G Suite (former Google Apps for Work) is getting a couple of new smart features. The most interesting of them is automatic action suggestion is Docs. When you type something like “Mathew to create a document with all the upcoming earnings,” Docs will now automatically suggest that you create an action item and assign this to (hopefully) the right person. Google now also makes it easier for you to see which action items have been assigned to you and which documents may need your attention. All the G Suite apps will now show a badge on files that have action items attached to them and when there are unresolved suggestions that others may have made to your files.
Online HR service that provides a single place to manage payroll, benefits, compliance, - Zenefits is launching its second version - Z2. The second incarnation of Zenefits isn’t just designed to be a home base for company data, but also a service that other companies can tap into in order to use that data for their own tools. Zenefits today is opening itself up to third-party developers, which can treat Zenefits as a permanent record for employee data — like some services treat Facebook for user data — and build their services around that.
Cisco has acquired startup Worklife that was founded in 2015 with the idea of improving online meetings, something that Cisco has been working on for years. It of course owns WebEx and has been trying to enhance that experience in recent years with Cisco Spark. Cisco intends to add the Worklife team to the Spark team and try to bring their meeting wisdom to bear on the project. The idea behind Worklife is to keep the meeting on track by providing an agenda ahead of time that keeps people focused — or at least that’s the stated goal. There is also on-screen clock showing exactly how much time is left in the meeting (before you can back to real work) and you can create a record of the meeting and distribute it to participants afterward.
Microsoft is making its Edge browser more secure in enterprise environments thanks to Windows Defender Application Guard insulates Windows 10 from untrusted browser sessions by running it in a container that is bound directly to the hardware. Microsoft argues that containers within other browsers still leave enterprises vulnerable to 90 percent of the most prevalent attacks because those services don’t use hardware-based protection. The new technology will only become available to enterprises in early 2017.
Dropbox is updating its iOS app with few new features that should help it continue to have a toehold within larger companies. The first update is PDF signing, which allows users to open PDF files right from their mobile devices and insert signatures and text into them. Another update Dropbox is getting today is an integration with iMessage - rich file-sharing within iMessage that includes previews and the like for its users. Besides, the new lock-screen widget will give users the ability to do the most common actions you might find in a Dropbox app from the lock screen. Tapping on one of the functions will go straight to an operation within Dropbox.
Adobe Document Cloud, the service that offers a subscription-based service for its more enterprise-focused document management tools, is getting an update that introduces a number of new features that will make editing documents and signing them a bit easier. The most important new feature in Acrobat DC is better support for Certificates. While Acrobat already allows you to digitally sign documents, it’s now far easier to do so thanks to a new set-up wizard for creating IDs or importing them from smart card readers and other cryptography hardware. The new regulations around digital signatures in the European Union spurred the team to make this feature more discoverable and usable. In the future, Adobe also plans to integrate this functionality more closely with its Adobe Sign tool.
Facebook is going to serve ads to the 1 billion users of its Groups feature. The ads will look the same as News Feed ads. They’ll be targeted by Group topic as well as the standard identity-based targeting. It’s that diversity of purposes that could boost the value of Groups ads. If Facebook can find a way to reliably categorize the Groups to enhance ad targeting, it could reach people of different interests with highly relevant and lucrative ads. For example, if someone likes Manchester United football team’s Page it indicates that he is likely to buy sports merchandise.
After two-year testing Facebook at last opened the enterprise version of its social network called Workplace. It's the copy of Facebook, but separate for each company. Employee accounts are not linked to their Facebook accounts. Otherwise it provides the same social tools: profiles, newsfeed, groups, chat, live-presentations, video-calls. The pricing starts from $3/user/month. The product will fit large companies that intend to build a team from hundreds and thousands of employees that don't know each other. Of course it's not the first internal social network on the market, but may be Facebook knows some secret ingredient and will revolutionize the Enterprise (like iPad, that wasn't the first tablet on the market). For example, if many companies deploy Workspace, and Facebook adds inter-corporate social tools - it may give interesting results.
Animoto is launching a new product for businesses that want to post their own marketing videos for Facebook and other social networks — but don’t necessarily have the team or the skills needed to create something slick. Animoto’s Marketing Video Builder should allow you create a video without a big production budget or extensive editing skills. The key to this approach is realizing that most marketing videos can be broken down into a number of common “components,” which can then be stitched together into a video. You choose from a number of possible templates, which are basically storyboards built from those smaller components. For each component, you just follow the instructions, which might mean uploading a certain number of photos or videos. The text and fonts can be edited, you can add voiceover to each piece and you can also customize the video by adding or removing components.
Symphony, the enterprise messaging app, is adding new voice, video and screen sharing features in the form of a new product called Symphony Meetings, and it is also launching the Symphony Webhooks API, giving companies the ability to create their own integrations with third-party apps alongside a list of apps that Symphony itself is integrating from Salesforce, Github, JIRA, Trello and Zapier. Unlike Slack, Microsoft’s Yammer, Hipchat Symphony is directing its own product not so much as a general enterprise app, but it takes some of the consumerization trend that helped form those other apps and is applying it specifically to the finance vertical.