Kaizala is a Microsoft Garage project that was first announced in 2016 and got a beta release at Future Decoded in Mumbai in February. Microsoft has today announced that the business chat tool is making it to full release. With the official release in New Delhi, the company highlighted how Kaizala is for the Indian market.
The app epitomizes Microsoft’s Mobile First, Cloud First strategy. Indeed, Kaizala is mobile only and is designed as an enterprise focused solution and provides a secure platform for business chat.
Kaizala provides a platform for organizations to set up large group communication and task management. Collaboration, communication, and organizing can all be done through a mobile, without a need for a desktop hub.
Of course, Microsoft already has services with these kinds of features, like Skype and Teams. Indeed, there are no shortage of solutions when we also consider WhatsApp, Slack, and Facebook Messenger. However, the app has been specifically designed for emerging markets and India is a prime example.
In emerging economies, network distribution is not always of a high standard. Kaizala can work at full function under 2G network speeds. This allows users to communicate and organize in a low bandwidth environment.
“The Digital India initiative is focused on harnessing technology to help India transform. Microsoft Kaizala, a made for India product, brings together the two disparate worlds of mobile only messaging apps and a digitally integrated modern workplace. The product will make it possible for organizations to interact with everyone both within and outside, seamlessly and with rich content.” – Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India
While the service itself is only mobile, Microsoft recently launched a Kaizala Management Portal (manage.kaiza.la), which is integrated into Office 365. This allows users to view reports and extends management capabilities.
Through testing, Microsoft has found the Garage-designed service has been popular. Over 30 government departments in the State of Andhra Pradesh used Kaizala, with over 70,000 staff communicating with the app day-to-day.
While the main app is free to use, Microsoft also announced a Pro version, which extends features. Running Kaizala Pro allows companies to place admin in communication groups. Additionally, the premium version integrates more deeply with external system and comes with custom actions and public groups.
The Pro version costs ₹130 ($2) per user each month. It seems that the app is locked in to the Indian market and there are no plans to release it in other markets.