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Hey y’all! Dux Raymond Sy here and I wanted to let you all in on an Office 365 app I’ve been using for the last several days. But, since it’s not as well known as some other Office 365 solutions lets start with the question:
What is Microsoft Kaizala?
Microsoft Kaizala is an Office 365 mobile app from Microsoft Garage meant to empower and make firstline workers more productive. Firstline workers are those employees who are crucial to the success of a business but don’t necessarily work at a desk.
Kaizala has been a very popular Office 365 app among firstline workers in India since its 2016 inception. Its ability to work on low bandwidth is hugely beneficial to firstline workers who may be working in a rural area where high speed internet is simply unavailable.
In addition to providing firstline workers with a simple, intuitive interface for large group communications, workers can manage schedules, time sheets and more from Kaizala’s mobile interface, which is available for iOS and Android.
In Office 365, Kaizala offers large group capabilities to those both in and out of your organization. You can also share files, such as photos and documents easily.
Furthermore, workers can create surveys, forms and quizzes. And broad, company or department-wide announcements can be made using Kaizala.
Price tag? What price tag? Kaizala is free for Office 365 users and provides premium features
Another aspect of Kaizala that’s been resonating with organizations is that the basic version is free. Those already on Office 365 can simply add it as a tile to their array of tools.
The basic version of Kaizala offers:
- 1:1 and hierarchical group chat
- Media and document sharing
- Built-in Actions for polls, surveys, and announcements
- Work management
- Offline and 2G support
Kaizala Pro ($1.50 user/month) provides premium features:
- Organization group management
- User management (remove users from groups and wipe group data from device)
- Create public groups
- Publish custom Actions
- Advanced reporting and analytics
- System integration and automation using Kaizala APIs
Microsoft Kaizala might be one of the first Office 365 “freemium” solutions
Considered a ‘freemium’ solution, Kaizala’s lack of a price tag could be an indication of Microsoft’s future plans to promote additional freemium offerings in Office 365. By adding small business solutions to their already robust suite of enterprise offerings, they’re working towards a world of truly modern organizations — capable of smart, agile business regardless of size or scope.
Microsoft Kaizala vs WhatsApp?
Similar to the Chinese WeChat or the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, Kaizala offers free wifi messaging among both Android and iOS devices. You can also create group chats to easily connect with other people in your department, your team, or organization as a whole. While Kaizala doesn’t have voice or video calling like WhatsApp and WeChat, it does place a priority on security. Microsoft’s new Office 365 F1 license, geared toward frontline workers, comes with Enterprise Mobile + Security (EMS).
Microsoft Kaizala in Office 365 is tailored for the firstline worker
Kaizala functions in some ways a lot like StaffHub. They’re both part of a growing portfolio of solutions targeting firstline workers (like the F1 license mentioned above). Microsoft’s investment in such members of the workforce is clear as they continue to offer solutions tailored just for them and making their lives easier.
Microsoft Kaizala is Mobile-first by design
Kaizla is a very mobile-heavy, and is primarily intended to help firstline workers who may not have access to a desktop (or even a desk for that matter). Microsoft’s investment in supporting workers of this variety means two things: 1. The concept of a digital workplace isn’t something reserved for IT professionals and 2. This is a sign of thing to come.
As workplace technology becomes the norm rather than the exception, announcements of software of this type should be expected to occur more regularly, as more and more organizations become more connected than ever before.
Considerations moving forward
Organizations with firstline workers should absolutely start taking advantage of Kaizala. One aspect they will need to consider is the possibility of increased confusion around the already complex “what to use when” conversation.
Organizations will want to consider how they choose to govern Kaizala in Office 365, as well as have DLP and backup plans in place.