Google Takes Video to Businesses

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Google has added a new component to its Google Apps Premier Edition service offering: video sharing via a new offering called Google Video. Google video lets users browse to find a video on their local system, then upload it to Google to share with colleagues, friends, or the whole world. Videos can be viewed in standard Web browsers (even on the Flash-free iPhone), and users can add ratings and tags to video offers, and download videos for offline viewing. Videos an also be embedded within an application; for instance, an enterprise support system could tap into a video showing a user how to fill out forms.

YouTube has enabled millions of consumers to easily capture and share video at an unprecedented level, yet corporate video has remained expensive and complicated,” said Google’s vice president for enterprise, Dave Girouard, in a statement. “With Google Video for business, our customers get the ease of YouTube combined with the simple and secure sharing of Google Apps.”

Google Video for business is now part of the Google Apps Premier edition, for which subscribers pay $50 per year; each domain gets 3 GB of video storage per user account. (Google Video adds no additional cost to the service.) Google Apps Education Edition users will get Google Video on September 8 for free through March 9, 2009, at which point it’ll cost $10 per user per year.

Although Google touts the top-down capabilities of Google Video—getting corporate announcements and information down to employees—industry watchers are keeping an eye on the bottom-up possibilities, where lower levels in an organization’s structure start using Google video as a collaboration tool. Most enterprises haven’t gotten started in online video because of the management and infrastructure headaches; with Google handling the heavy lifting, tech-savvy users within organizations might embrace the technology.

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