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?

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If you mean Groups = email, then I think that MS has enumerated how it views Teams vs. Yammer vs. Email, with the Inner/Outer Loops diagrams shown since Ignite 2017.


As for Kaizala, well, yes that's a very good question I too would like an answer on.


This works most of the time - but doesn't really cover groups which are about learning - groups which are sort of outer loop - but the people are inner loop.  Yammer is good for this.


Best Response confirmed by Oliver Wolf (Microsoft)
Microsoft Kaizala makes it easy to connect and coordinate with your Firstline workers – wherever they are – using a simple-to-use chat interface. Efficiently manage work or collect data from individuals or large groups, even if they’re not in your organization. View built-in reports to get insights for faster decision making.
Kaizala is available with Office 365 and works on iPhone and Android phone. Kaizala is available in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Aren't the firstline workers who I'm communicating with using the app my "Inner Loop" contacts?  Why not use MS Teams for chatting with my colleagues?


This is a great point.  We believe that there are clear scenarios for each product:


1. Kaizala is recommended in emerging markets in scenarios where you are supporting an open network of people. Users can join Kaizala with just a phone number, with an option to connect their AAD identity

2. Teams is the center of collaboration & communication for Office 365 in the inner loop for your employees.

3.  Yammer is best for broad organization wide communities.


We will continue to communicate these scenarios as we build even more connective tissue between the products as appropriate.  For instance the Yammer connector enables community managers to collaborate on their community from within Teams.  You will see more of this as we head toward Ignite and the end of the calendar year.  I hope this helps clarify our design.


Bleh...sorry...I just threw up a little bit when I read about a Yammer connector for Teams while reading a response about where Kaizala should be used.


There is a massive ecosystem of products like this that don't come from Microsoft.   If I need a secret decoder ring to figure out what massing Microsoft system I need to deploy to communicate in use case A vs use case Z...then why wouldn't I look outside of Microsoft?     If I ask the same question of Slack around which tool to use...they have one answer for me.   It will be Slack every time.   Having multiple products that overlap with 80% functionality (or more) isn't just confusing for system implementers it is confusing for end users.   God forbid an implementer actually listen to your marketing noise on this and attempt to implement the wheel of communication for a single client...what would the users think?    I also can't help but find the irony that I'm typing this message in yet another proprietary communication persistent chat styled vehicle that isn't on the wheel.


>I just threw up a little bit when I read about a Yammer connector for Teams

This connector has a good purpose for many use cases. I have a theater session at Ignite where I'll be discussing how the suite can be used with IT organizations and this connector is something that can be useful.

e.g. use Teams for the "private backchannel" to brainstorm on answers to questions posed in "public" in Yammer.


As for Slack - well it's not hard to understand why a single-product company views it as a good solution for any problem. They only have one answer to give.


I just today saw this Kaizala.

You can already give access to outside vendors or collaborators in Teams.  Why would I have them use kaizala?  Why wouldn't I just create a Team for the project we are collaborating on at the time?


Seems like a lot of redundancy that isn't needed.  At least I don't see the need yet.


You really hit the nail on the head with the overlapping functionality. Instead of having one app that does everything, all these apps have major downfalls that force us to look at other solutions.


Quite honestly this is stupid and confusing.


I don't need yet another chat app. I have too many already. If Teams is missing functionality that you feel it needs, add the functionality. Don't duplicate existing functionality elsewhere.

I just got the notification today through Office365 and came searching for someone to speak some sense..

This is absolutely ridiculous..

I seriously cannot keep being a “champion” promoting and recommending our org through this mess.

I also think this is a bit annoying. Why don't just use Teams for every chat function... And make Teams chat so you can "pop out" just the chat window to replace Skype... Or make Kaizala thing into teams because I must say that I like the functionality of Kaizala... But there are to many communications spaces at the moment.


I understand everyone's passion here but let me clarify. There are regions, emerging markets and very specific scenarios for which Kaizala is an approporiate solution.  For most of us however Microsoft Teams IS the hub for teamwork in Office 365 and is the primary chat, collaboration and communication solution we should be focusing on.  


Office 365 groups is the membership infrastructure that Teams and other Office 365 workloads are built against to provide a single source of truth for team member and owner rosters.  While some organizations do use these groups within Outlook (since we launched them there prior to the advent of Teams) in most cases a move to Teams directly or through "teamifying" a O365 Group you own is the proper path.  


Yammer is appropriate for larger organizations (greater than 2500 people currently) who wish to drive employee engagement. Additionally its scenario is for the "outer loop" of communications where you are not working day to day with "team" or "tribe" members but are instead making a query of the broader organizational wisdom that can be at your fingertips. 


If your organization is committed to Office 365 and Teams there's no need to deviate from that.  Or if you are in the emerging markets where join by cellphone number is a key scenario to your work you may consider Kaizala.  It is all dependent on your business scenrio and requirements as most technology deployment are.  But just because it exists does not mean you have to consider it if your business doesn't warrant the need.    


So while it may seem like a "mess" from the outside it's important to remember that Microsoft deliveres software around the world and there are many different scenarios depending on your region and industry.   Our meeting the needs of those users does not mean you have to deviate from your stated collaboration & communication strategy!  Teams including chat, calling & meetings, Office ProPlus, SharePoint, Planner and Yammer (if needed) are a fantastic suite of capabilities that your users will love you for.  Especially when you connect them all together through the Teams experience and mobile apps.  


If you want to learn more about how to plan for this end to end experience join us over in the Driving Adoption forum here and in our O365 Champions program. We'll be talking about this very topic and more over there as well.  

Wouldn't a minimal Teams app accomplish exactly the same? Just like MS did with Skype Lite? This still seems a huge mess, waste of resources and competing products inside the same org! Very confusing product for someone that already uses your tools.

@Karuana Gatimu, sorry but I'm not buying what you're selling. It doesn't just seem like a mess. It is a mess, and no amount of spin is going to change that. 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. I have to remember which contacts are on which application, and if a contact is on multiple (likely), then every time I go to communicate, I have to decide which one to use.


If Teams is missing features, then add the features. Don't add another application that muddies the waters. 


This is a really dumb decision by Microsoft.


It appears unfocused and confusing because it is unfocused and confusing. No amount of spin will change that.


Thank you for clarifying this Karuana. I read GA announcement this morning on the way to work and was confused as to what the purpose of Kaizala serves in the Office ecosystem. It looks like we will continue to stick with Teams for our organization, but it's good that there is an application for organizations that are in regions that don't have the benefit of 4G and hopefully soon 5G telecommunications networks.



Microsoft...could we please get 5 different spreadsheet applications?   I mean...having Excel seems so silly when there are so many needs.   Don't even get me started on the idea of a one size fits all email client...that ludicrous...lets start pumping out some more email clients if you want to be a player in this new world you dream of.   One word processor...ridiculous.   What are you a one trick pony?



OK that was funny.

I hadn't thought of it that way but your right.

Excel/Word/Outlook, they have the ability to do so many different things for so many different types of users that no one, at least no I have meet yet, knows how to use all of their different features.


So why again is Microsoft coming out with Kaizala?


I agree that it would make more sense to put everything into teams and just stick with the one program.  It has so much potential why drag another app into this.  

They have already said they are going to replace Skype for Business with Teams.  That is two of the four combined. 

Teams already has a downloadable app so the Internet speed shouldn't be an issue right?

So what are you waiting for Microsoft?


I love this vibrant conversation and I mean that.  I do think maybe there's a part of this scenario that is being missed.  Think about our recent US elections.  Many campaigns have thousands of volunteers that onboard for only 3 months.  Adding each and every one of those people to your AAD infrastructure, generating credentials and then managing their exit can be a very large task.  This grassroots, governmental scenario was part of the birthplace of Kaizala and is relevant today in emerging markets as well as others.  Will some of these features exist in Teams one day - I can't speak to that.  As it is today we provide another product to facilitate this cellphone number join scenario and are already building in connective tissue between the two products that will allow people to participate conversations in either experience.  


This is an ever changing space so it's wise to stay focused on what is relevant to your company and its enterprise deployments.  We are here to help you make those decisions with targeted scenario guidance for both products.