Federating Office 365 — an ADFS Alternative

So you have finally taken the plunge and decided to adopt Office 365. But as you embark on the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) journey you come to realize that, as you adopt more and more SaaS applications, managing all these different logins could turn into a nightmare in the future. Not only would you have to touch each application when a new employee starts, but more importantly when an employee leaves. You start asking yourself questions like how do I manage to turn off access to all these cloud applications and how do I reclaim all the licenses from employees that have…

Does Migrating to Office 365 Have to Be So Difficult?

Does migrating to Office 365 have to be so difficult? IT certainly seems to think so. At the Gartner Catalyst conference in San Diego earlier this month, analyst Mary Ruddy outlined ten mistakes organizations tend to make when deploying identity and access management (IAM) for Office 365. One snag is how to connect to Azure Active Directory. Azure Active Directory is Microsoft’s cloud-based directory, which is the recommended for connecting into Office 365.   Active Directory is the near-ubiquitous on-premises directory that’s been widely used since Windows Server 2000. She outlined two common use cases for managing identity for Office 365,…

Morris Communications Selects Centrify for Office 365 Federation…and Saves Money on Box.com Licenses

Occasionally, customers figure out novel ways of using Centrify products that we might call “out there.” Take Snowy Hydro. It’s a big Australian utility, spread out over a large, rugged wilderness area that made mobile phone communication a real challenge for them — and communication is important inside critical infrastructures. Snowy Hydro initially evaluated Centrify Identity Service to help them manage their Macs. But during the eval, they realized they could use Identity Service’s MDM capabilities to push and manage a home-grown VoIP app to mobile devices, so they could communicate over their own Wi-Fi network, and no longer be out…

Office 365, Perficient and Centrify: Millions of Users Can’t Be Wrong

“…We’ve moved 2.2 million users to the cloud with Office 365.” I’ve done a lot of webcasts, and had a lot of co-presenters, but I don’t think I can remember one that started with a line that was quite as perfect as that one. That was Joe at Perficient talking.  And with that simple sentence, he had everyone’s complete attention.  He did a great job of speaking for those 2.2 million folks, too.  He spent the first part of our discussion laying out the challenges that he’s seen many customers face as they stare down the barrel of migration from…

Accelerating Office 365 Deployment and Consumption

You’re an Office 365 systems integrator partner and just witnessed a customer purchase an enterprise volume license for Office 365. Congratulations!  Your customer is now ready to onboard users from their directory into O365 and enable anywhere secure BYOD access to O365 — and you think this will be as simple as ABC. It should be…but let’s face it — the part of onboarding that involves service provisioning and identity integration is seen as THE biggest challenge to adopt O365. We have heard this first hand from many O365 partners. No wonder the deployment of O365 licenses still stands below…

Simplify and Centrify Your Office 365

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says: “The core products of this company are Windows, Office 365, and Azure. From a business model, those are the three big things we are very focused on. We ask how our effort is accruing to those things.” Small, medium and large businesses have all started either migrating or are considering moving to Office 365, this is due to Microsoft investing heavily in Office 365 and also showing the benefits of migration from traditional on-premises Exchange and Sharepoint to cloud-based Office 365. At Centrify, we are immediately seeing the benefits of this, as the majority of our discussions with…

Tackling End-user Application Adoption

The term ‘user adoption’ is or should be a familiar one. In the software world it’s the art of getting application users and administrators to mentally embrace and accept a new way of doing things. But it can be a tricky thing to master. There are two primary methods existing on how this new system is introduced to the end-users — fire hose approach and a phased rollout. Regardless of the method you choose, the adoption rates should be measured. If you are not measuring user adoption then you cannot ever be sure your implementation was successful. Make sure that…

Best Practices for Single Sign-on with Office 365

Many people are moving to an Office 365 environment to simplify control and maintenance of some of their core systems. These benefits can include the following: Overtime reduced for technical staff’s support for email systems. Reduction in on-premises storage requirements. Reduction in on-premises hardware requirements. Improved availability of service and redundancy (99.9% up SLA). Less concern for individual mailbox storage requirements. The ability to have a hybrid exchange model for hosting mailboxes locally, for situations where the hosted solution may not work. Single Sign-on (SSO) federated to your on premises Active Directory (AD). And last but not least, automated provisioning…

Provisioning and the Termination Nightmare

Back in my IT days, I was – among various responsibilities – tasked with managing user access from the time they were hired to the time they moved on (or were fired.) As I will discuss, this was often the most stressful part of my day-to-day. Now with the explosion of mobile users and SaaS applications such as Google Apps, Office 365 and hundreds of other apps, managing access has become even more error-prone and stressful. But they don’t have to be.

Alternatives to DirSync for Office 365 Provisioning, Part 2

In my last blog I talked about how Centrify User Suite provides a superior alternative to Microsoft’s DirSync for Office 365 provisioning. I discussed how DirSync requires additional hardware and software, is complex and difficult to set up, and does not handle license management. In this blog post I will give some additional reasons why Centrify is the best choice for Office 365 identity including support for multiple forests, differing internal and external domains and other flexibility and options for syncing AD changes.