TedschadlerBy Ted Schadler

Today, Google announced Google Video for business, a new cloud-based collaboration service that gives employees the same ability as consumers to upload, find, view, and share video clips. It's YouTube for the enterprise, folks. See Rob Koplowitz's and Kyle McNabb's report for more on cloud-based collaboration services.

Not that Google's the first company to introduce this service. Startup Veodia launched its cloud-based enterprise video service in 2007. Both moves are part of the video-ification of business, what Forrester's Henry Dewing calls "The Screening Of Global Business."

I think this is an important innovation for the enterprise because it will allow a million video flowers to bloom: training videos, meet-the-team videos, rally-the-sales-troops videos, learn-about-my-product videos, customer-win videos, walk-through-the-power-generation-plant videos, corporate-event videos, how-its-made videos. You get the picture.

Google Video for business:

  • Is bundled into the Google Apps Premier Edition. So even if you don't need cloud-based email, calendaring, document sharing, or team sites, if you buy video, you get the whole suite of collaboration tools.
  • Costs $50/user/year, requires only a browser, supports video clips as long as 300 megabytes, and provides 3 gigabytes/user (aggregated at the "domain" or company level, which means that Google Apps users just got another 3 gigabytes of dedicated storage).
  • Enables video tagging, searching, sharing, all your favorite YouTube features. This makes Google Video a Web 2.0 tool.
  • Offers basic security features, including restricted to the company or to individuals. And downloads can be turned off for individual videos.
  • Automatically creates a scene browser to help viewers find the spot they're interested in.

So who should buy it? I believe that Information & Knowledge Management professionals should look at Google Video for business and Veodia's competing offering to support:

  • Sales teams that need video for training, inspirational speeches, customer wins, and the like. For these teams, the $50/user/user is chump change when the stakes are making the quarter or not.
  • Field service teams that need constant education and refreshers. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, these teams can be supported with videos of complex repair instructions.
  • B2B teams that need the rest of the Google Apps portfolio to get their work done. Today, B2B teams are stuck with email and phone for collaboration. That's not good enough in a world where solutions require deep, multicompany partnerships. Google's cloud-based services help those teams with a shared resource for collaboration.

Okay, so what's wrong with it? Three things jump out as barriers to enterprise adoption of Google Video for business. It is:

  1. Missing policy-based security controls. That makes access control a manual and unscalable hassle. Why can't I manage access through my existing access control system?
  2. Only available through Google Apps Premier Edition. I may not need all that other stuff. Cant' I just get the video? (Check out Veodia for a standalone solution.)
  3. Only available as a cloud-based service. If you need to keep all your files behind your firewall and available to your eDiscovery system, then a cloud-based service is a barrier.