We spent last week at Microsoft Ignite 2018 in Orlando, and it was great to see where one of the largest software companies in the world is headed. But we’re even more excited about what we were there to share. Collaboration across teams—functionally and geographically, is a part of doing business that continually grows and will never go away. Sharepoint and Dynamics CRM are two Microsoft products where external access often becomes important. We wanted to show how an Okta integration can securely extend these products and consolidate identity silos. We also know that companies need access to be secure, and so we wanted to show how quickly adding multi-factor authentication (MFA) to these products can be with Okta. Combining Okta and MFA allows for seamless and secure access for employees and collaborators, inside and outside the company. Listen in on our presentation here.
There is a clear acceleration of organizations moving their infrastructures and applications to the cloud. However, to save costs and/or avoid disruption, companies may choose to run applications like Sharepoint and Dynamics on-premises. But this doesn’t mean partners and external collaborators don’t need access. So how can you provide secure access to cloud and on-premises applications for a heterogeneous workforce: employees, partners and/or customers?
Okta can help by connecting users to all of their applications through single sign-on (SSO), MFA, and our network of integrations. This week at Microsoft Ignite, we wanted to show this using two popular Microsoft applications as examples.
To put all this into focus, we used our session to cover the following:
- Using Okta to consolidate Identity Silos
- Securely extend SharePoint and Dynamics CRM with Okta
- Combining Okta and MFA for secure access
Using Okta to consolidate identity silos
The first challenge with providing access is that you need a single source of identity truth. Okta Universal Directory is the perfect place to build that unified view, and by importing user data from various directories, domains, and databases across your organization, we get aggregate all of that data into one place.
Partner accounts are a classic challenge because companies avoid storing those accounts in their employee-based Active Directory (AD). Okta solves that problem by allowing admins to create and manage external accounts directly in Okta’s Universal Directory—no need for another directory, or to clog AD with external user accounts.
Securely extend SharePoint and Dynamics CRM with Okta
For Sharepoint, we demoed how to use out-of-the-box Okta Integration Network (OIN) integrations to quickly assign an employee and partner user to SharePoint. Then we showed how easily either user could log in. We used on-premises Dynamics CRM as an opportunity to highlight our WS-Federation template application, which is a flexible connector that can be adapted to any apps that support WS-Fed. We then showed how the admin and end user experiences were identical to an OIN app—one sign-on for the user gives them access to any connected application.
Combining Okta and Adaptive MFA for secure access
Once you’ve integrated your applications into Okta and you’ve enabled SSO for your end users, all authentication will be routed through Okta. This presents an opportunity: by adding adaptive MFA in one place, all applications benefit.
So lastly, we demonstrated, in the Okta UI, how MFA can be added with a few simple policies enabled by an Okta admin. Our client access rules give admins control over exactly when end users will be prompted based on the dynamic context of their location, device, and identity. Then we showed how MFA can actually be a great end user experience with out Okta Verify mobile app.
MS Ignite is a week when Microsoft technologies are on display. We were glad to have the opportunity to highlight how Okta can make deploying and adopting them easier. Multiply what we demonstrated by about 5,500 applications—Microsoft and otherwise—and you have an idea of the value Okta brings to our customers. If you’re trying to provide security and a great user experience, no matter what applications you choose to use, consider Okta as your identity platform.
Our focus at Okta is to make these solutions clear and easy to implement. See how with our How-To Guide: Configure Okta Single Sign-On (SSO) for Microsoft Dynamics 365 On-Premises and Microsoft SharePoint Deployment Guide.