Organizations in the process of migrating to Office 365, particularly those that run Active Directory in-house and leverage it to provide single-sign-on to Microsoft applications, quickly learn that moving to the cloud-based productivity suite means extra identity management work. Specifically, in order to use Office 365:
Microsoft provides APIs and tools to lighten this additional identity management burden. Their Dirsync and ADFS technologies, respectively, facilitate synchronization of on-premises Active Directory accounts to the cloud, and single sign-on (SSO) from an on-premises AD to the cloud using identity federation technology. With federated SSO in place, an organization's users don't need to type a user name or password to access the Office 365 applications form within their corporate networks, and organizations con control access to Office 365 through their local AD deployments.
To Microsoft's credit, they have listened to their customers who have wanted to leverage existing investments in federated SSO solutions (which often have more capability than ADFS) by creating the Works with Office 365 - Identity certification program. Quest One Identity Cloud Access Manager is a participant in the program, which tests interoperability between third-party solutions and Office 365, and creates communications channels for joint support troubleshooting and resolution.
During the certification process, I learned a lot about Office 365, and how Cloud Access Manager's Office 365 support compares to alternatives. Here is a short list of considerations to keep in mind when looking at Office 365 single sign-on solutions:
Office 365 is just one of the growing number of application supporting identity federation technology to extend authentication form the enterprise to the cloud. If your organization is struggling with password management issues after employing SaaS applications, federation solutions like Cloud Access Manager can help address those issues.