11 December 2017

Kenya: Microsoft Launches Productivity and Collaboration App

Photo: Allan Alingo/The Nation Media Group
The entrance to the Microsoft Campus.

Nairobi — Microsoft has launched Kaizala, a mobile app designed for large group communication, work management, reporting and analytics, integrated with Office 365.

Sebuh Haileleul, Country General Manager for Microsoft East and Southern Africa, says the app addresses several challenges faced by most businesses in Africa who manage field staff remotely.

"Task workers working on construction sites, or in manufacturing plants, retail shops and other industries, typically don't have a dedicated work space, computer or even email address. This makes it hard for managers to share and collect important information. Kaizala makes it easier and less time consuming for organisations to communicate, assign and track work in real-time, and create reports based on aggregated data," says Haileleul.

Businesses using Kaizala are able to connect with large groups of people across their entire value chain, wherever they are, all on a single platform on their mobile phone.

Haileleul adds that Kaizala extends beyond a communication function, enhancing business agility, collaboration and organisational productivity. Some of its unique features include the ability to:

"As we launch Microsoft Kaizala in Kenya, we hope to help connect the complete value chain, including even the unconnected parts of organisations - from small businesses to large enterprises and governments who wants to connect with their citizens," added Rajiv Kumar, Corporate Vice President, Office Product Group, Microsoft.

The app is officially being launched in Kenya today, following a soft launch in the country in February 2017, where users were encouraged to review and provide feedback on the service.

During the soft launch, Unilever collaborated with Microsoft's 4Afrika and Kaizala teams to pilot the app in its Nairobi factory, exploring the potential of going digital in their factories.

Based on their team's experience, which saw improved staff engagement levels and reporting, Unilever is currently exploring other uses of Kaizala in its extended supply chain as a workforce management tool.

M-KOPA Solar also piloted the app with 700 of their distributed sales force in Kenya, using it to communicate, provide remote training modules, and collect real-time sales data and location information.

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