Microsoft 365 is full of surprises. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been using Office for over 20 years… there might still be new ways to collaborate, work, and share that you haven’t dug into yet. While it’s one of the newer offerings in the suite, it has been around for over five years and boasts a lot of features that you would expect for a video platform but with the added value of integration with the rest of your Microsoft software. Today we’ll look at seven features that make Stream the right platform for distributing and collaborating on videos in your organization.
1. Full integration with SharePoint and Teams
Stream is kind of like YouTube, but integrates with your SharePoint storage setup. This means that you can treat videos as if they were a document, and organize the videos and their permissions in the same way you would any other office document. It also means that the sharing options are very simple, and you can share outside of your organization as long as it makes sense to do so. Integration with Teams means that you can share videos directly inside your channels.
2. Mobile Apps
Stream has apps for your mobile devices that make it easy to watch your organization’s content there. While the apps do have some missing features, Microsoft is planning on introducing recording and uploading on mobile very soon. Using the app gives you all of the tools you need to watch and interact with videos, and works hand-in-hand with links in Teams and SharePoint.
3. Automatic Transcription
One of the standout features of Stream is its automatic transcriptions and closed captions. When your video is transcribed, it helps make the content more accessible for people in your organization. This is an important feature for the hard-of-hearing and deaf, and can be helpful for your team if many people have primary languages other than English.
While it may not seem glamorous at first, searching your organization’s videos can be very helpful, especially if they have automatic transcriptions. Once they’re transcribed, you can search for specific phrases and words inside of your videos, meaning that nothing has to be too hard to find.
5. Interactive Quizzes and Polls
As a collaborative document, you can ask for feedback or input directly on your video with forms, polls, quizzes, and surveys in your videos. This might encourage people in your organization to engage a little more directly with your videos when used for training and presentations.
If you need more tools to gauge the reach that your videos are having, Microsoft offers video analytics on Stream. These numbers help you figure out, at a glance, how many people have recently viewed your video, as well as the viewership retention. This metric lets you know what the most watched part of the video is, helping you figure out what makes a splash in your communications.
7. Security and Privacy
Did I mention that it’s secure? Unlike other platforms, Stream is intended to help you host your content for your organization specifically. This means that the same permissions that govern files and folders in your SharePoint setup govern your videos. Other platforms can be out of your hands once you put it on the cloud, but since Stream’s videos live on your SharePoint, you’ve got a great head start on making sure your company’s data stays safe.
Another strength of Stream is its comment section. You can think of it like a social media platform, but without the thumbs up/down or algorithmic manipulation. This makes it easy to communicate about specific parts of the video, or use video content as a way of sparking discussion amongst your team.
As mentioned above, you can share Stream videos the same way that you would share another document. One of the major upsides to this sharing is that the video files don’t need to go anywhere. This cuts down on wasteful duplicates across your network storage, time spent waiting for downloads or copying, and helps playback run smoothly across your organization. The best part of sharing videos this way really saves on email storage!
-Written by Derek Jeppsen on Behalf of Sean Goss and Crown Computers Team