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Google Integrates Hangouts Chats with G Suite, More News

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David Roe avatar

Microsoft announced new adoption figures for Office 365 during Build 2017 citing 100 million monthly commercial users of the platform.

In the few short years since it was officially released, Microsoft has built the Office 365 brand and appeal around the tight integration of the individual apps.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google is doing the same with G Suite, with the announcement this week of tighter integrations in its effort to prove G Suite apps are a cheaper, but powerful alternative to Office 365.

This week's announcement introduced new chat capabilities within the G Suite core apps. As of June 7, anyone with Hangouts who is signed up to the Rapid Release track will be able to chat through instant messaging from inside G Suites core apps including Docs, Sheets and Slides using the Google Hangouts chat function.

Google Hangouts is a unified communications service that allows members to initiate and participate in text, voice or video chats, either one-on-one or in a group. Hangouts are built into Google plus and Gmail.

The current chat function in Docs, Sheets and Slides is known as Google Talk (also known as Google Chat). However, Google is closing Google Talk closed down at the end of June.

By offering chat in Docs, Sheets and Slide users can discuss a document with other collaborators without leaving the document itself. It also deepens the Hangouts integration with G Suite.

Over the coming weeks, Google will make a number of changes to chat to decouple it from Talk and make it accessible to those who wish to use it for document collaboration.

Anyone who isn't on the Rapid Release track who is interested in this feature should know Google is aiming for a due date of June 21 for general availability. 

Sapho Turns Office 365 Apps Into Information Portals

Microsoft Outlook is getting more love, this time from San Francisco-based Sapho, which announced support for Actionable Messages in Microsoft Outlook at Build 2017.

Sapho is an enterprise application infrastructure company founded in 2014. It provides an enterprise software platform that gives enterprise users access to corporate information on mobile devices.

By offering support for Actionable Messages in Outlook, Sapho is providing a service that sends an email to the account user when action is required in one of their enterprise systems. It also offers them the possibility of taking action from inside the email.

The bottom line is easier workflow creation, more speed and, as a result, enhanced productivity.

In a statement about the release, Sapho noted the changing habits of knowledge workers, with 60 percent using at least two devices a day and 40 percent starting an activity in one device and completing it in another. This release aims to support those changing habits. 

The integration is available to Office 365 customers using Outlook on the web and is rolling out in Outlook 2016 for Windows in Office Insider Fast.

This rounds out Sapho’s support for Office 365 suite, with it now supporting Outlook, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint interfaces as a portal to access personalized data.

DocuSign Responds To Attack

Hot on the heels of the Gmail phishing attack two weeks ago, San Francisco-based DocuSign announced in a statement on its website a data breach of customer emails.

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According to the statement, the effected addresses were then subjected to a phishing attack from what the company described as a “malicious third party.”

The statement explained that the emails “spoofed” the DocuSign brand in an attempt to trick recipients into opening an attached Word document that, when clicked, installs malicious software.

It added by way or reassurance to its customers:

“A complete forensic analysis has confirmed that only a list of email addresses were accessed; no names, physical addresses, passwords, social security numbers, credit card data or other information was accessed."

“No content or any customer documents sent through DocuSign’s esignature system was accessed; DocuSign’s core esignature service, envelopes and customer documents and data remain secure.”

Whether this will help nervous customers or not remains to be seen. The TechHelpList website carried a copy of the malicious email and reported that the attachment could be used to steal passwords and banking details.

The attack comes at a crucial period of development for signature vendors, who after years of hard marketing appear to have convinced many enterprises of the safety of esignatures.

The DocuSign product itself was not compromised:

“As part of our process in response to phishing incidents, we confirmed that DocuSign’s core esignature service, envelopes and customer documents remain secure,” the statement read.

Back to (Acquisition) Business for Xerox

Finally this week, in a sure sign that there is life after spin-off, Norwalk, Conn.-based Xerox announced it acquired MT Business Technologies, a Mansfield, Ohio-based multibrand hardware and services vendor.

Financial details of the deal were not revealed, but it comes only a few months after Xerox said it would be spending $100 million to buy Multi-Branded Resellers and turn them into Xerox-only outlets.

Xerox said the deal would open new market opportunities in Ohio, along with portions of Michigan.

The buy probably won’t set the document management world on fire, but it does suggest Xerox has not only survived the spin-off, but that it is alive and healthy.

It also follows the recent announcement of Xerox’s single biggest technology release in it is history. Looks like Xerox is back, if indeed, it ever really went away.

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