Google has spent a lot of time polishing the apps in its productivity suite, which is now called G Suite. All expect one, that is.

But last week, just before everyone went off for Thanksgiving, Google quietly made the new Sites app generally available after a very short beta test through an Early Adopter Program.

Google claims Sites had been widely adopted but hadn’t received the amount of TLC it deserved. So at Google Atmosphere, Google’s global enterprise event in Tokyo in June, it announced Sites was getting an overhaul. 

Sites is a drag-and drop app used to create public facing web pages and intranet sites. It's integrated with G Suite’s other apps, so page builders can import documents from Google Docs, Slides and Sheets.

It is also possible to pull schedules from Google Calendar, a video clip from Google Drive, or a location from Google Maps.

There’s all kinds of new functionality here, including the addition of Google analytics to test customer engagement. But Sites is essentially about building page and team website for easier collaboration and team work.

According to Paul Covell, product manager of G Suite, even with the additional functionality it is still as easy to create a page or team site as it is to create a Google Doc.

“Now, it’s easier than ever to create a site and add text, links, images and more with a quick cut-and-paste, or simply drag-and-drop to rearrange and resize elements on the page,” he wrote.

The result is that Sites now offers real-time, multi-user coauthoring that enables project and team editing without fears of overwriting ongoing projects or locking pages.

Sites was one of the weak points in G Suite and users had been pushing for an upgrade for a long time, arguing that it didn’t respond to changes in web technologies. Google even admitted it:

“Since its launch in 2008, Sites has made it possible for employees to build working team and project sites without writing a single line of code (no HTML, CSS or any other all-caps acronym.) But, web technologies have progressed a lot in the past decade, and the new Sites is an even more approachable way to build a site," Covell wrote in the blog post.

Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess. However, what is certain is that G Suite is becoming progressively stronger and now offers an effective and flexible alternative to Office 365 at a significantly cheaper price. When all is said and done there are no losers here and the big winner are the users.

Xerox: Back to the Doc Business

Norwalk, Conn.-based Xerox Corp. is back to business-as-usual after a miserable year of restructuring, lay-offs and pessimistic media analysis of the company split, which was announced last January.

Last week, it announced the expansion of its Communication and Marketing Solutions, as well as upgrades to its Document Transaction Processing Services.

Both sets of upgrades are designed to enable enterprises better manage front-end and back-end business processes and provide better automation of the digitization of paper documents.

Communication and Marketing Solutions from Xerox manage the way enterprises share information with their customers during each phase of the customer lifecycle. The objective here is to improve customer interaction and better customer experience.

With the addition of new services to its Communication and Marketing solutions Xerox now offers services in document publishing, collateral management, demand generation, inbound and outbound digital transformation, multichannel communications and transactional print and mail.

Learning Opportunities

Enhancements to Xerox Document Transaction Processing Services will help large enterprise customers digitize, capture, process and analyze data and include services to digitize legacy files, accounts payable and health records management.

Xerox is now officially two companies. Last month, the board of directors of the printing and document management giant approved the financial terms of the split, which was announced in January.

The two companies will start trading as separate entities on the New York stock exchange early next year.

Dropbox, Symantec Partner for File Sharing Security

One of the most commonly reported criticisms about file sync and sharing applications is that they are not secure enough for enterprise use. These apps have also suffered because of concerns about their unmonitored use by workers to transfer information from one department to another, or even to contacts working outside the enterprise firewall.

Needless to say, for vendors like San Francisco-based Dropbox, this is a real problem. To help manage this, Dropbox recently announced it has brought security specialist Symantec into the Dropbox Partner Network.

Dropbox will now use applications from Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec to address issues around document and content access and offer data loss prevention integration enabling customers to better monitor and protect sensitive documents stored in Dropbox

The integrated solution offers visibility and control over all sensitive content that users upload, store, and share via the cloud. It also protects confidential information through all stages of its lifecycle, anywhere and everywhere it travels.

In a related announcement, Dropbox is also offering customers a new set of security partner-enabled capabilities with Barracuda Networks, Netskope and Skyhigh Networks along with Symantec.

Cabinet’s v2.0 New Mobile App

Madison, Ala.-based Cabinet Document Management Solutions has upgraded its mobile app to v 2.0. The document management software and workflow solutions vendor now offers its document management functionality to iOS, Android or Windows 10 operating systems enabling users of any of these systems to locate and access documents stored in Cabinet SAFE

Using the mobile app v2.0 users will also be able to edit documents and folders, create new folders, email documents, and create or import new documents including photos.

“When we decided to bring Cabinet into the mobile world, we wanted to give users the ability to access their documents anywhere. But we quickly learned that wasn’t enough," Abe Niedzwiecki, president of Cabinet said in a statement.