Google brings video to business software

September 2, 2008, 9:17 PM UTC

By Yi-Wyn Yen

Google (GOOG) on Tuesday made another move into the corporate software market dominated by Microsoft (MSFT) by adding a YouTube-like feature to Google Apps.

Google Apps offers a low-cost alternative to Microsoft’s desktop software. For $50 a person, Google’s Web-based business software offers tools like e-mail, calendars, word-processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. Google App’s new feature, which lets people upload video to the Internet, comes at no additional cost.

The company expects the new feature to be popular as an internal tool for companies to make training videos, demos or weekly reports. “This is a meaningful addition for companies,” said Sandeep Aggarwal, an Internet analyst for Collins Stewart. “More and more, you’re seeing chief marketing officers make videos for product demos or executives using video for PR purposes.”

Google executives hope that the new video feature will be a compelling reason for large companies to switch to Google Apps. While the service has been popular with small businesses, the Web-based software has been a tough sell with big corporations.

While companies like Cisco (CSCO) offer Web-based conferencing tools, Google claims to be the first to offer an online video service to the corporate market as part of a software package.

“Video hasn’t been a big part of the enterprise space because the costs to build a video infrastructure behind a firewall are enormous,”  said Matthew Glotzbach, management director for Google Enterprise.

Microsoft isn’t likely to sit still. The software giant is expected to make a major announcement about its Web-based services in late October.