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 50% — not a pretty statistic for O365 partners or customers or Microsoft.

So how can O365 partners get a quick and reliable onboarding service to speed up consumption and deployment of those new licenses? This blog will walk you through exactly that — a compelling approach with testimonials from an O365 partner, customer and Microsoft. Centrify’s solution is built on and powered by Azure — the same trusted platform that powers core functions of Office 365. You can rest assured, this is a Microsoft validated and trusted solution.

Lets walk through the onboarding journey of a typical new Office 365 customer — it involves two key phases.

Phase One — Assessment & Remediation

The first phase of onboarding starts with creating your O365 deployment plan between you as a partner and your customer, mainly to assess your customer’s current environment. During this phase of onboarding you will determine any areas of existing infrastructure that should be changed to ensure a great O365 experience. Things to assess and remediate are client operating systems, DNS, network, infrastructure and Active Directory.

Phase Two — Core Identity Enablement

When all remediation activities are complete, the project shifts to configuring the core infrastructure for service consumption and to provisioning O365 users from an existing user directory. You want to reduce the IT management of these directories, and more importantly you don’t want to ask your customers’ end-users to manage yet another account for every cloud application (no more passwords!).

To avoid security concerns like replication of credentials or synchronization concerns with freshness, identity federation to Office365 is often the safest and logical choice. But traditional federation tools come with a price of “farms of servers” to deploy and hassle of ongoing labor & maintenance related to constant configuration for new SaaS apps.

>>>> This is where it all breaks down <<<<<

Phase two becomes a multi-week marathon, mired with complexity and often times derailing, stagnating user adoption of Office 365.

You can accelerate your journey with Centrify’s Identity Service

Here’s how and why Office 365 partners are using Centrify Identity Service to quickly achieve “Core Identity Enablement” to deploy Office 365:

Centrify for O365-Azure

1) Centrify Cloud Connector Federation without the hassles

When you sign up for Centrify Identity Service, the Centrify Cloud Connector (downloadable software) is the only thing you need to install on a domain-joined server in the customer’s network. Cloud Connector proxies Active Directory or LDAP directory data to Office 365 without replicating users’ identity data into the cloud. No need to modify firewall policies or install anything inside the DMZ. Centrify reduces the time to roll out Office 365 into a few hours, rather than a few weeks.

2) Centrify Identity Service Built on Microsoft Azure

You can trust Centrify is as good as Microsoft for your mission-critical Office 365 services.  Centrify Identity
Service (CIS) is built on Azure — that leverages Microsoft’s industry-leading best practices in the design and works-with-office-365management of Office 365.  CIS is built with a zero-downtime architecture with worldwide multi-region data centers, localized into 15+ languages with SSAE 16 SOC 2, TRUSTe, EU Safe Harbor certifications. Microsoft has tested and certified CIS as a “Works with Office 365” solution — with established protocols and premier support agreements with Centrify to ensure quality joint customer support.

3) User provisioning and deprovisioning — Easy and automated

It’s easy to on-board users automatically into Office 365 using Centrify Identity Service. You can pre-assign roles with users and groups in the directory service for provisioning. When users log into Office 365 from the web client or Outlook client on their computer or phone for the first time, their account is available and accessible. If an employee changes job roles (for example, from engineering to sales), reassigning them to a different group in the directory service triggers a change to their software entitlements for Office 365. If an employee leaves the organization, removing them from your directory service automatically disables access to their Office 365 account. Easy come and easy go.

4) Future-proof identity federation beyond Office 365 — 3000+ App Catalog

The same Centrify Identity Service lets you control and simplify the application sign on experience for your end users, by using industry standards such as WS-Federation and SAML. This means SSO beyond Office 365 to thousands of other popular cloud or on-premises applications — all using customers’ existing on-premises identity directory via federation.

5) Partner and customer friendly — High satisfaction rate

Leading O365 systems integrators like Perficient have partnered with Centrify to help customers rapidly deploy and fast-track O365 service consumption. Centrify has a track record of successfully partnering with an active community of 250+ worldwide partners and achieving 97% retention rate across its 5,000+ customers, including nearly half of the Fortune 50.

James Baker - O365

SIs see the Centrify value in such partnerships as a huge strategic advantage to their organizations in not only helping to service and support the ongoing challenges of properly provisioning applications like Office 365 but also with other popular SaaS apps like Box, Docusign, Concur, and thousands of other SaaS and on premise applications. Moreover, Centrify’s Identity Platform is unique in providing a full featured enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution, a Privileged Identity Management (PIM) and Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solution — making Centrify a comprehensive secure identity vendor for today’s hybrid IT customers with cloud, mobile and data center deployments.

If you’re a Systems Integrator organization with a business focus on IT delivery and deployment, helping your customers evaluate and accelerate adoption and consumption of Office 365 and other SaaS applications, Centrify wants to talk with you!

Email to engage with us: <alliances – at – centrify – dot – com>