Microsoft launches business-centric chat app in Kenya

10 February 2017

Digital Content

Following a successful launch and full testing in India over the past year, Microsoft has announced the launch of its productivity app Kaizala in Kenya.

Created as a chat app, Kaizala has been customised to be used by businesses as opposed to the normal chat applications. According to developers, the app is designed specifically with target markets of India, China and countries in Africa in mind - because of its suitability for the mobile economy.

Users can create action cards that will track different things from polls, surveys, business reminders, feedback forms and announcements. The application will also be able to track employees and tie a team into one communication platform. Other functionalities will be embedded once Microsoft releases their API for developers.

Rajiv Kumar, General Manager, Office Productivity Group at Microsoft India Development Centre said, "It is as simple as chat but it is super powerful in terms of helping you run your organisation."

Kumar said the application can host over a million people in a group in the app and it can mirror the organisation's hierarchy so that group administrators can select the person with whom they would like to engage.

Even though the app can accommodate a huge number of participants, the action cards will enable to reduce the noise seen in many social chat apps. Thousands users can respond to one request (represented by a card) and not crowd the interface.

Kumar said currently there is no charge for the services in the region, but there will be integration with Microsoft 365 through which they hope to generate revenue.

"In the developed world people talk about desktop and phone in the same sentence. But in this part of the world it is about just a phone. And if you look at the numbers we are already looking at billions of people who only have this device as a computing device," Kumar said.

"So we have to rethink and re-imagine productivity for mobile only. It can't be just take what we built for the desktop and bring it on phone, because then it will not work," he added.

Kumar also said that only China rivals Kenya in terms of the penetration of the mobile economy.

Kaizala will start taking in local pilot users before opening the platform up to all businesses.

Source: ITWeb 6 February 2017