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8/29/2008
05:32 PM
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Google Launches Google Video For Business

The company is using its Google Apps business to provide the infrastructure necessary to search videos, restrict access to them, rate them, comment on them, and download them.

Get ready for "lonelyCEO15." Google on Tuesday plans to unveil a corporate version of its YouTube video sharing service called Google Video for Business.

Hoping to facilitate collaboration and communication among workers who'd rather be seen than read, Google believes office employees steeped in social computing are ready for an easier way to store and distribute corporate video.

Google Video for business will be available as a new tab in Google Apps Premier Edition ($50 per user annually) accounts at no extra charge. It includes 3GB of video storage per user. Google Apps administrators can enable the service through their Google Apps control panel.

Google Video for business offers a way for individuals or groups to share videos, tag them, and embed them in internal Web pages. It provides the infrastructure necessary to search videos, restrict access to them, rate them, comment on them, and download them for offline viewing.

In a video, Dave Girouard, president of Google's enterprise division, describes corporate video as a "zero-billion dollar market," something that has never really taken off but has lots of potential. The reason, he said, is that video products remain "far too complex and far too expensive for most companies to adopt them."

Google Video for business, he said, "is a product that's distinctly easier and far less expensive than anything that's ever been available on the market."

Astute Google watchers will note that this is not the first time that the company has used the terms "easier" and "less expensive" to describe its products.

Even so, Google's marketing appears to be working. Google claims to have over 500,000 businesses using Google Apps, with more than 3,000 new businesses signing up every day.

Although Google isn't yet ready to disclose how much money it's making from Google Apps, a company spokesperson insisted Google Apps is profitable, even if that number is immaterial when compared to the company's massive ad revenue.

Google said it has more than 10 million active Google Apps users, but only "hundreds of thousands" of them -- less than 10% -- have chosen the paid Premiere Edition over the free Standard Edition.

"In principle, video is a great way to add context to and expand collaboration at a company," said Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research. But she cautioned that technical issues and cost can hamper corporate video efforts. Nonetheless, she sees Google's approach having value for specific applications, like corporate training videos.

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