We almost have the ingredients to build a modern intranet. Maybe there is a new series coming soon? 😯 One important component of a modern intranet is video. Therefore, welcome to mastering common challenges in Office 365 – Part 9: Microsoft Stream – In this article you will find the basics about Stream, road map items a personal note an more.

If you are interested in my full article series about Office 365, digital transformation or Microsoft 365, you can find those articles at my new super mega monster cool dedicated article series page 🙂

Let’s take a look at Stream and as you already know here are the segments of the article you can directly jump to:

What is Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Stream is an Enterprise Video service where people in your organization can upload, view, and share videos securely. You can share recordings of classes, meetings, presentations, training sessions, or other videos that aid your team’s collaboration. Microsoft Stream also makes it easy to share comments on a video, tag timecodes in comments and descriptions to refer to specific points in a video and discuss with colleagues. – Official Microsoft Source

What do you think about that Taylor?

Well, I guess so, yeah
Well, I guess cool, yeah

You need to see more to be sure, right? Do you know Video and audio transcription? Beginning later this year, automated transcription services will be natively available for video and audio files in OneDrive and SharePoint using the same AI technology available in Microsoft Stream. While viewing a video or listening to an audio file, a full transcript (improving both accessibility and search) will show directly in our industry-leading viewer, which supports over 320 different file types. This will help you utilize your personal video and audio assets, as well as collaborate with others to produce your best work. – Official Microsoft Source

Video transcript preview
Video transcript preview

We learned, Microsoft is investing heavily in AI and Microsoft Stream is already a first look into that. Now, let’s take a look at the actual Microsoft Stream video platform and get you started.

Get started

To understand Microsoft Stream you should know the basics and it all starts with accessing the service. Nothing new. So you log-in with your credentials and check the welcome screen for a tile called Stream

Stream on your app welcome page
Stream on your app welcome page

 

In case you never opened Microsoft Stream, the chance that you find it directly at your welcome screen is pretty low. If you don’t find it there you click the app launcher #DontCallItWaffle, click All Apps and then find Stream either by searching or scrolling through.

Finding Stream in your App Launcher
Finding Stream in your App Launcher

If you don’t like this way you can go to stream.microsoft.com – Log-in and you are at the Microsoft Stream video portal as well. Cool, so what I think about Stream you ask? Well, check the next chapter.

A personal note

Not often I add a personal note, but I think it is worth for Microsoft Stream. There are features on the road map which are a MUST HAVE for me. You find those a little bit later in this article. Especially if you want to “sell” the product as a “Enterprise video service“. If you are using the term “Enterprise” it should at least have features like external video sharing and a live streaming feature. Why would you name your product Stream, but you can not stream?

What, I am confused
Wait, what, I am confused…

There are also other things I am not that happy with, but maybe it is big-time whinging. Search functionality does not have that many custom features (promoted links?), a custom welcome video or pinning a video and more options to modify, a dedicated Stream administrator or what about a dedicated admin center?

I don’t want to make the impression, that I only “promote” the cool features. If there are things not that great, I will let you know. My articles should help you and not sell a product to you. I am not paid by Microsoft to write these articles. I do it, because I enjoy writing, making people laugh and offer a platform for learning about Microsoft technology. That’s it. Well, enough bad things, let’s take a look at the good stuff.

Navigation bar and how to use

The first time you’re accessing Microsoft Stream you don’t see much. If you have some content, your colleagues were already here 🙂

At the top you find your navigation bar. You can Discover, check My Content (which is obviously your content), you can Create, Search, directly upload a file, invite some of your colleagues and give feedback.

Stream navigation bar
Stream navigation bar

Below the “Welcome to Microsoft Stream” picture you find so useful links to learn more about how to you Microsoft Stream.

I highly recommend to watch those videos. These videos are so useful for starters and you dismiss this banner after watching.

How to use Microsoft Stream videos
How to use Microsoft Stream videos

Trending videos and popular channels

If you are the first person in your company accessing Microsoft Stream you will see instantly how trending and popular channels work. After you created your first channel and uploaded a video to it you find those on the welcome page in Stream.

Trending videos and popular channels
Trending videos and popular channels

Channels are a cool to organize your content. If you like a channel you can just click on the FOLLOW button at the channel. This will show you on the home screen the new videos of this channel so you can easily keep up-to-date. If you are no longer interested in a channel, its easy to unfollow it by clicking… wait for it… you’re so right: UNFOLLOW

Follow and unfollow a channel
Follow and unfollow a channel

Quotas and Limitations

Thanks to Tomislav Karafilov and his recent talk at CIM in Lingen he shared great insights (in German) about Microsoft Stream. Check out what he showed the audience at his blog. He is also so kind and let me use an awesome slide to show in one picture the current limitations. I think he would like to have a visit or two on his blog as well 😉

Please note that Microsoft Stream does not allow to upload audio-only files. So it is NOT your company wide Spotify.

No Cantina Band :(
No Cantina Band 🙁

Transcript mode and deep search

With Microsoft’s latest investments in machine learning and AI there are great features available if you have the correct license. Not all features are available to everybody. To get a better overview on that please check the licensing page. It is too confusing and hard to keep up-to-date, so I don’t want to share “old” information.

With the latest updates a lot of cool features are now available in Microsoft Stream.

Search smarter
Smarter search
  • Search for text or spoken words within videos
  • Enhance accessibility for everyone with closed captioning
  • See all speakers and jump ahead to where they appear in your video
  • Play your video while viewing or searching its transcript
  • Discover a variety of content without relying on metadata

I don’t have the appropriate license, therefore I can only share the official Microsoft information, sorry. If you want to learn more, take a tour at Microsoft Streams official website.

Roadmap

There a few things definitely needed in Microsoft Stream. I am glad that most of them are already in development. If you want to check full list you can get more information at Microsoft’s official Office 365 Roadmap site. From my point of view the following features are most important:

  1. Microsoft Stream Public API
  2. Public anonymous external video sharing
  3. Live Event Broadcasts

I am glad that Microsoft is working on this, but on the other side of the coin I have to say that I am a little bit disappointed. A video service is for me essential in a modern intranet and therefore the pace of development compared to other services is drastically slower.

Expectation vs. Reality
Expectation vs. Reality

Summary

If you read the whole article you most likely saw, that Microsoft Stream is not the most mature service in the Office 365 portfolio. At least from my point of view. This enterprise video platform is catching up for sure and with their latest investments in machine learning and AI, it will become a great product for sure. Microsoft Teams recordings get saved to Stream, SharePoint has already a great integration and the road map looks promising.

I hope that Microsoft can keep the timelines on the road map items and maybe some cool things are coming in the future as well.

If you want to learn about other Office 365 services or about Microsoft 365, check out my new dedicated page for that and if you have any feedback (good or bad) let my know in the comments below or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed and I could make you smile. Until the next time, don’t be afrait

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Patrick, great article! Thanx for publishing!

    My opinion to the roadmap features:

    1. Microsoft Stream Public API
    This is so important. Upload a video by code to stream, trigger an approval workflow and then publish the video by code. Or search inside the transcript and unpublish critical videos.
    2. Public anonymous external video sharing
    I think this is not necessary. The great thing about Stream is: No authentication —> no video. If you want to share, invite a guest and grant permission! I want to have control about the videos in my company.
    3. Live Event Broadcasts
    I testet this preview feature last week with OBS and showing the live video content parallel in Teams and in Stream. This already works great!

    My favorite request is, let me choose if a video starts automatically. I would want to disable automatic starting!

    • Thanks for your feedback. For me the public anonymous external video sharing could be an option to share video guides with the community in the future 😉

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here