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Office 365 – Two Azure AD Premium Features Coming To All Subscribers

The Office 365 Roadmap can be a bit of a treasure hunt at times. It’s great that Microsoft provides transparency into what is planned or in progress but figuring out when the roadmap has changed or what has changed on it can be a bit of a challenge.
I noticed that the roadmap was updated this weekend. In the update, a number of features were changed from “Launched” to “Previously Released” and there were a few additions that were basically informative (e.g. the planned rename of “Lync Online” to “Skype for Business Online”).
There was, however, one addition to the “In Development” section that stood out:

Sign-in Page Branding enables an Office 365 customer to select custom colors, text and Imagery for their Office 365 sign-in page. Self Service Password Reset allows a user who has forgotten their password to reset it based on prearranged alternative personal information. These two features were previously available with the Azure AD Premium subscription and are now being made available to all Office 365 subscribers.
So it looks like two features that were previously only available to Azure AD Premium subscribers will eventually be made available to all subscribers.
A little more info on these two features…

Sign-In Branding

Quite a few clients ask about how they can do this. While Microsoft recently added the ability to customize your organization’s user experience through the use of themes, this was limited to pages after the login. Subscribers of Azure AD Premium have had the ability to customize the sign-in page and get rid of this image:

I’m sure a number of clients will be excited when this feature is released, especially since it appears like it would be something added at zero cost.

Self Service Password Reset (SSPR)

This feature allows users to reset their Azure AD password via the portal through the use of an alternate email address, text message, phone call or challenge questions. Hopefully this implementation will also include the “Password Writeback” functionality that is also available in Azure AD Premium, otherwise it would only apply to cloud identities and would have limited use. Possibly a great self service password reset option for organizations that don’t have that functionality today.

Like all items on the roadmap, there’s no specific launch date and features tend to roll out over a period of time across tenants.
Keep watching the roadmap and hopefully these will transition to the “Rolling Out” section soon!

Update (02/17/2015): Microsoft has officially announced these features on the Office blog. Unfortunately, password writeback is still an Azure AD Premium feature. See the following for more info: Sign in page branding and cloud user self-service password reset for Office 365

 
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