Removing Communication Barriers with Microsoft Stream

Made available for preview during the summer of 2016, Microsoft Stream now allows businesses to upload and share videos to improve communication, participation and learning throughout their organization. We’ll investigate how the latest Office 365 offering can impact the workplace, and see it if delivers as Microsoft promises –to empower organizations with better ways to get work done.

What You Need to Know About Microsoft Stream

The Office 365 integration, is free for business users with an active Office 365 account and associated work e-mail (.com, .edu, .org domains are currently supported).  With easy drag-and-drop capabilities, a user will be able to upload and organize videos based on team, group, or topic, for the organization to view from any devices or location.

Microsoft is trying to create its own Office 365 ecosystem where business applications like Stream, can integrate with applications like SharePoint, Sway, Delve or Flow. But this isn’t Microsoft’s first attempt at launching a video solution. Overtime, Stream will be replacing the Office 365 Video experience. At that time, all content currently in Video will be migrated over to Stream, with no loss of features. Stream will soon become the sole video solution with enhanced security features and social interaction with the content like the ability to comment, like and recommend videos to others within your organization.

Use Cases for Microsoft Stream

Uploading encrypted videos for your whole company to watch will help users share insights, updates and keep everyone informed with the day to day business communications. Training and HR materials, product information and tutorials can be managed and accessed by teams, departments or on an individual level. Streaming business content can be used in several enriching ways including:

  • Recording Important Meetings. Law firms can securely upload recorded depositions or client interviews for the legal team to review. HR can record job interviews, for management to review. Team meetings can be recorded and shared with those unable to attend in person.
  • Requirements Gathering. Project managers can organize and communicate scope, requirements and constraints via video channels.
  • SOP Tutorials. Reoccurring tasks and procedures can be visually documented for employees to refer to, making training and on-boarding more efficient.
  • Company Announcements. Product launches, company events, or outside speaker presentations can be streamed for employee’s access to company news.

Things to Consider

Your IT service provider or administrator will be able to assign rights and access permissions to the content in Stream; as the content you upload into Stream behaves just like any other enterprise document.

Stream has been built upon the lessons learned and success of Office365 Video and end users will  likely welcome the changes. The consumer-like feel will be similar to You-Tube and interacting with the content will similar to the interface of  Slack.  Microsoft will have to continue to launch quality apps that go beyond basic features and can integrate with services, if they are to remain relevant as a cloud software vendor.

Like other cloud software, future updates to Stream will be deployed to users in a more efficient manner. Future Stream feature updates are already in the works and are said to hopefully include integrations with:

  • workflows
  • enhanced searching of the actual video content
  • speech-to-text
  • automatic translations
  • support for face recognition

Using technology to enhance communication internally or externally can empower your business and its users.  With Microsoft’s continued efforts to bring micro services to the Office 365 platform, it’s users will be able to leverage the same kind of tools we are accustomed to using in the consumer world into business application.  Being able to reach your audience in a multitude of avenues in ways users like to consume information can increase business productivity, ultimately increasing your bottom-line.

(image via flickr/Tom Sundström)