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Office 365 has been gaining momentum. Last week Office 365 Home Premium Edition passed the 1 million subscription mark. Before that it was reported that one in five of Microsoft’s enterprise customers have now subscribed to Office 365, up from one in seven a year ago. With more companies embracing Office 365, IT departments are likely to face additional challenges of deploying, supporting and managing access to cloud hosted versions of Office's server platforms. Enter Centrify for Office 365.

Centralize Your Office

With this new tool, Centrify, known for unifying the enterprise identity across data centers, cloud and mobile, allows organizations to simplify and speed Office 365 migrations and initial deployments within a matter of an hour for employees, reduce help desk burden, improve access controls, and leverage their existing Active Directory infrastructure and skill sets. Additionally, Microsoft has evaluated Centrify for Office 365 across key user scenarios and has qualified it as a “Works with Office 365” solution.

Centrify for Office 365 is an Azure-based service that delivers full support for Office 365 by simplifying the deployment of federated identity, providing a rich catalog of pre-integrated SaaS apps, and delivering “Zero Sign-On” (ZSO) for rich mobile clients that require access to Office 365. As such, it eliminates many of the challenges commonly associated with active directory federation, which often cause unwanted delays. With Centrify for Office 365, it’s a 5-minute install, complete with a set up wizard component.

Improving the IT and End-User Experiences

Rather than letting another SaaS application create yet another silo of identity and access control challenges for your company, Centrify lets you take control by centrally authenticating users with their Active Directory identity. As a result, IT gains control as well as valuable insights into which applications are in use, and can easily update access to business critical SaaS applications when users leave the organization or assume new roles.

It also optimizes the end-user experience, by allowing users to easily reset their Active Directory password, unlock their account, and manage their personal data inside Active Directory themselves. If the Centrify for Mobile solution is installed on their mobile devices, users can also enable self-service features such as locating, locking or wiping their lost device.

A Budding Partnership

Centrify has enjoyed a partnership with Microsoft for bridging Active Directory to millions of existing UNIX, Linux and Mac systems and applications. Subsequently, Centrify’s integration with Office 365 continues to align Centrify strategically with Microsoft as Centrify expands to integrate and manage mobile devices and cloud applications. This means that Centrify benefits from advanced internal usability testing, while customers benefit from user-level agreements so they can use Microsoft support if they are using Centrify.

By natively integrating with a Window’s Server Active Directory or Windows Azure Active Directory infrastructure, Centrify for Office 365 is able to provide cost-effective delivery of SaaS single sign-on as well as increased and centralized security, ultimately making it easier to manage usage, while empowering users.