Microsoft rolls out its WhatsApp-style Kaizala app for business use

The mobile app works alongside the Office 365 to boost collaboration among employees

Microsoft has unveiled its Kaizala collaboration tool is now generally available to customers, allowing teams to use the WhatsApp-style programme to chat with their peers and boost productivity across the organisation.

Although the Android and iOS Kaizala app is free for consumers, the business application will set businesses back $1.50 per user each month, but offers a whole lot more than just free P2P chat. For example, businesses can easily manage communication groups, with advanced reporting for businesses to understand better how their employees collaborate.

"Today’s workplace extends well beyond organisational boundaries, and there is an increasing need to connect your entire business value chain, including your first-line workers, vendors, partners, suppliers, and customers," Praveen Maloo, senior product marketing manager at Microsoft said. "A disconnected value chain hinders productivity, slows down decision making, prevents the ability for insights to surface from the field, and creates potential for customer dissatisfaction."

He explained that although messaging apps have gone some way to break these barriers down, they’re often consumer apps designed for business use. For example, they may not be compliant, struggle with security demands or put company data at risk.

Kaizala addresses these issues, Maloo said especially in mobile-first, developing economies.

It integrates with Office 365, including Power BI and Microsoft Flow and allows teams to run polls, plan jobs and projects and share work flows with collaborators.

Kaizala is hosted on Microsoft Azure, ensuring it's compliant with company data policies as well as ISO 27001, SOC2, HIPAA and GDPR.

“Kaizala Pro is already available as part of Office 365 commercial plans, or as a standalone purchase, in 28 markets around the world,” Maloo added. “We will be adding Kaizala Pro to Office 365 commercial plans worldwide over time.”

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