What does it mean to Sync to Office 365

Having an Office 365 account with your data living in the cloud can be many things, convenient, liberating, frustrating and powerful. The idea that with Windows 10, you can now logon with an ‘in the cloud Microsoft Office 365 ID’ on any computer and everything follows is finally where things should be and it makes the cloud and Office 365 an even more compelling story. The reason I added frustrating to my list of adjectives is because I recently found myself without internet access, which definitely limits the cloud capabilities, but that’s another story. Anyways, when you first sign up for an Office 365 account, you get to choose a personalized email address that follows this format username@company.onmicrosoft.com.

Who wants to maintain that kind of email address, if you have your own domain it’s pretty easy to add it to office 365, you can follow my post here http://365unity.com/?p=60

Let’s say you have your own Active Directory domain with user accounts, attributes and personalized passwords. Chances are you don’t want to lose the ability to use your own domain with the funky active directory tools that you’ve grown accustom to managing over the years. Yet you still want to make use of Office 365. This is where Sync comes in handy.

Sync allows you to turn a computer in your domain to a sync computer. When configured, sync (I will discuss sync tools later) will take your accounts and password hashes and sync them with accounts (create or line up) with Office 365. Office 365 on the back-end is running a new Directory tool called Azure Active Directory. With your domain lined up, and your accounts synced over, you now have a powerful hybrid setup and can distribute users or services between your on premise and the cloud.

To sum it all up

Office 365 on its own is powerful

Syncing your accounts to create power hybrid identity management systems is even more flexible, powerful and customizable.

In my next blog we will discuss what tools can be used to sync accounts over to Office 365/Azure Active Directory.

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