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Microsoft Stream Governance Planning Guide

Microsoft Stream is a video streaming service that is included with all Office 365 Enterprise-level subscriptions (E1/E3/E5). It boasts some really amazing features such as automatic transcription & face detection in addition to being fully integrated with Office 365. However, just like many other services within Office 365 you should absolutely do some upfront planning to decide how you will roll this out across your organization, including the controls that you might want to consider to ensure appropriate usage.

<TLDR> Feel free to download my Governance Planning Guide below</TLDR>

Planning Considerations

Admin Center – at the publishing time of this blog there is not a separate administration center for Microsoft Stream. Therefore, in order to access the Administrative features you will need Global Administrator access in order to perform the initial configuration for Stream.

Access Stream’s Admin settings from the Gear when you are logged into: https://web.microsoftstream.com/

Plan for your Administrators – As mentioned above you need to either be a Global Administrator or you can be added to the list of Stream Administrators. Stream Admins are allowed to change privacy settings, reassign ownership of a video or channel, set spotlight videos for your organization, etc.

All companies are different however for a majority of the organizations that I work with, you would most likely define Stream Administrators as people that work in Information Technology or folks within a Communications or Marketing Organization who have some technical capability.

Spotlight Videos – you have the ability to set up to 4 videos that will be presented to users when they login to Microsoft Stream. Think of these as similar to promoted results as part of SharePoint Search where they are the first results that will be displayed before all the other videos.

Microsoft Stream Spotlight Videos
Spotlight setting within the administration console
Spotlight video

In addition to setting your default 4 spotlight videos you should also plan for how often these spotlight videos will be updated and/or if there are certain times of year that you may want to consider updating these. For example, you could post a spotlight video right around the time of benefits enrollment to highlight the specifics for this year’s various healthcare plans. As part of this activity you might also want to ensure that you have defined the process for how these videos are decided upon – whether it be a communications, marketing, or steering committee type decision.

Live Events – Live events is a new capability that enables live video streaming through either Teams, Yammer, or Microsoft Stream. By default Live Events are turned off and when you enable it you will need to specify users that are able to setup these type of events. From a governance perspective it’s important to consider the impact of live streaming and who might be appropriate users to have this capability. You would most likely grant this capability to individuals that are working in a Corporate Communications, Marketing, or IT users supporting those organizations or their leaders.

You can refer to this Microsoft article for additional information about Live Events: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/stream/live-event-m365


Company Policies – one of the most common concerns that I hear from clients about Microsoft Stream is that this opens up the possibility for people to upload content that is not appropriate for the workplace. This “appropriateness” of content is a concern that tends to be raised no matter what the social collaboration technology is from e-mail, to instant message, Yammer, Slack, Teams, etc. What the company policies configuration allows you to do is establish a company video policy and then decide whether or not you want to require acceptance with that policy when uploading videos to Microsoft Stream. You can simply include this video policy on a SharePoint site and then just provide Stream with the URL for that policy.

Link to your company's video policy within Microsoft Stream administration console

Usage Details – this is where you are able to monitor your usage data of the Stream service. At a high level, each tenant receives 500 GB of storage along with .5 GB per licensed user. Should this not be sufficient for your organization there is always the option to purchase additional storage. This sections of the administration console also allows you to set a threshold for when your administrators should receive a notification for approaching your tenant’s quota limit. This is disabled by default but I would recommend that you consider enabling it as part of your service roll-out.

Microsoft Stream usage details, quota, and quota notification.

Please refer to this article for additional information on Stream Storage quotas: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/stream/license-overview#storage

Comments – you have the ability to restrict comments on all videos within your Microsoft Stream tenant or you can choose to disable comments at the video level. There’s a huge benefit to allowing your users to make comments on videos as a form of employee engagement, however from my experience there are many Human Resources & Compliance organizations that are concerned with the appropriateness of employees’ comments on content and they might require you to restrict comments across stream. By default this is set to allow all users to comment on videos that have commenting enabled.

Microsoft Stream restrict comments

Content Creation – there are two very important settings for you to consider within this section: restricting who is able to upload videos and restricting the creation of companywide channels.

Restrict video uploads – by default this is turned off and all users are able to upload videos to Microsoft Stream. However you could also restrict this to specified users or groups that would have the ability to upload videos. Note at the time of this blog post you are unable to use Office 365 groups and would need instead to leverage Mail Enabled Security groups for assigning access.

Restrict companywide channel creation – so channels themselves are not a means for assigning permissions to videos but rather are a way to organize videos. Assuming you have enabled all your users to upload videos, you could create a companywide channel that would allow all users within your organization to upload/remove videos within that channel. The benefits of companywide channels is that you can create a place for users to easily share content that is relevant to that channel. The only restriction is that videos would need to be set with the “Allow everyone in your company to view this video” flag. By default all users are able to create these companywide channels unless you set the restriction flag and then identify named users.

Microsoft Stream restrict video uploads, and restrict companywide channel creation

Network caching – Microsoft Stream supports the following 3rd party network caching providers – Hive Streaming, Kollective, and Ramp should you want additional video playback optimization.

Data Privacy – these are not exactly items that are required for Governance planning but you should be aware of them from a service management perspective:

Manage User Data – you have the ability within the Stream Administration console to run a report on any Microsoft Stream user. This will create an HTML report that will include the user’s unique ID, a list of videos they’ve uploaded, a list of videos they have access to, a list of channels they’ve created, a list of all of the groups they’re a member of, and a list of all comments they’ve left on videos.

You’ll want to be aware of this should you receive a request to report on an individual users.

Manage deleted users – you have the ability to replace or remove the name of a permanently delete user in Microsoft Stream. This is important for maintaining compliance with GDPR and is also a good feature for managing when key content contributors leave your organization.

For both of these Data Privacy capabilities the real Governance planning is defining a process for having your organization request these reports, identifying who will be responsible for providing the report, and also the process for addressing permanently deleted users.

In addition, I hope you will benefit from my Microsoft Stream Governance Planning guide which can be downloaded below:

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