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

Occasional Contributor

You guys seem to have a bit of ADD when it comes to collaboration applications these days.   I kind of thought everything was starting to come together with Teams being new flagship product, but then I see you release Kaizala to Office 365 users.   What exactly is the strategy here?

80 Replies
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.

@Chris Breisch 

It's kind of funny how you say:

"I can't explain to my staff or to my clients which app to use and why. I need yet another chat application on my desktop and on my phone."

Nobody is telling you what you need to use. If you can work with Teams only, you don't need to use Kaizala. If you dont want to use Yammer, just don't use it.

To everybody who is still confused about this:
Microsoft offers solutions for different demands.
If you don't need it, don't use it. 

I think you are missing the point.  When a company releases products that are so similar to each other, they confuse the customer and portray a corporate lack of focus.  Because of this, the consumer is left wondering which one will be killed off, thus leaving them stalled. You do not want to choose an ecosystem that has no future.@Lau_Dijksterhuis