There have been a number of new releases that should appeal to SMBs this week including a new version of SpringCM’s cloud-based enterprise content management system. There’s even some free cloud space too.

SpringCM Upgrades ECM

News that is bound to go down well with SMBs is that SpringCM (news, site) has just upgraded its enterprise content management cloud platform to v5.6 with features that are designed to improve its document management and workflow abilities.

With this release SpringCM is really pushing it as an option for the SMB market, particularly companies that don’t have developed IT departments and who can’t afford to spend money on trying to understand how to deploy and use applications that they need to carry out business.

While there are dozens of new features the principal ones include new Attribute Sets and Repeating Attributes that enable granular indexing and search, and new document rules that make workflow and collaboration processes configurable out-of-the-box.

The company said that in this release, like in previous releases, they have focused on making it easier to implement applications such as contract management, bids and proposals, and invoice processing, without expensive hardware and software.

And this has been the pattern with SpringCM since it set up -- upgrade platforms to provide only the applications businesses need at prices that are within the range of even small companies.

Why Did CA Buy Nimsoft Anyway?

You might recall during the week that IT management software company CA (news, site) announced that it has just closed a cash deal worth US$ 350 million to buy monitoring solutions provider Nimsoft.

The Islandia, NY-based giant said at the time that the acquisition will open up a whole new customer base of midmarket/emerging enterprises and management service providers (MSPs).

To understand what this acquisition will actually mean, Trac Research, a business-to-business market research and analyst company that specializes in IT performance management, has just published a short report that analyzes the deal and looks to where CA might be going with it. Entitled CA Acquires Nimsoft: More Than Cloud And Mid-Market Play? it says:

The acquisition immediately strengthens CA’s position in the mid-market, while allowing them to grow their managed service provider business . . . Over the last two years, CA did a good job of gradually changing its reputation from a company that is making acquisitions just to improve its revenue stream . . . to a vendor that has a very clear vision, and it is buying only the missing pieces to a large puzzle they had envisioned.”

From the technology point of view, Trac says, CA acquired one of the most advanced solutions in the market for monitoring the cloud and from the market point of view it strengthens their position in mid-market allowing them grow their managed service provider business in this sector.

However, integrating Nimsoft (news, site) into their business plan might not be as easy as CA thinks. Trac suggests that Nimsoft has had double-digit growth for the past five years because they had developed a very hands-on sales and marketing approach to their customers that CA might find difficult to swallow. The paper is free to download if you’re interested in reading more.

How To Buy An ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is quickly turning into one of the “must-haves” for SMBs according to a new report from Focus Research, which says that this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the likes of Oracle, Microsoft and SAP who are now turning their sights on this market segment.

And while the prospect of trying to deal with these kinds of companies may be a source of some unease to SMBs, Focus has published a new white paper on how to pick the ERP system that is suitable for your company, and how to get the best value for money from bigger companies.

Entitled 10 Strategies for Choosing a Midmarket ERP Solution, it not only guides customers on how to roll-out solutions quickly, but it also takes into account that finding a suitable system for a given company is one of the most challenging aspects for SMBs.

ERP systems in general integrate all systems involved in managing both the internal and external resources of a company, such as finance, work processes and human resources so the decision on what ERP system to buy will directly affect all business operations.

As a result picking the right system is absolutely key and the paper, just like it says in the title, gives ten tips on what to look for when going to the market to buy this technology.

How vendors that have traditionally sold into this market deal with the interest now being shown by bigger companies is not exactly clear, but big doesn’t necessarily mean best and there should be some interesting developments here in the next few months. If you want to follow up on this report you can download it here.

Sayabit Upgrades Free Cloud Storage For SMBs

Another announcement for SMBs, this time from Sayabit, who have just announced that they are adding more power for users to their free cloud storage solution.

Obviously anything for free is a good thing, but this should be particularly interesting for business users in that it is offering new e-signature, iPhone application and micro-networking features.

This follows the Q4 Sayabit beta launch as an offshoot of Sayagle, a Cambridge, Massachusetts start-up, which is planning its beta launch of a first of kind location-based social networking marketplace later on in Q1 of this year.

However, Sayabit is a stand-alone product even if it integrates seamlessly with Sayagle to enhance its mission of giving people access to important information beyond the screen.

Sayabit is more than just free cloud storage. It is a personal organizer that gives companies access to and management of cloud based files from either PC or mobile device. Features allow users to upload and share images, documents and videos securely for real-time conversion into trackable URLs as well as loads more features.

Maybe, we should repeat this bit again. It’s free! If you’re interested in more check out the website.