If content is king, then search has to be the queen. Without the ability to search across enterprise silos to find relevant content, no amount of collaboration or communication apps is going to make your business successful. Google has always been aware of that — its entire business model since the early days has been built on search.

Over the years, it has added all kinds of search options. This week it announced the ability of its Cloud Search tool to now search third-party services like SAP, Salesforce and SharePoint, the biggest data silos in most enterprises.

This is a major improvement. The tool, first unveiled in 2017, was only able search data that had been stored in G-Suite and local servers. In a nod to the ongoing privacy concerns of enterprise and private users of cloud services in general, Google pointed out that it maintains a contractual agreement with business consumers to only use data to deliver a service or support request.

Google Cloud’s new search tool is designed to help the company compete with dominant rival Amazon Web Services (AWS), which released its own cloud search tool in 2012. The new tool feature also honors a commitment Google made in 2017, when it partnered with Salesforce.

The announcement was part of a series of updates Google announced at its annual Google Cloud Next conference, which is geared toward informing current and potential business customers, IT professionals and developers.

The announcement points out that Google Cloud Search uses machine learning to bring instant query suggestions and surface the most relevant results across different content systems in over 100 languages. What Google does for web, Cloud Search does for your business, the announcement said.

Zoom Brings Video Conferencing to IPO

Video communication company Zoom priced its IPO at $36 per share before the opening of business on Thursday, April 18, which is when the IPO will be launched and bring Zoom's value to around $9.2 billion, up from its last private valuation of $1 billion.

The rapid progress Zoom has made over the last year reflects not only its dynamic portfolio, but also the developing interest in the videoconferencing and communication space, which is now one of the cornerstones of the digital workplace.

Zoom is expected to start trading Thursday on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "ZM." It will be joined by Pinterest, another unicorn company valued over $1 billion, also expected to list on Thursday, this time on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "PINS."

Zoom has been building out its offerings for a long time, but no one really expected it to float at such a price. However, as it offers uncomplicated video communication to enterprises it is likely to continue growing after it goes public.

Over the months the Zoom offering has expanded and improved as its technology has developed. Only last month, for example, it offered a number of significant upgrades and integrations that push it deeper into the enterprise. The new features for Zoom Phone, Zoom Rooms and Zoom Meetings, brought together video, voice, content sharing and chat across all devices and workspaces in a single cloud platform. There were many upgrades including major additions to Zoom Meetings including:

  • Real-Time Transcription
  • Simultaneous Interpretation: Support for interpreters via multiple audio channels
  • Meeting Notes Summary
  • Siri Shortcuts

More to the point, it also brought enhanced Microsoft Teams integration for the second quarter of 2019, which will focus on simplifying the user experience to satisfy core use cases. Users will be able to add a Zoom Tab and click Experience to start, schedule and view Zoom meetings relevant to a Team

Zoom has been one of the top video communications in the digital workplace space for a long time and has made it into Gartner’s 'Leader’s Quadrant for Meeting Rooms' along with Microsoft, Cisco and LogMeIn.

In its report, Gartner wrote that Zoom’s service offers a robust set of video collaboration capabilities designed for ease of use from desktop clients, conference room systems and mobile devices. It added that the continued innovation in its conference room environments — with meeting join automation and smart devices — is notable.

As a warning, it pointed out that Zoom would better serve its customers if it improved its global presence, according to some of its reference customers. With the IPO under its belt, it is likely that the money to take care of this will be readily available.

Zoom was founded in 2011 by CEO Eric S. Yuan, who was previously vice president of engineering at videoconferencing company WebEx. Yuan joined Cisco in 2007 when it bought WebEx for $3.2 billion.

Facebook’s New Privacy Problems

Facebook is back in the limelight, and once again it's for the same reasons it has been in the limelight for the past few months — privacy. According to recent reports from Business Insider, since May 2016 Facebook harvested the email contacts of 1.5 million users without their knowledge. The Silicon Valley company said the contact data was “unintentionally uploaded to Facebook,” and it is now deleting them.

The revelation comes after security researcher e-sushi noted that Facebook was asking some users to enter their email passwords when they signed up for new accounts. The signing was part of the normal signup process. After that it was noted that when you entered your email password, a message popped up saying it was “importing” your contacts without asking for permission first.

Facebook confirmed to Business Insider that this had in fact happened and people's contacts were collected this way and fed into Facebook's systems, where they were used to improve Facebook's ad targeting, build Facebook's web of social connections, and recommend friends to add. Facebook didn't access the content of users' emails, the spokesperson added.  

Yet again, another blow to Facebook’s reputation among consumers and, as a direct result, with enterprises. It only remains to be seen when Facebook's next privacy breach will happen.

Microsoft Email Services Compromised

It’s not just Facebook that had privacy issues this week. It seems that Microsoft has had email problems as well, the company recently admitted that some users of its email services may have had their accounts exposed to "individuals outside Microsoft" over the past three months.

According to an email notification that Microsoft sent out to affected users late on Friday (posted on image-sharing platform Imgur via Reddit), attackers broke in by compromising the login credentials of one of its support agents.

The warning, which Microsoft posted on a Reddit forum, said the company disabled the compromised credentials as soon as it become aware of them.

The outside parties were able to view things like users' e-mail addresses and their correspondents, as well as folder names and subject-line content. However, Microsoft also indicated that the attackers could not read the contents of peoples' emails.

While Login credentials weren't exposed, according to Microsoft's letter, affected email users should "reset your passwords" and be wary of getting emails with misleading domain names.

LumApps Raises $24 million

Finally, this week, LumApps, which builds intranet software for enterprises, announced it has closed a $24 million funding round led by Idinvest.

The new capital will be used to scale global sales and marketing and accelerate product innovation for the LumApps digital workplace suite, according to a statement from the company.

LumApps is a social and collaborative intranet, designed to inform and engage employees. The solution integrates with both G Suite, Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Sharepoint. Accessible anytime, anywhere via mobile, the LumApps intranet serves as a central hub for personalized content, social communications, work tools and applications.

The funding comes on the heels of significant momentum, marked by rapid growth. In 2018, LumApps built its international presence with new offices and new staff across the United States, Europe, Japan and Pacific-Asia.