Microsoft has built a new video streaming service for businesses called Stream which will enable organizations and employees to collaborate with video more easily. Stream will allow users to upload videos and they can be organized by starting a channel based on teams, groups and topics.
Stream will also allow companies to manage who views videos and determine how widely to share within the organization, and to what channels. Secure access is enabled by Azure Active Directory, a product from Microsoft to protect sensitive corporate content.
Other than that, Stream will have the usual bells and whistles which will allow users to follow a channel, like videos and share them via email, and embed videos on webpages. Microsoft mentions that Stream will be the de facto viewing application fro Office 365 Video.
It will also enable live streaming and will integrate Stream with with other business apps like PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, SharePoint and other line of business applications. Stream will also have IT management capabilities where companies can manage access and settings like granting and assigning channel and video access, remove and monitor content and manage what is viewable to specific groups in the organization.
TechCrunch points out that Stream will later have speech-to-text and automatic translations developed by Microsoft Research and Azure Machine Learning Systems.
Where it has an edge over YouTube
A video streaming service for businesses makes sense for Microsoft as it increases focus on its business and productivity vertical. Sixty percent of organizations use videos in B2B meetings, according to a survey by CBCI telecom. But the most interesting integrations are PowerApps , Microsoft Fow and Sharepoint with livestreaming which can change how remote meetings can be conducted. Meetings can be conducted via a single application rather than tediously switching between different tabs and software.
The other advantage of Stream has is that it allows users to control who can see videos, something YouTube doesn’t allow.
That said, Microsoft will be entering a crowded space and will be competing with YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion and other streaming services.