Kaizala vs Yammer vs Teams vs Skype For Business vs Office 365 Groups

Sorry, but I have to agree with everyone else...Kaizala is confusing the Microsoft communications ecosystem.  First of all, Groups needs to die out quickly.  It is really old, clunky and is overall a bad technology.  Along with Groups, Sharepoint needs to die a hard death.  Not only is it only an clunky, but it is holding Microsoft's best technology back from being great.  OneDrive is slow and clunky because of its Sharepoint underlining. I will say this, Kaizala and Yammer are super fast and fluid.  I would attribute Yammer's speed to it not being build on the Sharepoint foundation.  Planner is a great idea, but royally stinks because of Sharepoint.  Honestly, I would love the opportunity to help Microsoft fix these issues.  Unfortunately, this rising generation of users is all about Gmail, Trello and Dropbox because they work fast and fluidly.@Karuana Gatimu 

I agree with your comments. The issue I have is that we have yet another tool vying for our attention and it is really confusing. After playing with Kaizala, there are some cool feature that could easily be integrated into Teams or Yammer. My problem with Teams and OneDrive is the insistence of building on SharePoint. SharePoint is holding these tools back because it is clunky and inflexible.

@Scott Pleasants 

While I do appreciate what you are saying, I do not find SharePoint as clunky, at this point in our deployment. 


With Teams, I have an integration point for almost everything within our environment. Being able to attach team sites to a Hub site has helped the integration into our SharePoint environment. Office 365 Groups is that attaching point that we are utilizing. Even Yammer allows integration into SharePoint and Teams.


I do agree that Kaizala is confusing the communications ecosystem, but we do not know whom Microsoft is targeting with this offering. From everything I have seen in Office 365, there is a method to their madness. We just do not know what it is at this point in time.

@Karuana Gatimu I understand the use case for Kaizala in emerging markets and easy on-boarding of users. Thank you for the clarification of where it fits in.


Here is what I don't understand, as an Office 365 Admin who is trying to increase adoption of Teams and migrate from Skype for Business. Why is Kaizala forced on us by default and why are the user controls so limited for an Admin? This morning we came in to find that Kaizala licenses had been enabled for all of our 100,000 + users in our tenant.  So, that means the Kaizala app will now appear in the app launcher.  This is not an unusual scenario for us, so we read up on how to disable Kaizala for our tenant in O365 Admin Center.  Short answer, we cannot. 

So, we have to dig in and find the Kaizala Management portal.  We can disable Kaizala for our organization from that portal.  However, that does not remove the app from the O365 app launcher, it just prevents our users from logging onto Kaizala with their O365 organization credentials.  So now we have to sweep thru all users and disable Kaizala license until we have the opportunity to understand the app and figure out if we can support it.  Then we need to figure out how to communicate where it fits in with all the other messaging and collaboration tools we support.


Our main feedback here is:


Don't enable new app licenses by default and if you do, please provide consistent methods of disabling the app for larger organizations.

Thank you.

Egad @Tim to...just like that new app roles to thousands of users with zero change management.   Really Microsoft?   Just really?

Bit late to the party here as it's only just popped up in our O365 stack, here in the UK.

Agreed. I like that diagram analogy but the lines are becoming so blurred with SaaS/O365 solutions that's it's hard feel a bit bemused as leader of an IT function. Users don't think about any of the stuff that we as tech architects do, but then again I wonder what would happen if we just opened up all the capabilities and left them to steer the boat on their own....



There is good and bad in opening the gates. Most people do not know more than just the Office suite. I am finding it difficult to get people to look at the portal, even my IT department. People are so set in their ways that, majority of the time, people will never find out.


We have everything opened and available for people to use. I am doing this so that I can get some grass roots support for many of the M365 applications. But, it is going no where fast. If I do not tell people about a capability, it will go unnoticed.


Adoption is the key to all of M365. Just need to find that business case and go with it.

Absolutely. You haven't seen 'set in their ways' until you've worked in IT for a UK law firm though! To say it's a challenge deciding how and what to do with O365/M365 would be an understatement.

We're on a big push with the collaboration side of Teams, including video, messaging and co-authoring both internally and with external clients so you can imagine how much of a spanner this new chat client will throw in the works if anyone stumbles across it!
Hi James, also agree with you. Its called "Shadow IT". On my side, people were CONVINCED that competing Apps, without mentioning, were the best but since I introduced Teams AND explained on a whiteboard how each O365 App looks and represents the SAME data from each perspective and why, they immediately understood the eco-system drive that MS is pushing for. I was able to to convey WHY each app is there: Delve, Planner, Stream, etc.

But, to tell people that they will be better off using Kaizala instead of Teams, or the other way around? Not so much. They say that Kaizala is for low sporadic bandwidth (Offline type) and Teams typically high bandwidth. Technically it makes perfect sense from that perspective but technically still blurry in terms of functional overlap. Why then not have a Teams Light version instead with the Kaizala features in it for both ? Yammer... oh dear. Uhmmm... :)


@Cyberflake wrote:
On my side, people were CONVINCED that competing Apps, without mentioning, were the best but since I introduced Teams AND explained on a whiteboard how each O365 App looks and represents the SAME data from each perspective and why, they immediately understood the eco-system drive that MS is pushing for. I was able to convey WHY each app is there: Delve, Planner, Stream, etc.

I'm hoping to get to this part...

Urgh, Shadow IT. We avoid that at all costs.
I fully support this broken, fractured eco system of apps... This is the funniest thread I've read in a while.
MS needs to lean in, acquire the rights to AIM, and go deeper

@AndyA655 or perhaps they could acquire Yahoo Messenger?   I think it must be a requirement at the University of Washington for all Information Technology degrees that you must write a chat app before you graduate.   


And for Phd' must write a programming language.


Just what the world needs is more of the same done differently that is completely incompatible with everything ever done before it?    



Thanks for the clarifications @Karuana Gatimu.    However, if the use case for Kaizala is limited to specific scenarios, consideration should be given by Microsoft to the disruption that can be caused by rolling out a new product as on-by-default across tenancies. I can't find mention of the roll-out in the Office 365 Admin Centre.


This is not something admins want to find out about from their customers. Once something is out, it's very hard to pull back. Think about the impact to service desk operations when something like this appears for clients without prior warning, and the disruption when it is turned off.  This type of approach to rolling out new services is not inspiring good will, and by the comments on this thread, is unwelcome.  We have raised the issue of services being rolled out this way previously with our TAM.  It appears the message is not getting through. 


A far more reasonable approach would involve a better communication plan for new and substantially changed services, and for those services to be rolled out as off-by-default.  This will give admins time to evaluate the use cases against their own environments, perform due diligence relating to data sovereignty, and plan communications with their customers.  This is not an unreasonable requirement.

@Karuana Gatimu, that makes sense, but again, a very limited application that doesn't warrant rolling out as on by default for all tenancies. More disappointing is that it appears to have features that Teams is seriously lacking if it is ever going to be a successor to SfB. It would be great if the same clean interface, analytics etc could be available in Teams.

@Karuana Gatimu The user experience now with Kaizala is really non-optimal.


1) We have disabled Kaizala

2) But now the App Launcher app appears to all users - and when they click on it it says "this has been disabled by your IT administrator"


Shouldn't disabling it, you know, dis-able it?  

It should, but unfortunately does not work that way. You need to disable the licenses which were enabled automatically some time last week. At least that is what we are seeing in our EDU tenant.
I think you're on to something here... lol

@Karuana Gatimu I'm a newcomer to this thread. As a provider of business/collaboration analytics across the Yammer/Teams space, even only choosing between these two, causes many of our clients  anxiety. While the Inner/Outer Loop frame and your comments provides some cognitive comfort, it doesn't remove their anxieties about using the 'right' tool. 


What I have discovered from analysing thousands of groups on Yammer/Teams and competitive product Workplace by Facebook is that when people start groups they really only have a vague idea of what type of group it really is intended to be e.g. Team, community, forum etc.. If you are vague about what group type you want to be, then any technology/platform choice is going to be problematic. 


I have taken the view that once your intended group type is clear to you and your fellow members, then the choice of tool/platform will become clearer and the size of the 'menu' becomes less of an issue. We are trying to help this process in Teams by identifying the type of group you are behaving like, based on the team's operational patterns. We already know that many 'Teams' on MS Teams are not really teams in a conventional sense, just by the large number of members they have. So if there is a mismatch between your intention and reality then you can intervene; even changing platforms/tools if need be.


I know I'm changing the direction of the thread here, but simplistically all that I'm saying is that if you know what you want to eat then the size of the menu becomes less of an issue!



@llocklee I agree fully with what you are saying.  The problem though is when changing your "team type" means deploying a completely new platform that is 100% incompatible with your prior platform you've lost tremendous value.  From Microsoft's perspective...anyone that is looking to switch from Teams to say also highly likely to consider other alternatives (meaning they are likely to lose business).   What would be far better would be to have an option in Teams to pick your "team type".   A given "team type" could and should be able to service a highly quality experience to multiple inner/outer loop clients without requiring the user to leave Teams.   The whole inner/outer loop thing just strikes me as marketing trying to find purpose for multiple acquired applications without appropriate vision being applied to the product space from a software engineering perspective.   


If I go onto something like to build a website, they will ask me what kind of website I a product, sell a product, sponsor an event, etc, etc.   Teams could use something similar where the "team type" is just a couple of different pre-built template teams that can and should be able to serve all use cases.

@Karuana Gatimu This is an interesting discussion with valid points on both sides.


Where I am conflicted is in choosing which collaboration tool to use. In addition to performing my day-to-day activities and making strategic and architectural decisions, I now need to add another layer when I am communicating with others--Outlook? Teams? Skype? Yammer? Kaizala? If I have to mentally process a flowchart every time I'm collaborating, I just going to arbitrarily pick a tool (even if it is the less effective one).


And if I need to perform a search, even now I do it up to three times (i.e., Outlook/Skype, Teams, and Yammer) before I give up in frustration.


In this case, in my experience, this addition of more and more solutions has made my work life more [unnecessarily] complicated. If you had a tool that could automagically figure out which ecosystem to use without any effort from me as well as aggregate searchable content I could better live with it.


To leave with a quote from a Vanity Fair article where there are examples of other notable people in history:


"You also need to remove from your life the day-to-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” [Obama] said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions."


@Kevin Crossman Agreed on wanting an answer...


@Karuana Gatimu  @Joel Janke 

I know I am probably beating a dead horse here, but here it comes:


Email => Collaboration outside the Corporation

Yammer => Announcements and General Broadcast Information (Facebook or LinkedIn board for inside the Corporation)

Skype for Business (migrating to Teams) => Chat, file management for PC users from within the Corporation (Messenger for Web or WhatsApp for Web)

Kaizala => Mobile oriented Chat, file management for within a Corporation (FB Messenger, Google Messages, WhatsApp, SMS, etc.)


If I am off base, then tell me.  It seems as though Microsoft needs to pull all these things into one Application.  Many people thought that Microsoft Teams would be it.


Clarification is needed...

@fixedgeanutI believe that Microsoft Search does cross boundaries and looks at all available areas to search for related topics. If I am incorrect in this, I hope that Microsoft is resolving this issue.


I personally think that Kaizala needs to be rebranded as Teams Lite. This will help with the branding of the M365 applications.  I do agree that all of these collaboration areas are confusing for the administrators and how to assist our end users in finding the correct area for collaboration. 

@Opusman With the recent announcement, Kaizala is now moving to Teams, just like S4B. So no need to choose anymore.

@Opusman if only it were as simple as a classification scheme! Unfortunately when you collaborate with others, they need to agree on your classification e.g. Communicating outside can also happen on Teams and not explicitly only email. So we have to agree on the platform with those we collaborate with.


Also the nature of our collaboration can and will change over time. A simple chat could lead to the formation of a community and the same time a community or forum could morph into an action oriented team.


So its not just a personal decision we are making...there are other stakeholders....

I would have to agree that we do need a good search engine. As someone who collaborates on at least 5 or 6 different platforms a good cross platform search engine could help me find where I was having that conversation ... :)

Spot on! Imagine if mature companies' comms policies are well defined but conclusively different whereby both are right but one has to give in to the other platform for instance. This means transposing from one to the other platform to stay compliant. Perhaps as the overlapping tools are combined into one like they are doing now with Kaz into Teams, then it all doesnt matter.

@Christopher Graves For some reason I only noticed this app now. I think most people would not be here if better communication existed. I shouldn't have to go to a forum to get a clear explanation as to what is best used for what scenario. That should be provided super clearly when i click the app. This way I am not confused and thinking that I need to use this new and improved chat feature that may not even be intended for me to begin with. Why is this special wheel and well said description not being popped up when I first go onto a page.

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