Podcast: Google's Matt Glotzbach On Addition Of Video For Business To Google AppsPodcast: Google's Matt Glotzbach On Addition Of Video For Business To Google Apps
The way Google Enterprise director of product management Matt Glotzbach describes it in the attached podcast interview, behind the firewall publishing of video for a variety of purposes (e.g., training) has strictly been the domain of corporations with deep pockets. But given today's addition of secure video publishing and sharing as a feature to the $50 per user per year version of Google Apps (the premier version), businesses need not be Fortune 500 companies to get what essentially is a priva
September 2, 2008
The way Google Enterprise director of product management Matt Glotzbach describes it in the attached podcast interview, behind the firewall publishing of video for a variety of purposes (e.g., training) has strictly been the domain of corporations with deep pockets. But given today's addition of secure video publishing and sharing as a feature to the $50 per user per year version of Google Apps (the premier version), businesses need not be Fortune 500 companies to get what essentially is a private version of YouTube for a fraction of what most enterprises would pay for such a solution.You can hear my entire interview with Glotzbach using the player below. InformationWeek's Thomas Claburn also has a report on the news.
According to Glotzbach: [Video for business] allows for secure video sharing and collaboration inside the business environment. It's simple to upload so just a couple clicks and you can upload a video and then [an] apps sharing model just like with our Docs product or Sites product allows you to share video with users inside of your company or inside your organization. [There are] a lot of the familiar features from our consumer video products like YouTube and Google Video. We've obviously got a high quality search. We've got both high quality and standard quality video playback and in the "for business" version, we default to the higher quality. Like YouTube, Google Apps Premier Edition's (GAPE) Video for Business has social features like ratings and comments. But the main difference is that when you upload a video, the only other people who can see it are those who are members of the same GAPE domain as you. When people hear "Google Apps," they often think of Google's various browser-based office applications such as Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets. But "Google Apps" is actually a specific brand of Google's Enterprise group that represents an integrated, partitioned bundle of Google's browser-based applications that can be assigned to a specific domain (eg: YourCompanyName.com) in such a way that documents, spreadsheets, presentations, calendar entries, and now videos can be securely shared with other members of the same domain. For some businesses using the standard (free) version of Google Apps (GASE), Video for Business could be the feature that upsells them to GAPE. Video for Business is not available as a part of the free GASE suite of offerings. In addition to getting access to the Video for Business feature, upgrading to GAPE also gets you 25 GB per user in e-mail storage space. For now, however, that storage space is off-limits to video users. Google is allowing up to 3 GB per user for video storage. According to Glotzbach, video storage is pooled across a domain. In other words, a GAPE domain that has 10 users gets a total video storage pool of 30 GB. This way, if one person is doing most of the video publishing in an organization, s/he gets access to the entire pool When asked, Glotzbach said Google isn't yet prepared to announce a business model or pricing should customers run out of storage space and need to acquire more. One big difference between videos on GAPE and other documents is that there is literally no way to share videos outside the GAPE domain. With documents and spreadsheets, there are ways (provided the domain's administrator allows it) to share documents outside of a domain. But with video, there isn't even a way for an administrator to override the default security settings that prevent sharing with anyone outside of a domain. Ahead of the announcement, Google gave me access to a demo account and, after uploading a video into that account's domain, an attempt to share that video outside of the domain was met with error messages. But they were the wrong error messages. It told me to separate the e-mail addresses with a comma, something I had already done. The real problem was that the domain associated with the e-mail addresses I was trying to share with was outside the domain of the demo account that I had access to. Glotzbach acknowledged that it was a security feature that was interfering with my attempt to share across domains and, in the same breath, said that such cross-domain sharing of videos for business is on the road map for GAPE. In terms of collaboration, Video for Business also is unlike the other cloud-based office applications in that there's no on-line editor for previously saved video. Like with those office apps, the person who publishes a video can identify who within a domain is a collaborator and who only has viewing rights. But unlike with documents, spreadsheets, etc., for collaborators to edit a video, they have to download it (download links can be optionally-enabled by a video's owner), edit it locally on their machine, and then re-upload the newly edited video to take the place o the original. It's not that I was expecting cloud-based video editing tools to arrive with this offering. But expectations should be properly set. As it stands today, collaborating on videos Google-style is very different from the sort of real-time group editing that collaborators on Google Docs, Spreadsheets, etc., can do. During the interview, Glotzbach pointed out that collaborators are able to edit a video's metadata, though. The new offering, along with its strict security model, may also cause businesses to consider taking advantage of Google's intranet hosting capabilities. Why? Because, just like with YouTube, Video for Business offers embed codes that can be used to contextually embed the video somewhere else. For now, given the security model, that somewhere else can only be something (including document, spreadsheets, and Web pages) that's available to members of domain. Google also offers video embedding through its Gadget functionality (in fact, that's how you'd embed a video in a spreadsheet). Embedding, however, does not work with Gmail (along the lines of what Mozilla Labs' Aza Raskin showed in his video of Mozilla's latest technology: Ubiquity). Glotzbach and I covered plenty of other ground. For example, whether the storage used by uploaded videos maps to the original file size or the final size after Google is done processing it. Check out the interview and let me and your fellow readers know what you think using the comments section below.
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