How to Use Instant Messaging in Your Business

Chat for Business
What MS Kaizala Can do For Your Business

How to Use Instant Messaging in Your Business

Quick, uncomplicated and always at hand. Instant messaging services are now used for far more than just personal communication and make work routines easier for many people. In Kaizala, Microsoft is presenting its own chat for business solution. Our expert Thino Ullmann uses this article to give us a low down on the message service and its most suitable uses.

What is Microsoft Kaizala?

Microsoft Kaizala is designed for Microsoft’s frequently cited frontline, i.e. task workers in particular (for instance service staff and production employees). These employee groups usually do not have a dedicated PC workstation and are therefore excluded from parts of the company’s communication. Instead they are reliant on pens and paper or insecure consumer messaging applications on their personal smartphones, even for communication at work. Microsoft Kaizala is built to slip into this niche and connect the entire workforce using a chat-based communications platform. The software also comes with a bucket full of handy features.

Unlike most consumer messaging applications, Kaizala satisfies requirements in the areas of security, compliance and data protection that companies virtually always have to adhere to. Among other things, this includes the fulfilment of Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) standards in all phases of product development, that clients remain in full possession of their data and that data handling follows the Office Trustworthy Computing (OTwC) guidelines. Also, because Kaizala is built on Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure technologies, the application fulfils the Office 365 Compliance Framework in regard to data processing standards.

Kaizala is only available as a smartphone app and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or from the Google Play Store. It is managed using the MS Office 365 Kaizala Admin Portal.

Which Features are Included in Microsoft Kaizala?

Like WeChat or WhatsApp, Kaizala offers messaging functions. Group chats for teams, departments or even the entire organization can be created as well. But voice and video telephony functions are not integrated. Microsoft distinguishes between a free Basic Version and a paid Premium Version (only available in these countries).

Basic features:

  • 1:1 and hierarchical group chat (refer to the section: “Kaizala structure”)
  • Media and document sharing
  • Integrated actions, for instance for polling, surveys, announcements etc.
  • Offline support

Premium features:

  • Group management organization
  • User management (e.g. removing users from groups and deleting group data from the device)
  • Public groups
  • Publication of user-defined actions
  • Extended reports and analyses
  • System integration and automation using Kaizala APIs

What are the Microsoft Kaizala Actions?

Kaizala Actions are best described as “mini-apps” that help users complete their work during a chat conversation. This may include tasks, surveys or polls. Many actions are pre-installed. What’s more, the Kaizala Connectors allow developers to integrate third-party applications using REST-based APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

How are Chat Groups Structured in Kaizala?

Kaizala allows you to structure your chat groups in a variety of ways. Organizations can choose between flat, hierarchical and public groups, depending on the requirements.

Flat groups:

Flat groups are among the standard Kaizala groups that enable simple communication between users, but that may also have additional Kaizala Actions integrated.  
New members are added to the group using their smartphone numbers. Only the owner can see the numbers to prevent their unintentional disclosure to the whole group, unless a member already has the other person’s details in their contacts.

Hierarchical groups:

Most companies do not have flat hierarchies within the organization. The hierarchical groups, which differ strongly from the interaction options within “flat groups”, were included to reflect this fact. The structure is predominately used to share information with the whole information or to collect data within the framework of surveys. Information flows top-down, and there is no parent-child relationship.
What does that mean in terms of the nitty-gritty? Allow me to explain this using the following diagram. If for instance people from the top level (Group A) perform a Kaizala Action (message, survey etc.), the subgroups (Groups B, C and D) will also receive the information and can respond – e.g. by completing the survey. The chat function is disabled on the top levels in this case (parent group). Only the subgroups can perform Kaizala Actions such as posting likes.

MS Kaizala Hierarchical Group
source: Microsoft

Public groups

These are groups that the group owner has created to interact with a large number of people. Unlike conventional group chats by other providers, the group owner can interact 1:1 within the group, but the members are sealed off from each other and are therefore unable to see themselves or communicate within the group.

The areas in which this kind of group can be useful include interaction with customers, suppliers or external service providers.

MS Kaizala Public Groups
Source: Microsoft

Summary: What is Microsoft Kaizala good for?

Microsoft’s chat for business solution catches the eye with its secure and controlled exchange of data and information in particular. Kaizala protects user privacy and stores data in secure Azure data centers that meet all the requirements of data protection.

Besides scoring points with security, data protection and compliance, organizations are bound to find the various group chat variations particularly interesting.

  • Tuesday 06 November 2018

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Author

Thino Ullmann, Senior Technical Presales Executive

Thino Ullmann Go-To-Market Manager Central Europe

Microsoft products with a focus on Modern Workplace and Cloud Computing

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