Starting Tuesday November 18 Microsoft started rolling out Office 365 Video to customers who have opted in to the First Release programme (if you haven’t you will need to wait a little longer!)

Kloud has built video solutions on Office 365 in the past so it’s great to see Microsoft deliver this as a native feature of SharePoint Online – and one that leverages the underlying power of Azure Media Services capabilities for video cross-encoding and dynamic packaging.

In this blog post we’ll take a quick tour of the new offering and show a simple usage scenario.

Basic Restrictions

In order to have access to Office 365 Video the following must be true for your Office 365 tenant:

  • SharePoint Online must be part of your subscription and users must have been granted access to it.
  • Users must have E1, E2, E3, E4, A2, A3 or A4 licenses.
  • There is no external sharing capability – you aren’t able to serve video to users who are not licensed as per the above.

There may be some change in the licenses required in future, but at launch these are the only ones supported.

Note that you don’t need to have an Azure subscription to make use of this Office 365 feature.

Getting Started

When Video is made available in your tenant it will show in either the App Launcher or Office 365 Ribbon.

Video on App Launcher

Video on Office 365 Ribbon

Like any well-managed Intranet it’s important to get the structure of your Channels right. At this stage there is no functionality to allow us to create sub-channels so how you create your Channels will depend primarily on who the target audience will be as a Channel is logical container than can be access controlled like any standard SharePoint item.

There are two default Channels out-of-the-box but let’s go ahead and create a new one for our own use.

Options when creating a Channel

Once completed we will be dropped at the Channel landing page and have the ability to upload content or manage settings. I’m going to modify the Channel I just created and restrict who can manage the content by adding one of my Kloud Colleagues to the Editors group (shown below).

Setting Permissions

Now we have our Channel configured, let’s add some content.

I click on the Upload option on the Channel home page and select an appropriate video (I’ve chosen to use an MP4 created on my trusty Lumia 920) and drag and drop it onto the upload form. The file size limits supported match the standard SharePoint Online ones (hint: your files can be pretty large!)

When you see the page below make sure you scroll down, set the video title and description (note: these are really important as they’ll be used by SharePoint Search and Delve to index the video).

Upload Process

Then you need to wait… time to complete the cross-encoding depends on how long the video is you’ve uploaded.

Once it’s completed you can play the video back via the embedded player and, if you want you can cross-post it to Yammer using the Yammer sidebar (assuming you have Yammer and an active session). You also get preview in search results and can play video from right in the preview (see below).

Video Preview

This is very early days for Office 365 Video – expect to see a lot richer functionality over time based on end user feedback.

The Office 365 Video team is listening to feedback and you can provide yours via their Uservoice site.

Azure Infrastructure, Azure Platform, Office 365
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