Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Microsoft Teams will replace Kaizala in Office 365 in 12 to 18 months

In April we heard from Microsoft that  Kaizala will become part of Microsoft Teams: “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 April I noted, The Microsoft blog mentions, “bringing Kaizala capabilities” into Teams, which could mean the same feature appearing in Teams, the word “integration” is also used. It’s unclear if this is a “replacement”, “interop” or “joint management”.

Now with a new blog from Microsoft, we have more clarity.

Microsoft Teams will ultimately replace the Microsoft Kaizala service in Office 365 and Microsoft 365

The blog notes:

  • We will be adding Kaizala Pro capabilities to Teams over the next 12-18 months, 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.
  • The first set of Kaizala Pro capabilities will be available in Teams by the end of calendar year 2019 and includes Kaizala Actions as built-in apps in Teams, such as checklist, training, and quiz.
  • By the end of calendar year 2020, additional capabilities will be added to Teams, including 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.
  • Once these new capabilities are part of Teams, Kaizala customers will be able to start transitioning to Teams
  • Meanwhile, Kaizala will continue as a standalone service, which we will continue to support and update

The main detail here is “enabling customers to use Teams to connect and coordinate with their extended networks – such as partners, suppliers, customers, and citizens – whether or not they are managed in your Azure Active Directory (AAD) environment.”. This is where Kaizala shines today.

Blog Reference here.

What about Kaizala free?


The blog talks about Kaizala Pro being replaced with Microsoft Teams in Office 365, but there is also a free version of Kaizala available to anyone. It’s unclear if this free service will continue I have asked for clarification.

What is Kaizala?

Microsoft Kaizala is similar to Whatsapp  (but with some additional intelligent features). It’s a mobile-first (iOS and Android and now a web app) group chat app, where anyone can join any group and identity is tied to phone numbers. Kaizala is focused on mobile first/only workers, more common in developing countries that may not have lots of PC’s and fixed internet connections, but do have mobiles and mobile coverage.

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his blog, Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions