Two years after it first appeared, Microsoft’s mobile messaging app Kaizala is now available to all Office 365 users globally. Microsoft will integrate the app with its Teams collaboration platform in the next 12 to 18 months.
What is Microsoft Kaizala?
Kaizala supports group text messaging as well as video and audio calls, (similar to consumer messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger). This is important, as the use of consumer apps in the workplace can be a significant challenge for large organisations that want to retain control of sensitive data.
With a business focus, Kaizala has security & administrative focused features. With Kaizala, data is encrypted at rest and in transit, its management portal lets admins create and manage groups, for example, as well as define group policies. As many will know, policies and procedures are incredibly important in any organisation.
We at Business Agility have a tool (using SharePoint) that can assist with better policy management and enforcement. Read about how you can use SharePoint for policies and procedures with our help.
Users don’t need a Microsoft account to access Kaizala but can sign up with their phone number.
How Kaizala works with Microsoft Teams
Kaizala’s release follows recent updates to Teams, Microsoft’s collaboration and communication tool. Kaizala differs from the Teams mobile app in a number of ways, and it’s aimed more at temporary workers and contractors, said Lori Wright, general manager of workplace collaboration at Microsoft.
“Kaizala serves as a complement to Teams,” she said.
“For more transient workers that you don’t want to bring in and out of the corporate hierarchy and the directory, you can use Kaizala.”
Wright gives the example of a ski resort — a type of business that often has a high employee turnover Employees who are in charge of managing the resort on a permanent basis are suited to Teams. However, there will also be many transient workers who join for a single season that lasts a few weeks or months. This is where Kaizala comes in, she said.
“Kaizala is great for these types of workers: You can quickly put in your phone number, you can communicate with the other people, and then, when the winter or summer is up, that information stays with the organisation.”
Wright also said there are various examples of organisations using Teams and Kaizala in tandem already, including several airline operators. In these cases, Teams is relied on for day to day management, while Kaizala is used by service staff that bring food onto the plane, for example.