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Introducing Office 365 Video

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Mark Kashman (@mkashman) is a senior product manager in the Office 365 group.

Over the years, SharePoint has been used not just for collaboration sites and document management, but also search, dashboards, company intranets, wikis, blogs and much more. We’ve categorized many of these under the same umbrella term, “Portals.”

Now we have a tremendous opportunity to expand on the Portals portfolio and deliver new experiences that have taken weeks, if not months, to build, based on common patterns of valuable portal solutions we’ve seen customers put in place. Going forward, Office 365 will serve as a platform for us to deliver the NextGen Portals, which by design will be:

  • Intelligent—Leveraging the Office Graph to deliver personalized, relevant information to users.
  • Social—Integrating social interactions from Yammer to fuel participation.
  • Mobile—Easy to access and consume content from any device, and anywhere.
  • Ready to go—Getting you up and running quickly with highly functional, beautiful intranet portals. Use more, build less.

Today, we are excited to announce Office 365 Video, the first of many NextGen Portals landing in Office 365. Initially, we will roll out to Office 365 First Release customers. We then expect to be fully deployed worldwide to all Office 365 customers by early calendar year 2015.

There’s a lot to share about Office 365 Video and how it applies to the viewer, the channel manager and admins. Let’s dive into the details.

A beautiful user interface with an easy-to-manage approach

Video is one of the most powerful mediums of communication. Office 365 Video provides organizations with a secure, company-wide destination for posting, sharing and discovering video content. From onboarding new employees, to distributing a CEO message company wide, to community contributions, video is now a first-class citizen to power and enrich your internal communications.

With a beautiful user interface and intuitive content management options, Office 365 Video is designed to meet the requirements of IT and win the hearts and minds of users. Powered by Azure Media Services—the same service used during the Olympics (6,000 plus hours of video in 18 days)—Office 365 Video benefits from adaptive smooth streaming technology optimizing video playback for the device it’s being viewed on. It, too, leverages Yammer and the Office Graph to deliver a social, personalized experience within Office 365.

Let’s take a moment to explore four core elements of Office 365 Video: 1) simplicity, 2) discoverability and share’ability, 3) mobile and 4) built-in security and easy to manage.

Simplicity—To upload a video, content owners simply drag and drop their video files into the web user interface—or upload from their mobile device—type a title and description, and let the service take care of the rest. You can upload a wide variety of video file types. The service then generates a standardized set of playback files for fast, easy viewing.

Office 365 Video 1

Learn more on how to Upload a video to Office 365 Video.

Watch the below illustrated video to learn more about how the service stores and preps your video file once you upload it into Office 365 Video.

Discoverability and share’ability—Videos are easily searchable via enterprise search, with a dedicated search experience in the video portal already scoped to show only video results. All uploaded videos are discoverable in Office Delve (similar to documents, videos are automatically fed into the Office Graph).

Office 365 Video 2New Delve cards will have unique elements for videos: the Office 365 Video logo, the duration of the video (1:25), and a link to the channel the video comes from (THE GARAGE videos).

Every video player page has easy access to share directly into Yammer via inline conversations. Simply type in your message, add a group or individual to send to and click Post. The conversation stays with the video in the video portal, and can be accessed from the main Yammer user interface or on devices through the various Yammer apps.

Office 365 Video 3

Like documents, Yammer Conversations are accessible inline within a video’s dedicated player page.

Mobile—People will be able to view and share videos within Office 365 on any device. They can easily navigate the home page and channels to find and view content, and even upload new videos from their device. We’ll share more news in the next few months about how you can best interact with your video portal from your mobile device.

Office 365 Video 4
Series of early-look screenshots showing the Office 365 Video mobile experience. Left-to-right: main home screen, viewing a video, navigating channels and uploading a video. 

Built-in security and easy to manage—It’s very easy to set the permissions for the home page leveraging the same Active Directory powering authentication in all areas of Office 365. This same governance model enables admins to manage permissions for each channel. Channels are easy to create and assign delegated owner(s)—or channel managers—who can then manage their own content and specific set of permissions.

Office 365 Video 5Admins screen for managing permissions and selecting desired videos for the home page’s Spotlight. 

Throughout the Office 365 Video portal, everything is encrypted and secure by design; that’s encryption at-rest and encryption in-transit. Adhering to the Office 365 Trust Center commitments, a company’s videos are kept isolated and encrypted in all locations, and are only available to authenticated employees that have access and permissions to their company videos.

Learn more about how to set up and manage your Office 365 Video portal.

Discover all help content about Office 365 Video and explore the new webpage for Office 365 Video on Office.com.

A look into the Office 365 Video near future

We’re extremely excited to deliver this new video streaming service within Office 365—but we’re just getting started. We’re already hard at work planning what comes next to Office 365 Video, which will roll out to the service automatically when the new features are ready. We’ll focus on broader mobile device coverage, “publish to” scenarios like using Office Mix to publish training content into Office 365 Video (coming soon – read more here), recommendations powered by Office Graph, ability to embed videos elsewhere in your intranet, captions, the ability to create collections and share them, and always monitoring performance and solid upload experiences and means to improve overall. If you have an idea for a future Office 365 Video feature, please visit our UserVoice page and submit your feedback and vote items up! You will see us continue to iterate and build more and more of what you tell us you need.

To sum it all up

Your business flourishes when all employees are informed, working together and aligned to the same important goals. Office 365 Video is just the first of numerous NextGen Portals to come to Office 365—portals to best support your corporate intranet needs, your knowledge management requirements, and facilitate how people and groups can best represent themselves—all designed to be mobile, engaging, intelligent and ready to go–for you. We’re excited to start this journey, to help you build less and use more.

Let us know what you think by keeping in touch on Twitter and Facebook.

‘Til then, lights, webcam, action!

—Mark Kashman

Join the YamJam

We will be holding an Office 365 Video YamJam on the Office 365 Community network on November, 20th at 9 a.m. PT. Request access to the Office 365 Community now. For those unfamiliar with a YamJam, it is similar to a “TweetJam” on Twitter or an “Ask Me Anything (AMA)” on Reddit, except it takes place on Yammer. A YamJam provides the opportunity for the community to ask questions and have a discussion with a panel of Microsoft experts on a particular topic.

A little extra credit if you made it this far, a public, interactive Sway covering Office 365 Video. Be Swayed!

Frequently asked questions 

Q. Which Office 365 plans are required to get Office 365 Video?

A. Office 365 Video is included in the Office 365 E1, E2, E3 and E4 subscription plans (and the corresponding A2, A3 and A4 plans for Academic customers). Any user that has not been assigned one of the above licenses will not have use rights to Office 365 Video. Government plans are in planning, but not available at this initial release moment.

Q. Do customers have to incur additional costs for Azure Media Services consumption?

A. The integrated Azure Media Services usage does not incur additional cost to customer; videos stored in Office 365 will count against SharePoint Online team sites pooled storage.

Q. What Office 365 workloads must I have deployed for Office 365 Video to work?

A. Office 365 Video requires SharePoint Online. Once Office 365 Video has been rolled out to a qualified customer (as specified in the previous FAQ), Office 365 Video will be enabled for all users that have one of the eligible plans and have a SharePoint Online license assigned.

Q. When will Office 365 Video be available in my Office 365 environment?

A. Customers who have opted into First Release will begin seeing Office 365 Video appear over the next few days. Deployment beyond First Release, to standard deployment tenants is targeted to complete worldwide by early 2015.

Q. Can I turn off Office 365 Video for my tenancy?

A. Yes. You can disable and enable it from within the SharePoint Online admin center.

Q. Will Office 365 Video be available for the Office 365 Business SKUs (formerly the Small Business plans)?

A. No.

Q. Will Office 365 Video be available for the Office 365 Dedicated plans?

A. No.

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33 comments
  1. Congrats! I really am looking forward to this “YouTube for companies”! I do wonder, though, if the intention is to let companies for instance distribute “a CEO message company wide”, why is not Office 365 Video included in the Enterprise K1 plan (as it seems), which otherwise also gives “Access to SharePoint Online sites to keep up to date with company news and information”, as the K1 plan describes?

    • Your point is great feedback irt K1. The original descriptor was for team sites, and the new video portal comes with a little more compute per user. We are reviewing future planning how to enable additional license types in the future, but nothing we can share beyond what is in the post today. Thanks, Mark.

  2. In the long term, it could be a great alternative to Youtube, but it should be free for everyone. I know that it will be great for companies, but with the UI design, I think in the futur it could be better!

  3. That’s really cool, I’ve been looking forward to it for a while. I just have to wonder, though, if we’re going to see our SharePoint per-user storage allotment ever go above 500 MB, which is about 2 minutes of 1080p MP4 video. We’ve just barely started using SharePoint and we’ve already used half of our storage allotment.

    I just think it’s strange that Microsoft is rolling out unlimited OneDrive storage while SharePoint is still so …limited.

    • I will tell you we are certainly considering how we can best provide storage as the usage of SharePoint Online grows. We’re tracking usage and modeling storage for how we can best enable numerous situation at the value and cost of your default Office 365 investment. This telemetry data is certainly indicating a positive trend in overall storage and usage, and with new scenarios like Video coming online, we certainly want to balance the needs you have. Our intent, as in the past when we upped various other SPO limits, is to stay ahead of usage based on need, ahead of perception; the latter is the quickest out of the gate – and we do hear your feedback. Thanks, Mark.

      • Thanks for the reply, Mark. It’s good to know that you all are listening to us!

  4. I realise the solution is talking heavily about the end to end security which is great but for a truly consolidated enterprise solution will 0365video allow for embedding and sharing capability outside the 0365 platform to deliver the video into websites and apps as well as sharepoint online sites. ?

    • Hi Simon,

      The main first focus for us is intranet – both for Video and the broader NextGen Portals strategy. We have technology we can tap into for extranet scenarios, aka external sharing at a site level. We’ve not yet announced anything for enabling external sharing, but we are considering enabling for scenarios that make sense and certainly add more value to what we are offering. All based on feedback, so I encourage spending a moment to share this on our User Voice page: http://aka.ms/O365VideoFeedback where our engineering and planning teams will review weekly/monthly and plan from. And per Internet, it is an area that could have considerable costs that are harder to recoup. There is technology in Azure Media Services that is being considered to enable a switch of public vs private (on the video itself) and we’re looking at this from a how many users would use this/need it from within their Office 365 investment, versus leveraging existing Internet-facing options today.

      Cheers,
      Mark

  5. Another question I have is. The video mentioned the ingested source file is chalked up against your tenant storage cost. where an enterprise has a different strategy for HD cold storage and wants to only be charged for files at a more viable bit rate (for example the delivery range of 400kb to 3000kb) can we switch of at the 365 admin “retain source” therefore making 365 a more cost optimised model ?

    • It does depend on the original file being uploaded into SharePoint Online today. I hear the feedback and understand the ask/scenario. It’s possible to have the HD cold storage in place, and output a high-quality version that is used as the original uploaded into O365 Video – this being high enough quality so that Web playback is a good experience up and down the resolution spectrum we generate, but in most cases be less impacting on storage consumption than the HD version in your cold storage.

      In general though, I’ll take it back to our planning and engineering teams as we look at hybrid scenarios all up and future methods we may be able to consider a “bring your old cold storage” BYOCS solution. No promises, but again, I do understand the scenario.

      Thanks,
      Mark

    • We’re working on enabling the ability to add richer metadata beyond title, description, uploader – all to better serve search and increase relevancy for Office Graph and Delve. Try the dedicated search within Office 365 Video. It’s built on our enterprise search and scoped to the videos in the video portal by default.

      Thanks for reading and providing good Edu input,
      Mark

  6. Funny, they use YouTube for the video instead of the Office365 Video for this announcement. AND, an iPhone rather than a Windows Phone. MS seems to be missing something….

    • Had thought this may have been the first comment :-). YouTube certainly addresses public playback and we’ve an established a nice officevideos channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/officevideos) for ease of discovery across all our products. And hopefully you’ve seen a bit of a new face of Microsoft where we certainly want to address real market data and something tells us we’ve got a few users who have iPhones. We’re committed to creating a top-tier mobile experience and will do this in a number of ways, and we have to get started somewhere. We’re hard at work planning what’s next for Office 365 Video for mobile, Web, apps, and beyond!

      Thanks for reviewing the post and keep the feedback coming,
      Mark

  7. I see a lot of benefit in O365 Video for our company. We currently have an E4 subscription plan with 300Gb. How much does additional storage cost for the SharePoint side?

    • Additional SharePoint Online team pooled storage is currently $0.20/GB/month.

  8. This video portal is not even close to a full product. Still looks like an alpha.

    A beautiful user interface ?! This looks like an empty boilerplate project without any styling and doesn’t even use 100% of the width of the screen. How come is this modern?

    It is impossible to even add a date or set a thumbnail picture of the video. Every not-so-smart developer would at this at first place.

    At the moment this doesn’t bring value to the customer – a normal video library works faster and is prettier. I get the azure media services backend – but still it is really slow.

    • Thanks for the feedback. Appreciate the specifics you called out. – Mark.

      • I agree with miszka. I transferred 7 training videos over with the hopes of using this instead of an asset library but not only does it not show the videos in HD for me but when I view them in full screen, it puts a gray translucent screen in front darkening the video even more. Needs more work before this is a viable option.

  9. Great, I was waiting for some solution to publish intercompany Videos since 1 year or more. As a first release user I want to know how I am able to Access the APPs for e.g. iOS, WP, Win8 which are shown in the Demo Videos. Does anybody know something about?

    • We’ve not yet shipped any mobile apps. We’ll share more later in the year as we get closer to updates. We’re focused on bettering the overall mobile Web experience and tackling apps in parallel. You’re not crazy, there not out yet. Look for more information in the coming months. – Mark.

  10. What is the quality of the stream when played? It seems to “process” when upload – what is it converted to?

    • You can review the above video “What happens to a video file when uploaded into Office 365 Video”: http://youtu.be/HXSZ0jYBKlM . It covers both upload’able formats and common output – which will vary resolution based on device and available bandwidth.

      Let me know if you need more after review or if you have any feedback.

      – Mark

  11. What are the options for clients with SharePoint 2013 On Premise, including 2013 Foundation? Will there be an On Premise version in the pipeline or Hybrid options to look at now? This can push several clients towards SharePoint Online but they do need their main Intranet sites to be On Premises at the moment due to third party product integration.

    • Office 365 Video is a cloud service that will have a future hybrid connection similar to what you’ve seen released in SP’2013 SP1 for OneDrive for Business and Yammer – a split deployment approach with solid auth handling per your AD. We don’t have specific dates to share, but are in planning talks for hybrid all up – an important area for investment on our end.

      – Mark

  12. New feature looks good. Just wondering if there is security control in place so that only certain people can upload videos? Don’t want a situation where all of my users can upload videos and start using up all of my storage in SharePoint Online, would just want a select few users to be able to upload videos.

  13. Great new feature from Microsoft, Congratulations!

    What will be different between using Video Library and Office 365 Video?

    Question – how do you delete a channel, I tried to create a channel but something went wrong. Now the channel name appear under CHANNELS but cannot go inside the channel.When I try to go inside the channel is says;

    Sorry, something went wrong
    Cannot find video channel with id: 5cda989f-e8f3-4c16-a5a2-3dcf0feba8c0 .
    TECHNICAL DETAILS
    Troubleshoot issues with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation.
    Correlation ID: 5e71d19c-c0f9-1000-a64e-f180332486fb
    Date and Time: 12/1/2014 12:13:12 AM

    • Within a SharePoint document library there are simple methods for storing and downloading video files.

      Office 365 Video exceeds this in two significant ways. First, it leverages the power of the Microsoft cloud to provide even more advanced capabilities for video playback, using Windows Azure Media Services. This allows all of our Office 365 customers to experience broadcast-company level, industrial strength encoding and playing of videos across multiple devices. Secondly, we’ve dramatically reduced the time it takes to get going with video by automatically provisioning and wiring up the right pieces into an out of the box video portal that is ready to move at the speed of your business – that’s the portal UI, integration with Yammer and inherent feeding to the Office Graph for a more relevant experience over time.

      For now, to fully delete a channel you would need to go into the SharePoint Online admin center (ex: https://tenant-admin.sharepoint.com) and delete the site collection with the same name. More here on deleting a channel: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Create-and-manage-a-channel-in-Office-365-Video-1fede4cc-13c0-435a-b585-e7fbf1c83bb2?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US#BKMK_DeletingChannel

      hth,
      Mark

      hth,
      Mark

  14. Hi,

    I have a developper subscription of Office 365. Will this be available for us?
    Please let me know.

  15. Hi there, does the video portal come with either of the SharePoint standalone plans (P1 and/or P2)? Usually they’d match up with the features in E1 and E3, but can’t see any mention of the video portal anywhere relating to these standalone plans.

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