Centrify Extends Microsoft Partnership with Office 365 Single Sign-On Solution

Centrify has been a longtime valued partner of Microsoft as a result of bridging Microsoft’s Active Directory to millions of UNIX/Linux systems, Mac/mobile devices and on-premise applications.  As we began talking to Microsoft about what was most important to them in the cloud space, they outlined that the Office 365 business just surpassed the billion dollar mark and they expect up to 60 per cent of their customer base to move from on-premise Office to the Office365 SaaS application over the next five years.

The biggest hurdle that Microsoft is facing on this migration opportunity is their customers’ desire to retain their existing on-premise Active Directory infrastructure as their primary identity repository. While Microsoft does have a product called ADFS that can address this requirement, it has been widely acknowledged that ADFS not only slows down the deployment of Office 365 but also mandates the installation of net new on-premise infrastructure for a cloud solution – defeating the purpose of moving to a complete cloud business solution in the first place. Microsoft’s customers and partners recognize that ADFS is friction that doesn’t help anyone and it is a competitive issue vis-à-vis Google Apps.

Preferred Solution for SSO to Office 365

Centrify is pleased to deliver a solution for fast & easy migration to Office 365, that also nicely extends its strategic partnership with Microsoft. With Centrify for Office 365, organizations can simplify and speed Office 365 initial deployments and migrations within a matter of an hour versus two weeks or more for ADFS. This means Microsoft’s Office 365 field sales teams and channel partners can look forward to working with Centrify and help unblock sales barriers for widespread enterprise grade adoption of Office 365. Centrify also announced that Microsoft has evaluated Centrify for Office 365 across key user scenarios and has qualified it as a “Works with Office 365” solution.

User Portal

In one sense, Centrify is a drop-in replacement for “ADFS without the fuss” to get up and running with Single Sign-on for Office 365 in minutes instead of days or weeks. Centrify has built support for rich client support to Office 365 from Outlook, Lync and Office clients on both Windows and Mac.

Arpan Shah, Senior Director of Product Management for Office 365, Microsoft had this to say:

“Office 365 is on track to be one of the fastest growing businesses in Microsoft’s history, We look forward to working with partners like Centrify who enable a frictionless experience for customers looking to leverage their Microsoft Active Directory for seamless federation to Office 365.”

Centrify is “on strategy” as a Microsoft Office 365 partner

While there are some SSO solutions in the market for Office 365, Centrify is more aligned with Microsoft from a vision, technology and platform level in several ways:

  1. Centrify’s cloud service is built on Windows Azure.
  2. Unlike competitive solutions Centrify does not merely synchronize with Active Directory for user information but rather natively integrates and retains the customer’s Windows Server Active Directory infrastructure as the identity provider.
  3. Centrify’s solution provides secure browser SSO to a rich catalog of 100s of pre-integrated SaaS apps.
  4. Centrify delivers “Zero Sign-On” (ZSO) for rich mobile clients that require access to Office 365, providing a native mobile-first user experience.
  5. The Centrify cloud service enables user self-service for mobile device management and Active Directory profiles while auditing all management and user activities.
  6. Unlike competitive offerings, the Centrify SSO solution does NOT host a new cloud directory that competes with Microsoft’s Windows Azure Active Directory.
  7. Centrify for Office365 is FREE!

For a variety of these reasons, Microsoft has also qualified Centrify as a Works with Office 365 Identity Interop Program partner. The key objective of this program is to enable customers adopt Office 365 by using partner identity solutions with minimal friction.
See Centrify for Office 365 in action here:

We at Centrify are enthusiastic to work with Office 365 sales & partner organizations and excited to align with Microsoft’s sales motion to help springboard the adoption of Office 365 by businesses of all sizes, in particular highly regulated enterprise environments!