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 snowy hydroreal 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 of touch where the cellular network ended and the wilderness began. They now manage their Macs and mobile devices, and they ensure uninterrupted communication and secure access to other critical apps. Very creative — and very cool.

And Snowy Hydro isn’t the only company to experience benefits of our solution powered by equal parts Centrify and customer creativity. Take Morris Communications, for example. MorrisMorris Comms logo is a large company with its finger in a lot of pies.They publish 12 daily newspapers and 30 non-dailies. They publish 150+ magazines under a variety of categories including travel, lifestyle, sporting and regional. And there’s a whole digital side of the business as well.

Morris outsources its IT services to NIIT Technologies, which is a global IT infrastructure solutions company. So when Morris decided to migrate from on-premises Office to Office 365, NIIT Technologies Solution Architect Arup Chakraborty was given the task of finding a solution that would provide the identity federation services Office 365 requires.

Now, to be fair, we had a history with Arup, so he knew what the product was capable of. And the truth is, you know you’re delivering a top-notch solution when the same customers come back again and again to buy your services for different organizations.

Now, I’m no stranger to the benefits of how Centrify Identity Service eases the transition to Office 365. I’ve heard many times how a customer walked down the migration path only to find they would be spending tens of thousands of dollars and a few months of IT resources building out and managing a complicated set of new servers and high-availability infrastructure, before they could even begin migration.

Centrify, on the other hand, can help these customers for whom additional infrastructure is a non-starter. Our solution requires no additional servers, post roll-out administration is minimal and implementation can be completed in hours. We love working with partners, and with Microsoft, to speed these kinds of Office 365 deployments.

In this case, because Arup had a solid understanding of the services we provide, he knew what we could deliver on the Office 365 implementation. But he was thinking outside the box, too (pun intended).

Morris had standardized on Box.com to share and store documents across their environment. The company was purchasing about $180,000 worth of user licenses each year. And Arup realized that a big chunk of that expense wasn’t necessary.

When employees left the company, someone would need to go in and delete their access to all apps across all departments. But that wasn’t happening. And Morris was left paying for unused licenses months or even years after employees had left the company.

With Centrify, user provisioning and de-provisioning is easy because each user can be added to a specific group within Active Directory to gain access to everything they need. No more need to manage individual accounts inside apps like Box. No multiple passwords required, either. In just a few months of using Centrify as a single sign-on solution for Box.com, Morris was able to substantially cut licensing fees by automatically de-provisioning users immediately when they leave.

In short, the ability to drop users immediately upon their departure and reassign those licenses to other employees resulted in some pretty hefty cost savings. And the same will be true for Office 365. With Centrify Identity Service, when users leave they’re immediately disabled in Active Directory — and through it, disabled across the board. End result: Morris is saving money.

I guess the moral of the story is, whether your company is spread out across a rugged, mountainous terrain, or you’re making the move to Office 365, Centrify can help. And it’s actually pretty likely you’re going to experience some features — and some benefits — you hadn’t even considered.