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Identity and authentication management is the most crucial component of any migration to Office 365. Office 365 uses the cloud-based user authentication service Azure Active Directory to manage users and offers three identity models: cloud-only, synchronized, and federated. It is important to carefully consider which identity model to use, as well as the cost and complexities associated with each and how they can best meet your organization’s needs.
Microsoft defines the models as:
Cloud identity – Manage your user accounts in Office 365 only. No on-premises servers are required to manage users; it’s all done in the cloud.
Synchronized identity – Synchronize on-premises directory objects with Office 365 and manage your users on-premises. You can also synchronize passwords so that the users have the same password on-premises and in the cloud, but they will have to sign in again to use Office 365.
Federated identity – Synchronize on-premises directory objects with Office 365 and manage your users on-premises. The users have the same password on-premises and in the cloud, and they do not have to sign in again to use Office 365. This is often referred to as single sign-on.
Microsoft also put together this handy video explainer:
Want to learn more? Let us know! We can help you understand your current Active Directory and authentication model as part of your migration to Office 365. As Microsoft’s leading partner in Office 365, we’ve successfully migrated more than four million users to the Microsoft cloud. Learn more here.