Google Launches "YouTube For The Enterprise"

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.

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re: Google Launches "YouTube For The Enterprise"

Wistia (http://wistia.com ) provides a private and secure video sharing platform for businesses. While Wistia's SaaS platform provides all of the basic video sharing features, such as uploading, automatic transcoding, and access control, our secret sauce is in making user interaction with the video measurable. We really see Google's offering focusing on these more basic features, leveraging their YouTube dominance.From working with businesses using video for the last two years, Wistia knows that only a small fraction of the problem is getting the video from point A to point B. Most companies are not using user-generated content, but need more professional content created by in-house production departments or third party video producers. In the world of business, everything -- even video -- needs to be measurable to justify the expenditure. Wistia's private video sharing platform allows companies to get the most value from their video by providing the most sophisticated video analytics available.Wistia's patent pending Video Engagement Tracking (VET, click here for a brief video demo: http://wistia.com/product/tracking) allows administrators to see exactly which portions of a video a specific user has watched and which they haven't. VET gives the admins complete transparency into every action a user takes while watching the video. When did they hit play, where did they seek to, which parts did they rewind to and watch again? All of these are questions which, when the answers are put together, help determine how engaged a user is with the content. YouTube "views" work well when I'm trying to get 100,000 people to watch my video. When I share a video with 50 employees that potentially cost several thousand dollars and took a month to produce, I have to know more.These VET metrics are extremely valuable to organizations who are using video in the context of sales, high-value training, marketing, medical clinical trials -- the list goes on. To first accomplish this, I need to be able to share the video with those outside of my orginization (which I don't believe the current Google application allows). As an example, if I am a salesperson and I share a new product demo video with a prospect, having complete insight into how this prospect interacts with video allows me to assess how engaged they are with our messaging. Once I know that they are engaged, I can start a conversation with them within Wistia by giving them additional content or allowing them to ask questions timecoded to moments in the video. A prospect that goes to the page containing the video and takes no other action is much less valuable than a prospect who watched the whole video and then backed up to see information about a particular feature again. It allows me to spend more time on those prospects who are more engaged with the product and where I am more likely to close the deal.In conclusion, we believe that the release of the Google product, as with Cisco's foray into "Enterprise TV", validates that there is a significant market for video in business. However, from our experience helping companies use video in high-value ways, we know that companies need more than these basic services (i.e. robust analytics and tracking) in order to realize the full potential of their content.