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Microsoft Teams To Inherit Kaizala Pro Capabilities

Some "pro" features of Microsoft's Kaizala mobile chat application will be folded into Microsoft Teams over the next 12 to 18 months.

Microsoft detailed its plan to bring Kaizala Pro capabilities to Teams in an announcement last week. Kaizala works with Android and iOS devices to provide messaging and video communications, as well as built-in apps aimed at mobile workers, like training and polling apps. It promises "enterprise-grade security" and uses a simple phone number user-identity verification scheme.

The Pro version of Kaizala adds things like group management, the ability to wipe group data from devices, advanced reporting and API access.

In April, Microsoft had announced plans to bring Kaizala to "all eligible Microsoft 365 and Office 365 commercial customers worldwide." It also explained back then that Kaizala's capabilities were getting integrated into Teams, its "collaboration workspace" app, over the "next 12-18 months."

In last week's announcement, Microsoft further explained that it will be Kaizala Pro's capabilities that will get added to Teams "over the next 12-18 months." This integration will be "ultimately replacing the Microsoft Kaizala service and making Microsoft Teams the primary client in Office 365 and Microsoft 365 for communication with both internal employees and people in your extended networks."

That said, that free Kaizala app "will continue as a standalone service, which we will continue to support and update," Microsoft clarified.

Certain Office 365 subscribers will get the coming Kaizala Pro capabilities in Teams. Organizations subscribing to Office 365 F1, E1, E3 and E5 plans, or their Academic equivalents, will be getting the Kaizala Pro integration in Teams. Other beneficiaries include subscribers to Office 365 Business E3 and E5 plans, plus Office 365 Business Essentials and Business Premium subscribers.

Microsoft has two planned delivery dates for the Kaizala Pro integrations. By the end of this year, subscribers will get access to "Kaizala Actions as built-in apps in Teams, such as checklist, training and quiz." By the end of next year, they'll see "custom apps, flexible group types, and open directory capabilities for identity and authentication, which enables communications with anyone on Teams, whether or not they are managed in your Azure Active Directory," the announcement explained.

The Kaizala Pro integration will make Teams "the primary client" for both internal communications and external communications, the announcement indicated. It won't matter if the users are managed by Azure Active Directory or not, it added.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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