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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.
But Wettemann acknowledges that Google's work isn't done. She expects Google will have to develop and offer archiving and compliance technology for video, as the company has done with e-mail, through its acquisition of Postini.

Wettemann said business managers will have to determine whether Google Video is a tool or a toy. "Unfortunately, there are not a lot of YouTube examples that fall into the former category," she said.

Google envisions companies using Google Video for announcements from corporate leaders, training, recordings of customer site visits, and intra-employee evangelism.

Companies besotted by video may want to give a thought to bandwidth. Businesses embracing video as a form of communication on a large scale could cause network slowdowns.

But Rishi Chandra, product manager for Google Apps, said administrators can throttle usage if that gets to be problem. Most large companies have plenty of bandwidth, he said.

Google Video doesn't have to deal with the copyright issues that YouTube, as a public service provider, faces. But it will block copyrighted content recognized by Google's content identification technology.

A version of Google Video is also being made available for users of Google Apps Education Edition (free) on September 8. It will be free until March 9, 2008, when the cost will rise to $10 per user per year.

The proliferation of video-enabled portable devices and laptops with built-in Webcams assures a growing stream of video. Be warned, however, that the camera does not necessarily love everyone who loves the idea of being on-camera. And those already buried under an avalanche of e-mail may not appreciate viewing-time demands imposed by videos.

But given the right circumstances, Google Video for business might just open up whole new avenues of collaboration and communication.