Secure chat app, now available globally, will be packed into Teams next year
Microsoft is making its business-grade chat app Kaizala available to all Office 365 and Microsoft 365 commercial customers and will integrate the product with Microsoft Teams in the next 12 to 18 months, the company announced this week.
The Lowdown: The move is part of Redmond’s effort to appeal to business organizations with far-flung workers, contractors, vendors, suppliers, and customers that need a way to communicate that’s simple to use and comes packed with enterprise-grade security and compliance features.
The Details: Joining Kaizala and Teams will give customers and partners a single platform for securely connecting users both inside and outside the client organization. More than 500,000 organizations currently use Teams to collaborate across locations, time zones, and languages, Microsoft claims.
Microsoft this week also revealed some new Kaizala features, including:
• The ability to delete messages in a one-to-one or group chat within an hour of sending, with admins being able to delete any message at any time
• A Kaizala Web app that allows managers and admins to access and search chat conversations, send documents, add comments on tasks, and more from a PC
• The ability to tag individual members and draw their attention to specific items through @mentions
• Image annotation to mark up images before sharing in chat
• Video calling to connect face-to-face
• A new Kaizala Me feature with a private chat space for personal reminders
• An updated Kaizala Management Portal with support for single sign-on for O365 users
• In-region data residency for new customers, with customer data stored in a customer’s region (United States, APAC, India, or EU)
Background: Current enterprise customers of Kaizala, which was launched in 2017 in trials in India, include Philippines Airlines, Apollo Hospitals, M-Kopa Solar, McDonald’s Turkey, Narayana Health, UEM Edgenta, and the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
The Buzz: “Enabling every member of an organization’s network with digital communication and collaboration tools – whether they’re 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,” said Heather Gordon, Kaizala’s marketing director, in a blog post announcing the integration. “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 to 18 months, and we will provide more details about the Kaizala and Teams integration road map later this quarter.”