Google adds 'Video for Business' to Apps platform

The company is using YouTube tech to make it easier, cheaper and more secure for companies to distribute video to employees

Google has given YouTube an enterprise makeover with the latest addition to its Google Apps platform: a video-sharing service.

In traditional cloud-computing style, the latest offering, Google Video for Business, can be accessed through most browsers, including Safari on the iPhone.

Google is hoping the service will take off with companies that might have been put off using video by the costs involved.

According to the web giant, the video service could find itself being used in companies for sharing company news — "Email doesn't always carry a lot of feeling; it's not always the best means of communication," a Google spokesman told sister site silicon.com — product demonstrations or training.

Instead of a repairman who is visiting a home to fix a washing machine having to recall a long-ago training session, he could access a video on mending the problem directly from his company's network over his mobile device, the spokesman continued: "Rather than having to remember a course they did six months ago, they could look at the video there and then," he added.

As well as offering all the traditional video-sharing functionality — ratings, comments, tags and searches — Google Video for Business users will be able to download their videos for future viewing, as well as upload clips and choose which of their colleagues to invite to view or collaborate on the material.

Users can make the video available to everyone on their domain or restrict access to particular individuals or groups within the company, with administrators able to view and delete all material.

However, the videos can't currently be transferred directly to YouTube for public consumption.

"There's no direct 'publish to YouTube' function. The reason you can't share outside of the domain is that company video can be quite sensitive and confidential… we want admins to be confident with sharing," the spokesman said.

Google Video for Business will only be available, at no additional cost, for Premier Edition customers, with each licence earning a company 3GB of storage space. Videos, however, will be limited to a maximum size of 300MB.

While administrators can distribute that storage capacity as they see fit among staff, the only way to increase the upper storage limit for Google Video is to buy more Apps licences, according to Google.