Today is an exciting day for video in the enterprise. Microsoft Stream, the intelligent enterprise video service that makes it easy for people inside any organization to securely upload, share, manage and view videos, is now generally available (GA) - rolling out to Office 365 enterprise customers in 181 markets and 44 languages. You can read the announcement blog, “Microsoft Stream now available worldwide – New intelligent features take enterprise video to new hei...” + watch the the new Microsoft Mechanics video with lead Stream engineer, Vishal Sood.
This is an important evolutionary step, what started with the introduction of Office 365 Video [Nov. 2014]. And for transparency, it is close to my business heart. I helped bring Office 365 Video to market, and am privileged to work currently with the current Stream team as both an advocate and a peer.
A greater focus on the video content type with tight integration across Office 365
Microsoft Stream is a cross-suite video service for Office 365 in the enterprise, making it seamless for people to share videos inside Office 365 applications, like SharePoint (new web part to add a video or a channel to a page or news article), Microsoft Teams (add a channel as a tab), and Yammer (inline playback when posted to a conversation).
Microsoft Stream is also integrated with Office 365 Groups – every group has a designated channel and team meetings can be recorded and easily access from the group on-demand – making it even easier to manage content across teams.
Microsoft Stream videos and channels can be embedded throughout Office 365 – in SharePoint (left), in Microsoft Teams (middle) and Yammer (right).
Transition from Office 365 to Microsoft Stream
As Microsoft Stream broadly launches into Office 365, it will be visible in the Office 365 app launcher and ON by default. Customers will have the ability to pilot Stream with a subset of users without immediate commitment to it. And any video added to Office 365 Video, even after GA, will automatically get moved to Stream once the customer commits to it. AKA, no video left behind.
Office 365 Video and Microsoft Stream will co-exist as separate services in Office 365 during the transition period – with a possibility to have two tiles, “Video” & “Stream,” in the Office 365 app launcher. There is no action required for existing Office 365 Video users now. The transition from Office 365 Video to Stream will be a phased approach and we will continue to make improvements, maintain, and support Office 365 Video during this time. Microsoft will transition all videos, channels, and permissions from Office 365 Video into Stream. After the transition, existing Office 365 Video embed codes and links to videos will still work, redirected to the same content in Stream.
You can learn more about this transition in this new documentation with guidance on how to manage both tiles via PowerShell during transition.
Microsoft Stream brings exciting innovation at the feature level
The existing value of Office 365 Video carries forward, with innovation right out of the gate. I won’t list all Stream feature improvements and benefits, but do want to take a moment to share the newness I’m most excited about for Office 365 users and admins:
- New SharePoint Online Microsoft Stream web part gives you the ability to embed a Stream video or a whole Stream channel directly into your home page, news articles, site pages – with inline playback.
- Deep search enables auto-generated speech-to-text to enhance search and discovery, the ability to jump to the moments that matter, plus automatic closed captions for greater accessibility to your broader audiences.
- Face extraction gives you a face timeline on the video playback page, so you can navigate a video more interactively, jumping to the segments where various speakers are detected.
- Jump to point in video makes it easier to share a moment within a video, so your viewer is taken exactly to the place where the context of what you wish to share takes place. This becomes valuable for comments – where you can note a location in the video associated with your comment.
- Single video in multiple channels is a simple gesture to tag a video so that it appears in multiple channels, uploading it once, using it many times. And it is now possible to follow channels.
- Playback speed controls so being a viewer takes less time while maintaining the quality and listenability; no chipmunks, just the content sped up with the same pitch.
- Storage adjustments benefit customers in that the original file that is uploaded into Stream no longer counts against SharePoint Online pooled storage. There is now a dedicated amount of video storage allocation per tenant specific to Stream use. Any videos encoded for playback from Azure Media Services (the default encoding engine) do not count against Stream quota. Each tenant gets 500 GB per organization plus 0.5 GB per subscribed user. And you can purchase additional video storage as needed.
- Rich security, governance and admin controls provide the ability to assign admins, restrict who can upload and create channels, moderate and edit content on an owner’s behalf, manage sharing, add custom guidelines and consent, and more.
Like I said, exciting times for video in the enterprise – especially if you’re an Office 365 customer :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:. Your corporate communications are about to get a huge bump in value and reach. We want to be as clear as we can as we introduce Microsoft Stream during the transition away from Office 365 Video.
To learn more about Microsoft Stream and ask any burning questions, join the Ask Us Anything (AMA) session on the Microsoft Tech Community on June 29, 2017 at 9am PDT; we’ll have all the right subject matter experts for any of your business and technical questions/feedback. And join the new Microsoft Stream community for a year-round connection to the latest information and discussions on Microsoft Stream.