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Digital workplaces are all about sharing data, information and content. But to do so, you have to be able to find your content in the first place. This problem has plagued Dropbox for years as, to date, it hasn’t had an effective desktop search function, leaving users to revert to their account to find what they are looking for.

In a blog post earlier this week, San Francisco-based Dropbox announced it is finally fixing the problem. “Phones and tablets might be central to our day-to-day routines, but desktop and laptop computers still play a big part in our working lives. So we’re bringing more of the functionality that was previously only available through our web and mobile apps to Dropbox on your computer,” the post read.

This means users should be able to search through everything associated with their Dropbox account, even if it’s not synchronized to your desktop, including documents from Paper. For business users, it gets even better. “If you’re on Dropbox Professional or Business, we’ll search the text within your files like documents, spreadsheets, presentations. We’ll even provide results from images and PDFs for users that have access to our automatic image text recognition feature," the announcement continued.

It’s not all that’s coming either. Dropbox is making a big push and announced the release of a number of other features including:

  • File type filtering: Refine search results by one of 10 types, like images, documents, or PDFs — and zero in on the files you need.
  • Advanced sorting: Coming soon, you'll be able to sort search results by date modified and find your most recently edited files.
  • Speed improvements: Search results on now load 65 percent faster.

The move confirms once again Dropbox's interest in the enterprise space. Founded in 2007, the company was initially largely focused on consumer file sharing, which worked well enough, but with the emergence of digital workplaces, the big money was clearly in enabling file transfer and sharing in the enterprise. The result was an IPO last year and the ongoing development of enterprise features that make the business edition more powerful without making it any more difficult to use. The new enhancements are available as of this week.

In other digital workplace news ....

OpenText Upgrades Content Services

Waterloo, Ontario-based OpenText unveiled a number of new features to its content services, with the extended functionality and capabilities coming in Release 16. At the recent Enterprise Europe event, OpenText executive vice president of engineering, Muhi Majzoub said the new capabilities and integrations will expand productivity, improve governance and drive digital transformation deeper into enterprises. Among the new features are:

  1. Expanded integrations with SAP business processes using OpenText Core to assist with securely collaborating on content inside and outside the enterprise.
  2. Augmented web-based document authoring and design for OpenText Exstream.
  3. Newly integrated AI-based analytics for OpenText Digital Asset Management.
  4. Enhanced flexibility for the low code developer tools in OpenText AppWorks.
  5. Machine learning capabilities in OpenText Discovery to aid corporate legal departments and law firms.
  6. Data discovery and provisioning for business users is currently available for OpenText Magellan, in addition to new monitoring and control of data quality preventing algorithm degradation for governance purposes.
  7. Continuous monitoring of endpoints with OpenText Encase, which ensures secure data and device management.

According to Majzoub, Release 16 EP6 and Cloud 19.2 will be the largest, most feature-rich EIM release in the history of OpenText. The focus here for OpenText once again is improving the reach and power of its content services. In the last Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platform (paywall), OpenText made it into the leader’s quadrant. Gartner described OpenText’s content services as ones that enable enterprises to “connect content to their digital business to accelerate productivity, improve governance, and drive digital transformation.”

OpenText has built its business on this and has made it into the Leaders’ segment in the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management for 12 years running. While Majzoub mentioned Documentum in the keynote as part of the overall OpenText portfolio, it is not clear yet how this will feed into Release 16 EP6 if indeed, it does at all. Release 16 EP6 will be available in the second quarter of 2019 for upgrade and 19.2 will be immediately available to all customers in the OpenTex Cloud.

Slack Enables Channels Search

San Francisco-based Slack has also been busy with search, this time with the addition of new Slack channels search. According to a blog post from Slack, the new search will help you find not only key conversations and files, but also the channels where that information lives.

“While clear naming conventions help with channel organization, it can be tough to discover relevant public channels you’re not yet a part of, especially if you don’t know the exact channel name,” the post reads.

Performing channel searches works the same as any other search in Slack: type the term you're looking for into the search bar, and fire away. In addition to the “Messages” and “Files” tabs that already exist in the results, a new tab named “Channels” will also appear. There you’ll find the public channels — along with the private channels you belong to — that are most relevant to your search.

This is not the first time Slack has upgraded its search. Last year, it upgraded it to improve the speed and accuracy of its search. It added filters and better infrastructure to its search engine and, in general, made the experience a lot easier.

The addition of new search features is just the latest in a long list of upgrades to the Slack platform in advance of its IPO, due to take place sometime in the first half of this year. Between now and then we will undoubtedly see more upgrades aimed at attracting more enterprise customers.

Elsewhere, and worth a look — especially for enterprises — is an interview on CNBC with a number of CEOs who explained their concerns about the amount of information employees share on Slack and whether they have the right controls in place to deal with it. This is always going to be a challenge in any system, but given the growing use of Slack, worth a look.

Mozilla Offers Secure, Private File Sharing

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based Mozilla has introduced a new file sharing service, which, the company states, enables users to send files while protecting their personal information. Firefox Send is a free encrypted file transfer service that allows users to share files from any browser. Additionally, Send will also be made available as an Android app in beta.

Send also enables users to share larger file. With Send you can quickly share file sizes up to 1GB. To send files up to 2.5GB, sign up for a free Firefox account.

The system offers an alternative to email, where larger file attachments are more of an issue, as well as cloud storage sites, like Google Drive and Dropbox, which can be time-consuming when all you need to do is share a single file one time — not store the file, edit it or collaborate with others. It also gives Mozilla the possibly of extending its reach and creating a new audience for its web tools and service.

Xerox Offers New Services For Digital Transformation

Finally this week, Norwalk, Conn.-based Xerox announced a new services portfolio, comprised of five horizontal and four industry-specific services built specifically for enterprise's digital transformation needs. The new Xerox’s Horizontal Services, include:

  • Xerox Intelligent Workplace Services: Uses workflow automation, content management and print infrastructure optimization for more efficient and secure workplaces.
  • Xerox Capture and Content Services: New advanced multichannel capture and process automation, making information available at point of need; drive clients to make more informed and proactive business decisions.
  • Xerox Accounts Payable Services: A range of invoice processing services that eliminates time-consuming processes while improving data security
  • Xerox Digital Hub & Cloud Print Services: Cloud-based, multi-layered enterprise solutions for the creation of print and digital collateral materials.
  • Xerox Campaigns on Demand Services: A multi-use marketing campaign solution that scales to any audience size across multiple channels.

Xerox is targeting four industries with the release — insurance, healthcare, public sector and retail markets — each with its own tool to tackle industry-specific challenges through digital tools.