You might be reading this thinking, “what is Kaizala“, and if you are, I don’t blame you.  What if I was to tell you that it’s a “simple and secure mobile chat app for work” (straight off the product website).

Sounds good?  Absolutely.

What if I told you that it was part of Office 365?  Now what do you think?  Perhaps you think “Great!  This is exactly what I was waiting for, a true WhatsApp replacement”.

Or maybe you’re in the “What…another place to message people in Office 365???????????”.  I’ve been floating between the two of those for a little while, but now I’m firmly in the former.  Before I explain why, I want to focus on that sentence from Microsoft:

“simple and secure mobile chat app for work”

The first word is by far the most important for me in that sentence (I know, I know, security is crucial… But hear me out first).  After working in the Microsoft world for over 10 years where everything I did was pretty much in that ecosystem, I can tell you that Microsoft don’t always put simplicity first in their product design.  Let me give you an example: Dynamics CRM.  This is not a simple, intuitive experience in my opinion.  Part of my role in Hable is to manage the sales business, and we use HubSpot as our CRM.  It’s free and my word, its simple.  It’s easy and therefore I use it.  No, that’s not right actually.  I use it because I enjoy the experience.  This sounds borderline ridiculous but it’s true!  I even met up with a friend I used to work with recently and I showed her… yes, it is likely that she’ll never meet up with me again, but it shows the power of simplicity.

I do think these words have a powerful link – simple and enjoy.  I tried writing this with “Simplicity” and “Joy” but that sounded a bit like an interview I heard with someone from Amazon who kept saying that “we delight customers”.  I’ve never used the word delight again since that happened.  Anyway, I digress.  There are systems/tools/applications that I have used in work that are effective.  They help me to do my job.  If they help me to do my job, then I feel good about them.  I’m a simple creature and it’s a straight equation for me:

value=does it help me to do my job better than I could without it?

Great, that’s tick one.  But what if it could help me to do my job better than I could do already AND it was simple?  That moves from something that I value to something that I enjoy.  Why’s that powerful?

Back to Dynamics CRM.  I used that every day for most of my Microsoft career.  As a seller I had to use it.  As a Sales Manager I had to use it.  Dynamics CRM is huge and immensely powerful, but I only ever used what I HAD to, which was probably about 5% of its full capability.  Now take HubSpot.  I actively look for other things that I can do with it.  It’s already helping me to do my job, but I proactively spend time trying to see what else I can do with it.  I’m interested, I’m curious.  I want to explore it.  That’s powerful.

And this is why I’m excited about Kaizala.  It’s simple.  It’s easy.  If you are one of the 300 million people that use WhatsApp, then you’ll barely notice the difference.  It’s the first time that I’ve seen Microsoft put simplicity at the heart of its product in my humble opinion.  If it integrates well into the Office 365 platform (my hope would be that it either replaces Chat in Teams or at least seamlessly integrates the two) then I think it’ll be a huge asset for lots of industries.  I doubt there’s a hospital in the country that isn’t using WhatsApp in some form.  They probably know it’s not safe to do so and that they shouldn’t be sharing any data on there, but they have to as there isn’t a simple alternative that their staff will use that helps them to do their jobs.  Perhaps with Kaizala now there is…

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