Google’s New Business Video Offering Not A True Enterprise Product

On Tuesday, Google added video sharing to their paid business version of Google Apps calling the offering Google Video for Business. While some reviewers are calling it an "enterprise" video offering, it’s not even close to being something a real enterprise company would use. While the definition of what classifies a company as an enterprise organization can be debated, the majority of users for Google Apps are not Fortune 500 corporations, which is what I classify as enterprise.

For what the product does, share videos inside a corporate network, it works well. But the idea that this is going to be a product to replace enterprise video offerings in the market is not the case and I’m surprised that Google would be quoted saying otherwise. Matthew Glotzbach, management director for Google Enterprise is quoted as saying, "video hasn’t been a big part of the enterprise space because the costs
to build a video infrastructure behind a firewall are enormous
." Say what? The enterprise market has been using and deploying online video since around 1996 and continues to build out their infrastructure as the costs are quite cheap for the value it brings. There are literally hundreds of examples and case studies of enterprise corporations who have been using online video for years.

Dave Girouard, president of enterprise, for Google is quoted as saying, "YouTube has enabled millions of consumers to easily capture and share video at an unprecedented level, yet corporate video has remained expensive and complicated." Corporate video is not expensive and complicated. Why is Google trying to make it sound like the enterprise market does not know what they are doing? Enterprise companies have been using video, and doing it well for many, many years. It’s not hard to find use cases.

The key here is that Google Video is very limited collaboration tool, not a video distribution tool. It does not support live, has a cap on the file size, has very limited functionality and you can’t use it for sharing video with anyone who doesn’t have
log-in accounts on your Google Apps domain. Not to mention it has no real functionality for creating video, only sharing it. Some blogs I read are thinking Google now competes with Cisco’s Enterprise TV offering or other true enterprise video platforms, which is not the case. Some are even comparing the Google offering to Brightcove, which baffles me as they are not even in the same ballpark in terms of functionality.

Another reason that enterprise companies won’t use the service is that they won’t trust Google. Some of the Enterprise companies I have asked about the service have already said they don’t trust the same infrastructure that serves YouTube to deliver their content securely, let alone without buffering issues. I know that for me, many times it still takes ten or fifteen seconds for a clip on YouTube to start, even when the video is only thirty seconds in length. Other users are still having the same problems I have seen even since Google acquired YouTube.

The bottom line, Google’s new video sharing functionality for business is an offering that will work well for it’s sole purpose, limited video sharing. But please Google, don’t try and make it sound like no one in the enterprise vertical was doing successful video delivery until YouTube came along. That’s just not the case.