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Microsoft's made-for-India networking app Kaizala ready for the world

Microsoft leveraged its global intellectual property through inputs from China, US, Europe, Israel then Asia and India to build Kaizala.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2018, 02.32 PM IST
NEW DELHI: In what is perhaps the first instance of a 'Made for India' product being exported to other countries by Microsoft, the technology giant plans to take its productivity-based networking app Kaizala to countries in Southeast Asia and Africa.

After its debut in India July last year, Kaizala, a suite of productivity applications built in a chat interface, is being tested and previewed in countries with similar mobile penetration trends as India and could be formally launched soon, said Anant Maheshwari, president at Microsoft Corporation (India).

“Any country in the world where mobile is the primary form of productivity and it’s not driven through email only or primary email, Kaizala becomes very relevant,” he told ET in an interview.

Microsoft leveraged its global intellectual property through inputs from China, US, Europe, Israel then Asia and India to build Kaizala, which is being used by a number of companies in India including Yes Bank.

Maheshwari said the company is also evaluating expansion of capacity of its local data centre operations — which was announced three years ago, soon after Hyderabad born Satya Nadella took over as the CEO of Microsoft Corporation.

While the company will continue to evaluate more locations within India, it is also looking at ramping up capacity within its existing three locations in the country, Maheshwari said. “Both options exist in terms of how we proceed,” he said. “In the last six months, we have seen a very significant uptake in the usage of the public cloud in India, which is causing us to ask the right questions around capacity planning.”

After Microsoft announced its datacentres in India, it has managed to get significant traction from companies in sectors such as banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) along with government entities since regulations require such firms to keep data within the borders of India.

In fact, Microsoft’s announcement led several global technology giants and its rivals such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) to also invest in local data centres in India.

Maheshwari said sectors that contribute to the cloud business include traditional sectors of manufacturing and BFSI while the ones coming up in a big way include information technology enabled services (ITeS), small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and startups, especially the unicorns.

Talking about the challenges, he said that when the goods and services tax (GST) was announced there was a lot of concern over what impact it will have on the company and its partner ecosystem.

Microsoft has, however, gained immensely from the tax reform, he said. A lot of GST suvidha providers (GSPs) needed the infrastructure and capability to run the new service that they were creating, and Microsoft offered them its Azure platform, he said. “We partnered with many of these GSPs to create that entire public cloud fabric for them, and suddenly that became from a challenge to an opportunity,” Maheshwari said.

Apart from key industries in the private sector, Microsoft is also betting big on the government’s digital initiative, he said. Projects such as Aadhaar, digital payments, India Stack, GST, etc. are enabling many new opportunities for the company, Maheshwari said.
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