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Microsoft, Dropbox join forces for mobile productivity apps

Microsoft and its former foe, Dropbox, join forces to make it easier to use productivity apps on mobile devices; and other content management news.

Microsoft cozies up to former foe, Dropbox

Microsoft and Dropbox have joined forces to make it easier to use productivity applications on mobile devices and on the Web. The partnership integrates the collaborative services of Dropbox and Microsoft Office so users can share and edit documents, spreadsheets and other files.

File-based services like Dropbox have been eyed with suspicion about security and concern by vendors worried it could chip away at their share of the market. Microsoft has been no exception, viewing Dropbox as a possible competitor to OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), its own file-sharing application. But Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has notably been striking new deals with long-standing competitors, such as the announced partnership of Salesforce and Microsoft announced at Dreamforce 2014.

"In our mobile-first and cloud-first world, people need easier ways to create, share and collaborate regardless of their device or platform," Nadella said.

According to Microsoft, more than 1.2 billion people use Office, and Dropbox is home to more than 35 billion Office files. The new capabilities will be available in the next versions of Office apps for Android and iOS, which Microsoft said will be released in the next few weeks. Over the next year, the companies will extend features to the Web. In addition, Dropbox will be making its application available on Windows Phone and Windows tablet platforms.

Xerox's new workflows strive for a paperless office

Xerox, a company born out of the paper-driven office, has launched new offerings designed to digitize work processes and eliminate paper.

Xerox's Digital Alternatives for PCs and mobile devices enables users to sign, annotate, share, save and read documents from a single UI. There's no need to print documents, convert files or toggle between different programs and digital versions; a time-saving and efficiency gain. The UI works with Microsoft Windows-based PCs and Apple iPad tablets. The offering also includes analytics on how to better manage the migration from paper-based systems to digital ones.

The company also announced Xerox ePublishing Services, for sales and marketing teams to be able to offer up digital promotional materials, contracts and so on. The service provides a digital file output suitable for smartphones, tablets, e-readers and computer displays. Documents can be published in PDF HTML5 or e-publication formats with hyperlinks and rich media.

Insightpool hones predictive analytics in social platforms

Atlanta-based Insightpool released version 2.0 of its audience platform for social media users. The platform integrates with such marketing/sales software as Pardot, Eloqua or Marketo.

Interpreting public data about self-identified users from Facebook, Twitter, Klout, LinkedIn and other sources, the latest version strives to improve the software's predictive analytics and offer suggestions on what specific actions marketers should take.

One financial institution, for example, wanted to drum up registration for a conference, which is a very different action from viewing a webinar.

Because most conferences use hashtags, and webinars often don't, the platform recommended that hashtags in social communications were an indicator that those users might be more inclined to attend a conference.

By focusing on a customer's business objectives in connecting with users the company said, it can better analyze current behavior as a predictor of future behavior.

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