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DIGITAL NEWS: Google launches YouTube for business

  Jake WardGoogle is targeting corporate users with the release of Google Video for business, a new addition to its Google Apps package. The application intends to address corporate video requirements - from executive communications to product training and reports - from a secure and easy-to-use platform.

"What YouTube did in the consumer world, Google Video for business is going to do in the enterprise," says Matthew Glotzbach, product management director of Google's enterprise division.

Google Video is branding itself as foolproof to use, stating that anyone can use it to share videos in two easy steps - uploading the video to web application service Google Apps, and then inviting others to view it. "With Google Video for business, our customers get the ease of YouTube combined with the simple and secure sharing of Google Apps," says Dave Girouard, president of enterprise, Google.

Despite hailing itself as an enterprise solution, the application is more of an evolution than a revolution, according to Broadview director Jake Ward. "I think it is a pretty straightforward extension of their YouTube proposition," he says. The application is suitable for peer-to-peer communication, says Ward, but not comparable to "true" corporate video platforms such as Cisco Enterprise TV. He faults Google Video for being limited to in-house sharing and for only being capable of dealing with YouTube-quality footage. "You're not going to have the CEO talking about results on his webcam," he jokes, also suggesting that corporates might not feel comfortable with the security the application provides.

Despite his criticisms, Ward feels that Google Video could be a good collaborative tool for SMEs. "Google produce a lot of interesting things, so it's a wait and see approach," he says.

Google has not yet developed a formal marketing plan for this product, although it does intend to target existing and prospective Google Enterprise users via a number of channels, it says. "The plans at the moment extend as far as the media launch event and a series of online seminars and promotions," says Dave Armstrong, head of marketing EMEA, Google Enterprise.

According to Google, more than 500,000 businesses utilise Google Apps, with more than 3,000 additional businesses signing up every day. Recent major B2B customer wins for Google Enterprise include Telegraph Media Group and construction and engineering subsidiary Taylor Woodrow.

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