Microsoft has announced the general availability of its Kaizala messaging service as well as planned expansions. The mobile chat app, which began as a Microsoft Garage project, is now available in 40 languages across 180 markets.
All customers will eligible Office 365 and Microsoft 365 accounts will get access to the app, which is geared towards work rather than personal chat. The app integrates with services to plan meetings, poll employees, collect payments, and offer secure sharing.
It’s something of a conflict with the company’s existing Microsoft Teams app, which is also geared towards workplace chat. As a result, Microsoft is planning to bring both together to avoid communications issues.
“Enabling every member of an organization’s network with digital communication and collaboration tools – whether they are inside or outside of the company directory – can transform the way work gets done We also believe that every organization should have the ability to own and manage their company data,” explained Microsoft’s Heather Gordon.
“Based on this vision, and on feedback from customers, we will be bringing Kaizala capabilities into Microsoft Teams as an integrated offering. We expect the integration to happen in phases over the next 12-18 months, and we will provide more details about the Kaizala and Teams integration roadmap later this quarter.”
In the meantime, Microsoft is rolling out several new features for Kaizala. To bring it in line with the rest of Office 365, it’s getting @mentions, the ability to delete messages, and a web app.
Users will also be able to annotate images, video call, and create a personal messaging space for meeting notes and reminders. In the future, the team is planning to add Hebrew and Arabic support, email invites, AAD syncing, and admin roles.