By Greg Keller Posted July 20, 2016
The migration to Office 365 can simply mean moving your productivity suite to the cloud.
But there’s an opportunity for businesses using Microsoft’s new cloud-based productivity suite to turn Office 365 into so much more: a unified set of identities that allow admins to provision and deprovision access to all IT resources from one centralized management console.
Wait. What? Office 365 can function as a Directory?
Not exactly, but yes, O365 identities can serve as the core identities for your business, extending to your WiFi, laptops, desktops, servers, on-pre and cloud applications and devices.
Here’s how it works.
You’ll need three things to centralize user management with Office 365:
- An active Microsoft O365 domain
- Global Administrator privileges over your O365 domain
- Directory-as-a-Service® (read the DaaS Primer)
Okay. Ready to begin? Here’s the quick run-down
Note: a more thorough step-by-step guide is offered on our Knowledge Base.
User Import and Identity Sync
You can authorize the cloud-based directory service (DaaS) to sync O365 with the click of a button.
From there, you’ll login with your Global Administrator account, which will maintain a persistent connection between Office 365 and JumpCloud’s virtual identity provider. Microsoft will ask you to verify the permissions you’re granting JumpCloud.
Then JumpCloud’s cloud directory will immediately launch you into an Import User session within a new tab. Select the users that you want imported and click ‘import’. That begins the sync.
Provision and Deprovision Users
Your users will begin in an inactive state. As an admin, you have authority to activate any account and allow it to be leveraged by other directory resources.
JumpCloud maintains an ‘authoritative’ stance to the Office 365 account, so changes that you make through the JumpCloud control panel will be pushed to Office 365. For instance, if you change the name of a user, this change will automatically be reflected in O365.
Again, a more complete step-by-step guide to this process can be found here, but it really is fairly simple to synchronize Office 365 with your cloud directory and gain centralized control over your users through one management console.
What Can You Manage through the Admin Dashboard?
JumpCloud’s management console gives you centralized control over Office 365 identities including the ability to:
- Provision and deprovision access to IT resources
- Change usernames and passwords
- Disable Office 365 accounts
- Extend Office 365 identities to systems, cloud infrastructure, WiFi authentication, other applications, and more
- Unify an employee’s identity across Office 365, Google Apps, system login (Mac, Windows, or Linux), WiFi, cloud apps, legacy software, and servers
Now Office 365 can Function as Your Primary Directory
JumpCloud’s DaaS can make O365 identities the core identities at your enterprise. A SaaS-based Identity-as-a-Service platform is versatile, working seamlessly across operating systems, protocols, and infrastructure (whether on-premises or in the cloud).
For these reasons and more, we truly believe that DaaS is the directory of the future.
But how can you know if the DaaS is right for you?
That depends. DaaS is great for organizations that are using O365 or Google Apps, thanks to the ability to automatically import users.
If you’re using Active Directory, DaaS can work as an AD extension to cloud resources or as a total replacement of AD. After all, if you are moving to O365, why would you want to maintain an on-premises directory service?
If you don’t have a directory and you’re growing, DaaS is the perfect fit, eliminating the need to invest in costly infrastructure and maintain it. Think of it as your cloud Active Directory except for modern infrastructure.
The best part is that JumpCloud’s SaaS-based directory service is cost-effective. It’s free for the first ten users, so you can take DaaS for a test drive at no cost to you.
Learn more about DaaS and Office 365
Feel free to contact our team with any questions you may have.
We also have some resources to share with you on our integration with Office 365, including this guide to getting started with user import and this overview of Microsoft Office 365 provisioning and sync.