Microsoft's chat app Kaizala targets businesses

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2017 02:33 PM

MANILA - Microsoft has launched in the Philippines its mobile messaging app that promises tougher security and functions even on slow 2G connections.

Kaizala is for businesses and large organizations, Microsoft said on Tuesday, adding it would not compete with Viber, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The Philippines is only the second market for the app after India, where it launched last July.

“We are not competing with social chat apps, they have their own space,” said Rajiv Kumar, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office India.

Early users of the app include Philippine Airlines and the Quezon City government, he said.

Rajiv Kumar, Corporate Vice President, Office Product Group, Microsoft presents the features of Kaizala during the app's launch at City of Dreams, Pasay City on Oct. 10, 2017. Photo handout

Kaizala protects user privacy and stores data in Microsoft data centers that adhere to industry standards for security, the company said.

The app allows administrators to control access to sensitive data and remove users instantly, making managing large chat groups easier, Microsoft said. It also lets users to assign tasks and track work progress.

Kaizala can also be used to set up meetings, conduct quick polls and surveys, create checklists and track the location of team members, Microsoft said.

Microsoft said Kaizala was designed specifically for emerging markets like India and the Philippines where PC penetration remains low but almost everyone has access to mobile phones. 

Bertrand Launay, Microsoft Philippines managing director, said that 69 percent of the Filipino workforce is "mobile-only" meaning they have smartphones but no desktops or laptops . 

Since a lot of organizations use chat apps on mobile phones to communicate, they thought about developing a chat app for remote work management for businesses, Launay said.

"With Microsoft Kaizala, they can better connect and coordinate with the entire team," Launay said.