Microsoft today added a new feature to the enterprise versions of Office 365 called Office 365 Video that leverages the portal capabilities in SharePoint Online. The company describes Office 365 Video as the first of a coming series of new NextGen portals that can be set up quickly and leverage Office Graph machine learning, Yammer social interactions, and mobile usage scenarios.
"Office 365 Video provides organizations with a secure, company-wide destination for posting, sharing and discovering video content," Office 365 senior product manager Mark Kashman notes in a new post to the Office Blogs. "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."
Available now to customers on the First Release program, Microsoft expects Office 365 Video to be fully deployed worldwide to all Office 365 business customers by early 2015. The new feature lets users watch and share video anywhere, anytime and on any device. It provides a new video home page on the web portal with a spotlight section and lists of popular and community videos, plus custom channels. Videos support comments and conversation threads, and sharing can occur via a web browser on your PC or via a mobile device. (Though I'm not yet clear how you upload videos on devices.)
Videos are stored in SharePoint Online and transcoded (for free) via Azure Media Services so that they can be presented in formats suitable for different device types and bandwidth. Permissions are set according to your underlying rights infrastructure on a video channel basis.
According to Microsoft, Office 365 Video provides four basic benefits: Simplicity (in uploading, finding, and viewing videos), discoverability and shareability, an Office 365 Video mobile experience, and built-in security and management functionality that's based on your existing infrastructure. Future updates to Office 365 Video will focus on broader mobile device coverage, "publish to" scenarios like using Office Mix to publish training content into Office 365 Video, recommendations powered by Office Graph, the 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.
Office 365 Video now available to customers with Office 365 E1, E2, E3 and E4 subscription plans (and the corresponding A2, A3 and A4 plans for Academic customers). Government plans are in planning, but not available yet, Microsoft says, but this feature will not be coming to the small- and medium-sized business offerings (now called the Office 365 Business SKUs) or Office 365 Dedicated plans.
I won't be able to test this since I'm using a small business SKU. But here are a few videos describing this new feature in greater detail.
Introducing Office 365 Video
What happens to a video file when you upload it into Office 365 Video?