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Getting started with Office 365 Video

Jul 13, 2016 by Emma Robinson

It’s been described as a private, corporate, YouTube equivalent, allowing you to browse, post, and share video content without needing to leave the Office 365 portal. But if you’re wondering why you should try Office 365 Video, and what your organisation could use it for, this post will take a quick look at how to navigate the portal, and create your first channel.
The first reason to use (or at least try) Office 365 Video is simply it’s availability as part of an Enterprise licence. The tool is currently available as part of all E1, E3 and E5 plans (and their corresponding .edu, or .gov options) as long as SharePoint is included in your licence. The great thing about the newer additions to Office 365 such as Planner, Sway, Delve etc. is that their automatic inclusion in many popular Enterprise licence types adds more value for you at no extra cost. Technically, you are not losing anything by sticking to your regular, tried and tested productivity applications – but if you don’t click around in your portal then you will miss out on the extra productivity, functionality and development which many of these new tools benefit from. If your organisation is investing its time and resources into Office 365, it makes sense to get the most out of all that the service can offer.
Office 365 Video was introduced by Microsoft as ‘an intranet website portal where people in your organization can post and view videos’, making it ‘a great place to share videos of executive communications or recordings of classes, meetings, presentations or training sessions’. The site is organised into channels, with a default ‘Community’ channel set up. You can add channels for different projects, departments, or initiatives, and it’s possible to set permissions for each channel you add.
By default, everyone has edit and view permissions for the ‘Community’ channel, but it is possible to edit this, and grant individual permissions which dictate what is visible to each user. This means that if you wanted to upload management training or C-Level meeting recordings to a ‘Management Channel’ for example, you could ensure that users at the correct management-level are the only ones who can see the content.
Here at Cogmotive, we’ve only just started to populate our Office 365 Video. Here’s a look at how we got started:
Office 365 Video crop
As you can see above, Office 365 Video has a ‘Trending’ section which shows your users the most popular content in their organisation. This allows people to browse the site easily, and identify useful or popular videos quickly. As we only had two videos uploaded at this point, they have both been placed into the ‘Trending’ section.
Add Channels
To build on the site, we started to add more channels. To do this, select the ‘Channels’ option which will show you all the channels you currently have, and allow you to add more by clicking on ‘+ New Channel’. The portal is extremely easy to use, and intuitive – with most of the common actions and locations listed in the top-left navigation.
Name your new channel, and colour-code it. The channel that I have created is called ‘Marketing team resources’.
Marketing team resources
Content Settings
Before you start to upload content, it is important to take a look at the Channel Settings (located in the top-left navigation). The settings include the following sections: General, Permissions, Spotlight and Yammer. Most of these areas are relatively self-explanatory, with straightforward, user-friendly design. The spotlight section allows you to change how your videos are displayed in the channel, and the permissions section is where you can assign view or edit rights to users who might need them.
By default, my channel is visible to everyone in my organisation. If I want to change this, I can remove a group or user by clicking the ‘x’ next to the name, and then add the specific users or departments. You can also assign ‘Channel Admin’ roles or video editing permissions using the ‘Owners’ and ‘Editors’ section.
One of the benefits of using Office 365 Video in comparison to other solutions is the integration that comes with other Office 365 tools. If your organisation uses Yammer to communicate, then the intelligent integration between Office 365 Video and Yammer creates an interplay between the two tools.
You can post videos directly to Yammer, and enable Yammer conversations for each channel, which can be restricted to a particular group or opened out to any feeds. If you want to choose a specific group, you have to add the feed ID. This can be found by going into your group’s Yammer feed, and find the numerical code at the end of the URL on your homepage. One you insert this into the box, the channel should be linked to the Yammer Group.
Uploading Videos 
To upload videos to my channel, I can click ‘Upload videos’ at the center of the page or ‘Upload’ in the navigation bar.
From here, I can upload videos to any of the channels for which I have edit permissions (Community), or where I am the ‘Channel Admin’ (Marketing team resources). There is drop and drag functionality, or I can choose a video file from my documents.
Once the video is selected, it will upload and offer you the option to edit the title and description. You have to stay on the page while the upload is taking place – it is relatively quick. However, the processing is slower, so you won’t be able to see your video straight away. While it is being processed, you can navigate away from the window and the service will notify you by email once your video has been processed, and is ready to view. You can continue to add channels and upload video content as necessary.
Upload edit
Office 365 Video is an intelligent, integrated service for internal video hosting and streaming, and there are a lot more features, options and customisation that we have not yet covered. Our next blog post on Office 365 Video will take a look at how to add thumbnails, subtitles, embed your videos into SharePoint sites, and review video analytics, so make sure to check our blog regularly if you want to find out more about how to use Office 365 Video.
Cogmotive is the leading global provider of enterprise level reporting and analytics applications for Office 365. Find out more now.