version as one of itsOffice 2010 products.

The new version, which according to reports, is to be called Office Small Business Basics 2010, will include Word, Excel, OneNote and Outlook, but no PowerPoint.

Versions of Office 2010 including Home and Student, Home and Business, and Professional went on general release on June 15 after Microsoft said it was going to cut back on the number of versions it released compared to previous releases to keep things simple.

There has been speculation that Microsoft might release the new version at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference to be held in Washington later this month.

DocuSign Signs with Salesforce

E-signature vendor DocuSign (news, site) and Salesforce.com (news, site) have gotten together for small businesses to offer e-signature services on the Force.com platform.

This joint OEM agreement enables DocuSign to offer its e-signature services as a best practice for Salesforce CRM customers to close business transactions in the cloud.

By moving document signing into the cloud, businesses get real-time insight into the agreement signing processes including who has received, reviewed and signed a document.

The new DocuSign eSignature service gives users the ability to leverage data within Salesforce CRM and is enabled with Salesforce Chatter for real-time visibility and updates for better collaboration during the e-signing process.

Services now available to salesforce.com users include:

  • DocuSign for Salesforce, a fully integrated eSignature.
  • DocuSign for Salesforce Real-Time Quotes, a fully integrated DocuSign for Salesforce eSignature service within Real-Time Quotes.
  • DocuSign for Salesforce Chatter, a sales collaboration tool for complete, real-time visibility in the entire sales cycle.
  • DocuSign for Salesforce with Dynamic Documents enables Salesforce users to generate documents based on business rules directly from data within Salesforce.

If you’re interested, the new e-Signature has already been released.

Learning Opportunities

Box.net Gets eSignature

And a final word from DocuSign this week is that it has also entered a partnership with Box.net (news, site). As a featured service on the Box.net platform, the DocuSign eSignature solution will be available to Box.net’s four million users enabling them close deals in the cloud.

The integration with Box.net’s cloud content management solution empowers users to close deals on the same platform on which they manage and collaborate around associated content.

All parties participating in a transaction can revise, comment and assign tasks on relevant files using Box.net’s workflow and collaboration tools, and then complete the digital transaction using the DocuSign eSignature service.

xTuple’s ERP for Small Business

Open source business management software vendor xTuple has just announced the release of the latest version of xTuple’s ERP product and the expansion of the xTuple Cloud Service. New features, which should appeal to SMBs from a price and ease-of-deployment perspective include:

  • xTuple Desktop: A loadable package, completely customizable, which allows users to create their own favorite places in the application, and even customized workflows for defined business processes and summary dashboards of key business metrics.
  • The QuickStart Wizard: An add-in package that complements the xTuple Desktop with an easy-to-follow guide for setting up a company from scratch. It is available for purchase on the xTuple xChange for US$ 30 for users with locally installed databases. It is also included with the xTuple Cloud Service at no additional charge.

xTuple comes in three versions including PostBooks for small businesses, and Standard for medium sized businesses.

The company has also announced the availability of its full commercial xTuple Cloud Service that enables users across all three editions of the software to run their database in the cloud via Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).Existing xTuple users can also elect to move their onsite database to the cloud.

Bitrix Brings Enterprise 2.0 to the Cloud

Web communications vendor Bitrix (news, site) has just announced the release of Bitrix Intranet Portal / Cloud Edition, a specially-designed version of its Enterprise 2.0 software suitable for cloud deployment and rent-a-portal distribution model.

Bitrix Intranet Portal / Cloud Edition is a ready-to-go solution for small organizations with up to 50 users that prefer installation of the product on a service providers premises. The new cloud edition also provides cross-cloud support of all major virtualization platforms including VMware, Xen, OpenVZ, Virtuozzo and Hyper-V.

Service providers partnering with Bitrix under the announced Cloud initiative before September 2010 will receive an early adopter’s advantage valued at US$ 50K in annual income. Interested parties can apply for partnership.