July 28, 2016
Microsoft Stream, the company’s enterprise video platform (EVP) bolted onto Office 365 could shake up the EVP market, but don’t jump in head first just yet.
Video used to be the domain of media and broadcasters, but now enterprises from healthcare to financial services have reason to be doing video. They can use video to connect internal employees and external prospects with the CEO during a live event. Or maybe HR needs to establish a centralized training channel.
It makes sense for Microsoft to move into this market more robustly. It already has tens of millions of users on its Office 365 email and productivity suite so video is a logical step.
For Application Development and Delivery professionals, Stream has current support for some technologies and planned support for others. In order for it to be a viable platform for enterprises it needs to be able to:
- Fulfill basic functions of an EVP. Stream supports the ability to easily upload, share, and stream video from all devices. It integrates with Azure Active Directory to make sure that video content stays secure within the enterprise.
- Use search effectively. Being able to find the right video quickly is essential for workers who are already short on time. Stream should use the company’s Bing search engine to find content based on rich tagging or more advanced features, which leads me to my next point.
- Apply machine learning. If Microsoft can apply machine learning to a vast video library, it will uniquely differentiate itself from other EVPs in the market. It alluded to this in its announcement. If Microsoft can see inside the video–who is in it, what are they doing, what are they saying–then tagging can be much more robust. Finding the right video would be faster than ever.
- Deliver bulletproof live experiences. After just two seconds of video buffering and stuttering, the audience begins to abandon a video. Microsoft needs to engineer Stream to be a portal for on demand and live video that employees will want to engage with. Delivering video inside the enterprise while managing bandwidth effectively can be a tricky task.
- Price it aggressively. Microsoft prices Office 365 per user per month starting at $12/month. Not every employee will upload video, but it’s likely that a large number will consume it. It could offer pricing that differs based on creators and consumers or it could roll them into one.
Does the Microsoft Stream announcement have you thinking about your enterprise video platform strategy? Are you considering it as a viable alternative? Comment below or find me on Twitter.