#27: How Facial Recognition Can Power Up Your Video Library

In this episode of The Power Up Project, we cover:

>An amazing new feature from Microsoft Streams

>How can AI power up your Teams meetings?


In this episode of the Power Up Project, we’re talking about Microsoft Stream introducing facial detection and automatic transcription.

Hey, welcome back to the Power Up Project. I’m your host for this episode, Ben Love. And today we’re going to be talking about one of the Microsoft products that we’ve mentioned before, which is Microsoft Stream. It’s kind of like a private organisational YouTube, if you will, where you can upload your videos. But specifically we’re going to be talking a bit about some amazing new features that Microsoft have brought to Stream where they’re really bringing the power of a lot of their artificial intelligence and machine learning abilities to bear on the Microsoft Stream products. Now, the good thing is of course you don’t need to worry about it being AI and machine learning and all of this jargony stuff. All you need to know is that there are these great new features in Microsoft Stream. So let’s get started on that.

There’s a couple of little things that I think are really powerful here, but I’m kind of AI stuff, so I’m going to touch on these other ones first. The first thing is that you can watch videos in Microsoft Stream on the go, that is on your mobile device, while you’re offline. Now this is fantastic. So, that means that there is a little caching feature building in there so that your device can actually pre-download some of these videos for you so that if you’re sitting on the plane or your bandwidth is rubbish, wherever you happen to be travelling, you can still get access to those videos and watch those videos. Now this could be particularly useful as well combined with another excellent little feature that’s come through, which is when you use Microsoft Teams to conduct meetings, for example, video conferencing meetings and we’re all using Teams, right? Because, it really is the big thing at the moment. It really is where Microsoft is putting a lot of their focus. It is also the thing that’s going to be replacing Skype as well, and that particular timeline is accelerating. So, if you do use Skype for some of these things and you haven’t yet had a look at Teams head on over to have a look at Teams, it’s something you really need to be doing.

So of course, given that we’re all conducting our video meetings and our conference calls using Teams these days, one of the powerful features of that is that we can record the meeting. So, just click on the record button in our meeting there and Teams will automatically capture what happens there, the video, the audio, so on and so forth. But the good thing now is what it then does with that video recording, because what it does now is it automatically puts it into Stream. It automatically puts it into your Microsoft Stream video library. That means that it can then be made available to anybody on your team who happened to miss the meeting. There’s always somebody isn’t there, there’s somebody who says they’re going to be at the meeting, but then now they, I don’t know, they call in sick, which is fine, or they get called out on an important client meeting or you know what? They just don’t turn up. We’ve certainly had that in the past. So at least this way the meeting is automatically recorded, automatically uploaded into your Microsoft Stream video library for that person to catch up on. And of course now they can also catch up on it on their mobile device and even offline, which I think is pretty cool.

So let’s move on to some cool new AI powered features though. The first one is facial detection. Now this is a bit of AI that Microsoft to bringing to bear on Stream videos, which they’re really using for what they call speaker timelines. So what that does is it means that the video will be annotated with information about which speaker, as in which person is speaking when. And, it does that by using this facial detection technology just to identify that there are different faces speaking and whose turn is who or which particular face is speaking at a particular point in time. Now this is particularly powerful because if you want to search through all of your video libraries or if you want to open a particular video and skip to just the point where a particular person is speaking, then with this annotation put in place, you can now do that. And that falls in nicely too with the next cool bit of tech they’ve brought in, which is speech to text auto transcription. So simply as it sounds, Stream will now automatically provide a written transcript of everything that is said during the video recording.

So again, this makes the video infinitely more searchable. So, as you develop a larger library of videos within Stream, this will give you more power in searching through those videos, across those videos I guess, to find the one you’re looking for. Or if you’re drilling down into a specific video, but you want to find the point in that video where a certain topic is discussed. Again, you can search through this automatic transcription to find the particular time code and the particular place in that video where that topic is discussed. So there’s some great new features that have been brought to Microsoft Stream there, brought to your own private little YouTube, I guess little video library for your business. It is a very powerful tool, it works very, very well. Either on the desktop environment or on the mobile App and now with these new features that have been brought in, it means that all of that content that you’ve got in there is infinitely more searchable when you do want to go back and find that particular piece you’re after.

Now here at Grassroots IT we use Stream a lot. We record a lot of our internal meetings. We record training materials, we record a whole pile of those things there and that’s how we get a huge amount of value out of this particular tool. I’d love to hear how you’re using video in your business, particularly if you’re using Microsoft Stream. And if you have had a look at these new features that they’ve got in there, such as the speech to text auto transcription, I would love to hear how valuable you’re finding those, if they are adding any value at all, and if so, how you’re using them.

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Power Up Project brought to you by Grassroots IT and Digit IT. Please leave us a review wherever you get your podcasts and until next time keep powering up.

#22: What Can Officevibe Do for Your Organisation

What Can Officevibe Do For Your Team CultureIn this episode of The Power Up Project, we cover:

〉What is Microsoft Officevibe?

〉How can it help you and your organisation?




In this episode of The Power Up Project, I’m going to introduce you to a great little tool called Office Vibe.

Welcome to this episode of The Power Up Project. I’m Ben Love, your host for this episode. Today, I want to talk to you about a great tool that we use here at Grassroots IT called Office Vibe. Now, Office Vibe is a web based application that helps you to measure and monitor your employee engagement. Now, this can be extremely useful for your managers at a HR level at all different levels of the organisation because, I mean, let’s face it. We all think we’ve got a good handle on our team culture. We all think all of our staff are beautifully engaged, but the fact of the matter is that there will be a lot of stuff happening there in the organisation that you are not aware of.

A tool like Office Vibe can actually help you uncover that information because if you don’t have the information, you can’t do anything with it. If there is a problem emerging there with your team engagement, with your team culture, if you’re not aware of it, you can’t fix it. What Office Vibe does is that it will automatically and very, very anonymously survey your team on a regular basis across a wide range of questions of different areas which all come back to that engagement piece, and then it will present you with reports both a high level number, but then also broken down into different areas of engagement. And, not only that, it’ll take it the next step further, but it will help give you advice and guidance on how you can address individual areas of your staff engagement that may need a little bit of work.

We found it to be an extremely valuable tool. I have certainly uncovered a various things happening within my organisation that I wasn’t aware of, but with the benefit of people being able to submit anonymous feedback, people feel a little bit more empowered I guess to share that information. And so, I can take that information, and then I can make changes within the organisation. I can work within individual people. I can take whatever steps I need to help increase employee engagement and help make this a better place for everybody to work.

If you do have staff, I would encourage you to think about having a look at Office Vibe. You can find it on the internet. It is free for a lot of users. You can pay a little bit more to get some premium features. I don’t. I just use the free functionality and it does a great job for our purposes.

Thanks for listening to this episode of The Power Up Project brought to you by Grassroots IT and Digit IT. Please leave us a review wherever you get your podcast and until next time, keep powering up.

#21: What is the Microsoft Office Autosave Feature?

Microsoft Office Autosave FeatureIn this episode of The Power Up Project, we cover:

〉There is a new Autosave Feature in the desktop versions of Microsoft Office apps

〉What you need to look out for in your workflows if you’re used to the traditional saving methods Microsoft Office




In this episode of The Power Up Project, we talk about the new auto save feature in the Microsoft Office apps.

Hey, welcome to The Power Up Project. I’m your host for this episode, Ben love. So, Microsoft have just released a great, new little feature into the Microsoft Office apps. By that I mean Word and Excel and so on, that you use as part of your Microsoft Office 365 subscription.

The new feature that they’ve released is auto save. Now, this is something that those people who’ve been using the web app versions of this software for a little while now will be very familiar with, but it is new to those of us who are using the desktop installations of Word and Excel and so on. Essentially, what it means is that rather than having to remember to click save on your documents progressively as you’re using them, the system simply automatically saves your changes as you type. It literally does it in near real time. So, it’s a constant type thing.

Now, I personally think this is a fantastic feature. Like I said, I’ve been relying on this feature for a while now, when I use the web apps of Word and Excel, which I do a fair bit. But it’s great that it’s now there with those desktop apps. You can tell if you’ve got it and if it’s turned on by having a look in the very top left hand corner of your application.

For example, if you have Microsoft Word open, have a look in the very top left corner there when you’ve got a document open in Word, and there’ll be a little toggle switch, which turns auto save on and off. Now, it does default to on and it will really only work actually for documents that are saved in your OneDrive or that are saved within SharePoint. But honestly, for a lot of us, that’s really where our documents are all saved these days. For those people, it’s just going to be there automatically for you.

If you do have your document saved on a traditional file server, for example, or if you have it saved locally on your computer on the C: drive, for example, the auto save feature is not going to do what it should. It’s not going to be able to work its magic.

Now, this sounds like a great new feature. But anecdotally this is catching a couple of people unawares. The particular situation here is if you’re the sort of person who takes an existing document and uses that almost like a template. You might open up an existing letter that you had written to a client, you might make some changes to that for different client, and then you might click on the Save As button, and save a new version of that for the new client.

Now, that was all well and good when we had to click on the Save button. But if you think about that, what’s happening now is that with auto save turned on as you’re typing, you’re actually going to be saving those changes over the top of your original letter, and you probably don’t want to be doing that if this is the way you’ve been using your documents.

If you’re the sort of person who does that, if you do open up a previous document that you’ve used and intend to use that almost like a template for a different purpose, what I’d suggest you do is maybe copy that document first. Copy paste, duplicate that document on the file system and then open up the copy so that you can do that auto save. Either that or as soon as you open up that document, before you start making your edits, click on Save As and save it as a new document. So that as auto save then does its thing, you will not lose that original content.

Thanks for listening to this episode of The Power Up Project brought to you by Grassroots IT and Digit IT please leave us a review where ever you get your podcasts and until next time keep powering up.