Microsoft is Sunsetting Kaizala Messaging Service in Favor of Teams in 2023

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft is getting ready to sunset its Kaizala group messaging service next year. The company has informed its partners that it plans to retire the Kaizala platform on August 31, 2023, and transition all existing customers to Microsoft Teams (via ZDNet).

“Kaizala will be retired on August 31, 2023. Between now and then, current Kaizala customers will experience no change in service and may add new users to existing tenants as needed. However, as of August 26, 2022, no new tenants will be onboarded to Kaizala and new Microsoft 365 customers will be onboarded directly to Teams for chat, meetings, and calling,” Microsoft explained on the product lifecycle page.

Microsoft first launched its Kaizala service as an experimental Garage project for the Indian market in 2016. It’s a secure messaging and work management app that lets users collaborate with coworkers, distributors, partners, and customers. Kaizala offers useful collaboration features such as instant messaging, meeting invites, polls and surveys, task tracking, location sharing, and more.

Based on the feedback, Microsoft made the Kaizala service available to Microsoft 365 commercial customers in 2019. The company also planned to integrate Kaizala into Microsoft Teams, but it was eventually delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, Kaizala has been available as a standalone product as a part of some Microsoft 365 subscriptions.

Microsoft provides free Teams Exploratory licenses to Kaizala users

Microsoft didn’t explain why it’s shutting down Kaizla, but the service had a far smaller user base since most of its features made their way to the Teams collaboration platform. Microsoft Teams has been one of the fastest growing Office 365 services since its launch, and the app has surpassed 270 million monthly active users worldwide.

According to Microsoft, the deprecation of Kaizala will enable its partners to move more customers to Microsoft Teams. Microsoft isn’t expected to complete this transition until next year, but in the meantime, it has also provided some resources to make the process easier for organizations.

Microsoft is offering free Teams Exploratory licenses that allow Azure AD customers to test Teams for 12 months. Moreover, there are also some technical guides, planning documents, and free instructor-led training sessions.