Enterprise 2.0 News

09.12.17

Amazon released a single sign on product for the AWS cloud. With AWS SSO you can easily manage SSO access and user permissions to all of your accounts in AWS Organizations centrally. That’s very different from what other single sign on products like Okta or OneLogin are doing. These companies provide a much more comprehensive approach to single sign on, giving you a central way to log into all of your cloud services (and in some cases on-prem too). This saves you the pain of having separate user names and passwords for every account. You log in once and you have access to all of the included cloud services. AWS SSO alternatives are: Okta, OneLogin
08.12.17


Amazon launched its digital voice assistant Alexa for Business. She lets you be more productive throughout your day and stay focused on important tasks. Alexa can help you manage your schedule, keep track of your to-do list, and set reminders. Alexa can automatically dial into your conference calls and make phone calls for you. The push aims to extend the online giant’s wide lead over rivals like Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana as competition heats up in a market that analysts say could transform the way people interact with technology. Alexa for Business Starter Kit that includes 7 smart speakers costs $709. Amazon Alexa alternatives are: Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant
07.12.17

Online identity management provider Okta, which counts corporate clients like Nordstrom and government clients like the U.S. Department of Justice, said that it’s now going to let startups use its services for free. Young organizations with up to 25 employees will be able to use Okta Identity Cloud without charge for one year. CEO Todd McKinnon hopes that they’ll become corporate clients as their business grows and they’re satisfied with the secure sign-on services. There are a lot of companies in the secure sign-in space. When asked about startups like Duo or SailPoint, which recently went public, McKinnon said “they have one part of what we offer” and “we have a broad suite.” He believes Okta’s real competitors are the incumbents like IBM, Oracle, Salesforce and Computer Associates. Okta alternatives are: OneLogin, Ping Identity, Centrify, Salesforce Identity, LastPass, Symplified
05.12.17

Intuit, the company behind products like QuickBooks, acquired TSheets, a time-tracking service and employee scheduling app with over 35,000 customers for $340 million. There’s an obvious overlap between the markets for QuickBooks and TSheets, both of which mostly target small to medium businesses. Indeed, Intuit tells us that the companies already share 12,000 customers. Clearly this isn’t a play to acquire new customers, but to build out the QuickBooks ecosystem and it’s worth noting that TSheets already offers an integration with QuickBooks. In talking to Intuit over the last few months, this idea of removing friction is very much at the heart of the company’s current product plans, especially with regard to QuickBooks. Quickbooks alternatives are: Freshbooks, Quicken, Xero, Mint, Wave
04.12.17

Microsoft announced the general availability of its Edge Browser (the followup to Internet Explorer) for iOS and Android. The mobile version offers many of its familiar desktop/tablet features, including Favorites, Reading Lists and New Tab Pages. The company’s also added some new tools. Roaming Passwords are now on-board, giving users the ability to sync passwords cross platform on mobile and desktop. There’s also dark theme. That’s basically what it sounds like, offering a black desktop instead of the default white/gray one, which should be easier on some eyes. The addition of Edge is an important piece of Microsoft’s new mobile strategy. At the very least additions like Edge and Cortana to iOS and Android will make it easier for Windows 10 users to have their existing smartphones play nice with their PCs. Microsoft Edge alternatives are: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox
01.12.17

Amazon Web Services launched a new browser-based IDE, AWS Cloud9. It isn’t all that different from similar IDEs and editors like Sublime Text, but as AWS stressed during today’s keynote, it allows for collaborative editing and it’s also deeply integrated into the AWS ecosystem. The tool comes with built-in support for languages like JavaScript, Python, PHP and others. Cloud9 also includes pre-installed debugging tools. AWS argues that this is the first “cloud native” IDE, though I’m sure some of its competitors will take issue with this description. Either way, though, Cloud9 is deeply integrated with AWS and developers can create cloud environments and start new instances right from the tool. Amazon Web Services alternatives are: Rackspace, Windows Azure, Google App Engine, Heroku, OpenStack, Godaddy
30.11.17

Amazon Web Services added long-awaited support for the Kubernetes container orchestration system on top of its Elastic Container Service (ECS). Kubernetes has become something of a de facto standard for container orchestration. It already had the backing of Google (which incubated it), as well as Microsoft and virtually every other major cloud player. So AWS is relatively late to the party here but it does already have over 100,000 active container clusters on its service and that these users spin up millions of containers already. AWS’s users are clearly interested in running containers and indeed, many of them already ran Kubernetes on top of AWS, but without the direct support of AWS. But with this new service, AWS will manage the container orchestration system for its users. ECS for Kubernetes will support the latest versions of Kubernetes and AWS will handle upgrades and all of the management of the service and its clusters. Kubernetes alternatives are: Docker, CoreOS, OpenStack
28.11.17

Full-featured versions of Microsoft Office apps are now available in the Google Play Store for Chromebooks. But to use Office apps on devices with screen bigger than 10.1 inches (for anything other than viewing documents) you'll need a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, which starts at $6.99 a month. You also need one of the latest Chromebooks, as Google made Chrome OS capable of supporting Android applications only last year. Of course, Google’s G Suite is still the more likely choice for a number of Chromebook users, but the ability to use Microsoft Office on a Chromebook makes them a potentially more viable option for businesses using Microsoft’s software. The other option is Windows 10 S – the streamlined version of Windows 10 the company is positioning as its Chrome OS competitor. Office 365 alternatives are: G Suite, Google Docs, GMail, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Zoho, OneDrive
21.11.17

Google is cutting the price of using Nvidia’s Tesla GPUs through its Compute Engine by up to 36 percent. In U.S. regions, using the somewhat older K80 GPUs will now cost $0.45 per hour while using the newer and more powerful P100 machines will cost $1.46 per hour (all with per-second billing). Thus Google is aiming this feature at developers who want to run their own machine learning workloads on its cloud, though there also are a number of other applications — including physical simulations and molecular modeling — that greatly benefit from the hundreds of cores that are now available on these GPUs. Google Cloud Platform alternatives are: Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure, Heroku, Google App Engine, Parse
17.11.17


Zoho released the new version of note-taking app Zoho Notebook 4.0 that marks the launch of Notebook for Web. Then there’s also the introduction of Smart Cards, which intelligently format content you add to Notebook across devices. And if those two things aren’t enough, it added document scanning along with a redesigned Photo Card, lots of drag and drop to Notebook for iPad Pro, and several other cross-platform updates. Notebook for Web brings all your notes and notebooks online. You can create Text, Checklist, Photo, and File Cards. To add a custom Notebook cover, simply drag an image from your desktop and drop it on the cover you want to replace. You can create Photo and File Cards in Notebook by dragging and dropping from your desktop, as well. Notes can be grouped, moved, and copied to different notebooks. And both notebooks and notes can be locked with a passcode. If you have a Notebook account, the web app is automatically available. Zoho Notebook alternatives are: Evernote, OneNote
16.11.17

Skype announced the new account type - Professional Account - freelancers and online entrepreneurs, that give online lessons, tutoring and consulting. The Skype Professional Account desktop client, soon to be released in preview in the U.S., adds powerful new features to Skype to make doing your online business a whole lot easier. In addition to meeting with your clients as you have been on Skype, you can also book those meetings, accept payments, and keep notes—all in one place. Skype Professional Account gives you the power to do business from one app for free (during the preview). From French tutors to yoga instructors, you’ll be able to book lessons, accept payments, and give lessons all from one place, seamlessly. Plus, we’ve added an enhanced profile page to help improve your online presence and a dedicated website for your small business right in Skype. Your contacts will be able to see pertinent info like your hours and business offerings. All the features work together. For example, a payment request can be sent along with a booking. Skype alternatives are: OoVoo, Facetime, Google Voice, Google Hangouts, Tango, Vonage, Viber, Vonage
15.11.17

SendGrid, the marketing email company, raised $131 million after pricing its IPO at $16, above the expected range of $13.50 to $15.50. The company begins trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, under the ticker SEND. SendGrid helps businesses send marketing emails. It says in its IPO filing that it has processed more than one trillion emails. SendGrid says competes with SparkPost, MailChimp and divisions of Amazon, Oracle and Salesforce. SendGrid alternatives are: Mailchimp, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Aweber, Constant Contact, Mailjet, iContact
15.11.17


Mozilla's latest browser Firefox Quantum is really, really fast. In a test conducted with the open-source project WebPageTest, Firefox Quantum loaded a number of top websites before Chrome did, including Yelp, Shutterstock, Ask.com and even Google Search itself.  (Chrome was still, of course, faster to load most Google and Youtube pages).  The browser also uses around 30% less memory than its competitors Chrome, Edge, and Safari on Windows operating systems, and only uses a tiny bit more than Chrome on macOS. This means you can run 30% more tabs without your browser crashing or slowing to a crawl.  But where the company hopes its browser will stand out the most is in the interface. The company extensively researched the way users navigate browsers, and Firefox Quantum has a number of small, but significant features to accommodate those patterns. Firefox alternatives are: Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera, Waterfox
12.11.17


Mind mapping service SimpleMind announced some new improvements in its Pro version. First is Adding links to contacts that's available on iPad/ iPhone, Android and Mac. It allows to link mind map item to contact in you prone, email or other contact lists. Besides SimpleMind Pro can now import the table of contents of a .pdf on Dropbox on Google Drive. SimpleMind creates a new topic for each bookmark with a link back to that page in the .pdf. This requires an official Table of Contents in the .pdf. SimpleMind alternatives are: MindNode, XMind, MindMeister, Freemind, iThoughts, MindJet MindManager, iMindMap
09.11.17

Facebook Messenger is coming to business websites. The new plugin allows customers to talk directly with businesses on their websites using Messenger, and continue those conversations across web, mobile and tablet devices. Not only does the ability to use Messenger mean the business is making itself available within an application that now reaches some 1.2 billion monthly users and growing, the Messenger platform also supports features like payments, bots that understand natural language, and rich media, among other things. Like other web chat systems, the Messenger chat plugin is designed to hover over top the business’s web page, and is indicated by the familiar, blue Messenger icon. Facebook Messenger alternatives are: Google Hangouts, Skype, Viber, iMessage, BBM, WhatsApp
03.11.17

Zoho rolled out update to its Zoho CRM Plus, the all-in-one customer engagement suite. The developers refreshed the whole interface and cleared out the clutter. The app selector is now replaced with an all-new navigation bar to the left side instead of the top. When you know exactly which part of the product you want to access, you can use the new Quick Links feature to go straight there. Besides, Zoho CRM Plus automatically adapts to your usage patterns by putting the records you last accessed to the front under Recent Items. Also now you can configure the settings of all your Zoho CRM Plus apps in one place and search across all apps with advanced filters to get relevant data from different teams in your organisation. Zoho CRM alternatives are: Salesforce, Highrise, vtiger CRM, SugarCRM, Bitrix24
02.11.17


Evernote built a new integration with the highly popular messaging app Slack. Evernote is where you keep all your ideas, and Slack connects your ideas to other people. By removing the friction between these two tools, you can now spend less time searching and more time doing. By using the /note command in Slack you can jot down your notes, create a to-do list or a reminder—all without leaving the conversation. Or you can use the /clip command to capture messages from Slack and save them (based on date, importance, or URL) as a note in Evernote. With the /find command you can now search for the specific note you need and share a snapshot with the team without leaving Slack. Evernote alternatives are: OneNote, Springpad, Notability, Wunderlist, Google Keep, Pocket, Simplenote, Google Drive, DropBox, Slack
01.11.17

LinkedIn integration within Outlook.com is now going live, allowing email users to view insights, profile pictures, work history and more from within their inbox. This would not be the first time that LinkedIn data found its way into email. Before being bought by Microsoft, LinkedIn itself acquired a smaller company called Rapportive which made a then popular Gmail add-in that integrated social profile data into Gmail’s web app. It later revamped the app to focus more heavily on the LinkedIn integration, and less on connections to other services like Facebook and Twitter. With the new Outlook integration, customers can click on an email contact’s name right in their inbox then view a rich contact card that includes a link to their LinkedIn profile. Outlook.com alternatives are: GMail, Office 365
01.11.17

InVision, the design collaboration tool, announced the close of a $100 million Series E funding round. The company recently announced InVision Studio, which is meant to take on Photoshop and Sketch, giving designers all the tools they need to not only collaborate with their peers, but create the original designs. InVision also acquired Brand.ai, a tool that helps manage design teams at scale with cloud-based asset management. InVision says that more than 70 percent of its users aren’t on the design team, which is part of what has made the company so successful over the past six years. InVision alternatives are: Axure, Balsamiq Mockups, Flinto, Proto.io, Photoshop Express
01.11.17

Hangouts Meet, Google’s service for running video and audio meetings, is getting a few new hardware kit that includes a touchscreen controller, speaker microphone, 4K camera and an ASUS Chromebox to control it all. For a while now, Google has sold numerous meeting kits based around the Acer and ASUS Chromeboxes at prices that range from $999 to $1,999. That was before the Hangouts Meet and Chat schism, though (which is still confusing), and this new kit is specifically geared toward Hangouts Meet and G Suite Enterprise edition customers. It’s also the first set to feature this new touchscreen controller (though that, too, isn’t the first touchscreen specifically geared toward Hangouts meetings). That touchscreen, Google tells me, is a 10-inch MIMO Vue capacitive display with HDMI capture. These screens typically retail for about $499 outside of this kit. Google Hangouts alternatives are: Skype, Viber, GoToMeeting, WebEx, Slack