Google Says Video Makes Business Sense

Web-based video is fun. In fact, it’s so popular that people upload 13 hours of video to YouTube every hour, according to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). But video for business? Is anyone really doing that? Google think it’s a natural. “It’s the next stage of collaboration,” said Rishi Chandra, product manager for Google Apps.

In a move to help video roll in businesses, Google today announced Google Video for Business, an addition in Google Apps that allows you share in a two-step process. You upload a video to Google Apps and then invite others to view it, according to Chandra. “We’re bringing in lessons learned from YouTube — make it simple and social.”

Google Video for Business
Google says uploading a video of your own is a simple, two-step process.

Google Video for Business
Google Video for Business features a clean look with a hint of YouTube.

Google Video for Business
You can search for videos uploaded by anyone on your domain.

Being able to create and share videos is one thing. The bigger questions is, what would you use video for? Chandra said there are two approaches to using video for business.

There are the top-down uses such as executive communications (sort of video memos), corporate events and product training. “But where it really takes off is team collaboration,” Chandra said. For example, you could use Google Video for ad hoc product demos, customer visits and more.

You can also embed video in other Google App services. For example, you could add video to your spreadsheet to clarify or reinforce a point.

Chandra said Google Apps gives video owners multiple controls for sharing videos. To access Google Video for Business, users must first sign in. Videos can be viewed only by people who are invited to do so by the original uploader.

You can invite any person who has a valid company e-mail address. For example, you can share videos with specific individuals, groups or everyone in the business who shares the same domain.

Google App allows viewers to search for videos, submit ratings and comments and to add additional tags. The creator of the video can restrict who can find and access the video.

Admin controls allow you to set company-wide policies on who can access each video. Administrators simply have to enable it in the Google Apps control panel to make the videos available to every user in that domain. Admins also have the options to limit video access to certains users or groups.

What’s Taken so Long

“Video hasn’t happened in the enterprise, especially for small businesses, because it had required proprietary content servers. Purchasing and maintaining them is incredibly time-consuming and expensive,” Chandra said.

Google Video for business is available to Google Apps Premier Edition accounts at no additional to the $50 per-user, per-year cost. Each Google Apps Premier Edition gets 3GB of Video storage per user account.

The maximum video size is 300MB and the service supports AVI, ASF, QuickTime, Windows Media, MPEG, FLV and others. You also have the option to download videos for offload viewing on mobile devices.

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