By Jon Griffin Posted June 16, 2017
For a few years there, Microsoft had been pushed back onto their heels with the meteoric rise of Google Apps. But Microsoft has finally started to fight back.
Microsoft Office 365 has gained a great deal of momentum in the cloud productivity software marketplace. While Google Apps (now called G Suite) has over 5mm customers, Microsoft with Office 365 has been shifting their entire customer base over to the cloud platforms Azure and Office 365.
Both productivity solutions are struggling with how to manage their user access. A key cloud IAM feature for Office 365 integration is helping IT organizations shift completely to the cloud.
Moving IAM to the Cloud?
The IAM (identity and access management) space is tightly linked to how IT admins are thinking about their move to either Office 365 or G Suite. With the productivity platform shifting to the cloud including the file server and email, IT admins are wondering why their identity management platform needs to stay on-prem.
Historically, IT organizations have leveraged Microsoft Active Directory® as their identity provider. AD was coupled with Microsoft Exchange and that was the core infrastructure. Microsoft Office was the productivity platform and the domain controller would enable access to the network, which would then federate access to other IT resources on the network that were Microsoft-based. Everything worked as well as needed, providing that everything remained Microsoft-based.
But as IT organizations shifted their email, file server, and productivity suite to the cloud, many IT admins started to ask why their the directory service needed to stay on-prem. Microsoft, of course, has tried to address this with Azure Active Directory. Unfortunately, Azure AD is not a replacement to Active Directory. It is more of a complement. Active Directory is the on-prem, core authoritative source for directory services, while Azure AD is a user management system for Azure and Office 365.
The True Cloud IAM
There is another modern cloud IAM platform that seamlessly integrates with Office 365, but plays the role as a complete alternative to Active Directory. Called Directory-as-a-Service®, this cloud IAM solution securely manages and connect user identities to the IT resources they need including systems (Windows, Mac, Linux), cloud and on-prem servers (e.g. AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, etc.), web and on-prem applications via LDAP and SAML (e.g. Office 365, G Suite, etc.), and wired and WiFi networks via RADIUS. It is a reimagination of Active Directory and LDAP for the cloud era.
If you would you like to learn more about the cloud IAM feature for Office 365 integration, drop us a note. We’d be happy to walk you through how you can shift your entire infrastructure to the cloud, including your legacy Active Directory instance. Additionally, feel free to give our cloud directory service a try for yourself. Your first 10 users are free forever.