Directory-as-a-Service® plus Office 365

Written by Rajat Bhargava on May 25, 2016

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More IT organizations migrate to the cloud every year. Now, Microsoft® is enabling this movement with Office 365.

Microsoft is shifting on-premises Exchange email functionality to the cloud, similar to what G Suite™ has done with their corporate email version of Gmail. In addition, licensing for their extremely popular Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more) is now handled through their Office 365 subscription service.

The Office 365 package still enables organizations to leverage their existing on-prem office suite hosted on each personal machine, but it also allows organizations to shift their productivity suite to the cloud.

What this Move Means

With this fundamental shift in Microsoft’s licensing and strategy, organizations are now moving their entire infrastructures to the cloud. Taken in conjunction with AWS®, Google Compute Engine, or even Azure®, IT admins are looking to move everything to the cloud.

The challenge has become how to shift their directory services to the cloud. Historically, these organizations have leveraged Active Directory. But with the shift to the cloud, IT organizations don’t want an on-prem directory service any more. Another factor is the move to heterogeneous infrastructure. Active Directory is built for Windows. It struggles when asked to manage user access to the variety of systems, applications, cloud infrastructure, and networks in an organization’s environment.

Azure Active Directory is not an option for these organizations as they need to control user access to on-prem IT resources as well as those in other cloud infrastructures.

Overcoming Office 365 Cloud Challenges

For IT organizations, this new era of cloud infrastructure with Office 365 has been a huge challenge to control and manage. But the JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® platform now supports integration with Microsoft Office 365. IT organizations can now shift completely to the cloud. No longer does their directory service need to be on-prem while their productivity platform lives in the cloud.

JumpCloud’s cloud-based directory service centralizes user identities in the cloud while provisioning, de-provisioning, and managing those identities within Office 365. Now a user’s Office 365 identity can be the same identity that is used with their systems, applications, and networks. A user’s credentials can also be leveraged with cloud servers at AWS, your on-prem WiFi infrastructure, LDAP-based applications on-prem, and your cloud applications. Finally, you can have one central user identity across all of your infrastructure, thanks to a SaaS-based identity service.

Office 365 beat out Salesforce® in 2015 to become the most widely used cloud application among businesses [Recode]. But it’s more than just another app. Office 365 is a central user database for many organizations. Unfortunately, that user identity doesn’t connect to everything an individual needs.

Even AD or Azure AD don’t give IT organizations the flexibility of platform support, locations, or protocols to have a single identity service in the cloud. JumpCloud’s SaaS-based directory service connects user identities to all of the IT resources those users need, regardless of whether they come from Office 365, AD, or G Suite.

Office 365 + DaaS

Learn more about how Directory-as-a-Service plus Office 365 can move your organization to the cloud and eliminate the need for AD or Azure AD.

Centralize your user management with an independent cloud-based service. Give our Identity-as-a-Service platform a try for yourself. Integrate it with your Office 365 environment with just a few steps.

Your first 10 users are free forever. And, please let us know if we can answer any questions about our directory services platform.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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