We are currently working hard on introducing a more advanced level of support for Office 365 within Atria. I am conscious that for the majority of our service providers, hybrid setups are now commonplace and there is a need to manage both the old and the new. This means users in Active Directory and Azure Active Directory and combinations of SPLA and Office 365 licensing.
Our initial goal is to allow Azure AD to be a primary identity repository within Atria for customers provisioned through the platform. The platform will eventually allow any combination of Azure AD and Active Directory at the customer level. Once a customer is configured, users within each customer will be automatically provisioned into Azure AD and/or Active Directory.
For Hybrid setups, we are looking to handle the configuration needed for end-user authentication to be handled by the local Active Directory. This is a fairly common setup and uses ADFS or similar to proxy the authentication requests from Office 365 back to the local directory. Typically this requires an Azure AD Connect server to replicate the accounts. Once we have implemented this change, Atria will ensure provisioning occurs in both Directories, reducing your overheads in running many Azure AD Connect servers.
After speaking with many of you, and reviewing the survey results it’s clear that many of our service providers work across a wide range of customers, catering for differing requirements, providing single simple services through to comprehensive outsourcing arrangements. Licensing of Microsoft services can be handled in multiple different ways. Customers can choose to purchase licensing directly from Microsoft, or through one or more CSP partners.
- Dynamics partners want to sell licensing, consulting and support services
- IT providers want to manage all licensing, but may want to partner with Dynamics partners
- IT providers may have resellers who may also want to resell Microsoft licensing.
Our planned changes to the platform aim to allow Atria powered service providers to cater for situations where:
- They are providing licensing as a 1-Tier Service Provider
- They are providing licensing as a 2-Tier Service Provider via a distributor
- Customers have procured subscriptions via an Enterprise agreement, but still require the service provider to manage the provisioning.
- Customers have purchased a sub-set of subscriptions via a third party service provider
Tenant and Subscription Provisioning
Providers with a direct resale arrangement with Microsoft (1-Tier providers) will be able to automatically provision tenants and create new subscriptions for the customer. One of our key goals is to automatically grow and shrink subscriptions based on demand. This will maximise value to the end-customer and reduce the risk to the service provider.
With over 170 million active users on Office 365 today, migration of tenants between service providers is becoming more and more common. As part of our development efforts, our processes within the platform will allow existing tenants to be onboarded for management with minimal administrator interaction. Current state from AzureAD will be retrieved and pulled into Atria.
Similarly, for Service Providers who are already selling and managing Office 365, we are working to make it easy for you to connect your existing Office 365 tenants with existing tenants within Atria, allowing you to get back to managing everything in one place.