Stream Intelligent Features Available to All Office 365 Commercial Users

Intelligence for All

In the past, only users with Office 365 E5 licenses or the Stream Plan 2 add-on had access to the intelligent features for video processing such as:

  • Speaker timelines that use facial detection to identify who is talking, so you can easily jump to a speaker in the recording.
  • Speech-to-text and closed captions that capture the event in a readable form and make the content more accessible for everyone
  • Transcript search and timecodes that let you quickly find moments that matter in a video.

At Ignite 2018, Microsoft said that these features would be coming to all Office 365 enterprise, education, and frontline users with availability “soon.” Now, as announced in Message Center update MC152814, the new features have started to roll out to tenants to be available to users with E1, E3, F1, A1, A3, Business Premium, Business Essentials, and Microsoft 365 Business licenses. Unless, that is, your tenant is based in one the the Office 365 sovereign clouds (like the U.S. Government “GCC” region or the German “Black Forest” region”). The new German general-purpose Office 365 region is included.

Once enabled, Stream applies the intelligent features automatically when it processes new videos, Older videos uploaded before tenants receive their upgrade will be reprocessed for speech-to-text closed captions and deep search.

Using Stream Intelligence

I like using Stream and take advantage of the intelligence built into the platform as much as I can. Sometimes, as I found after uploading a video podcast recorded at Ignite 2018, the transcript can be a bit obtuse, but it’s still better than not having a transcript. The video in question has another quirk in that Stream didn’t generate a speaker timeline based on facial recognition. I can’t work out why or how to force Stream to reprocess the video.

Stream video with auto-scrolling transcript and closed captions

More Work for Stream

If you use Teams and record meetings, Teams places the recording (audio and video of whatever’s shared during the meeting) in Stream. The recording is only available to the meeting organizer until they update the permissions to make it available to whoever should share it, such as the meeting participants.

Where’s the Migration from Office 365 Video?

I’d be even happier if I could migrate my tenant’s content from Office 365 Video to Stream so that all my older videos could take advantage of the new features. Unfortunately, Microsoft has been pretty quiet on that point recently and I don’t quite know when the long-awaited migration will happen.

We cover Stream in Chapter 7 of the companion volume for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. We could have put it in the main book, but that’s already 1,100 pages long. Too much content, too little space!

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