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Identity access management, EMM ease Office 365 migration

When Carlisle Construction Materials needed help going cloud-first, it turned to Okta not just for IAM but, later, its new EMM suite.

The tight integration of identity access management and enterprise mobility management is helping one construction materials company overcome the perils of an Office 365 migration.

Carlisle Construction Materials of Carlisle, Pa., is the largest division of Carlisle Companies Inc. and specializes in the sale of roofing and other construction materials. With around 1,000 mobile users, the company administers a corporate-owned, personally enabled mobility strategy with about 95% on Apple iOS devices and the rest using Google Android devices.

Up until late last year, Carlisle Construction Materials did not use any software for enterprise mobility management (EMM). The division moved to a cloud-first IT infrastructure over the last several years and one of the key factors in choosing an EMM vendor was the strength of its cloud offering, said Jeff Janovich, software analyst at Carlisle Construction Materials.

At previous companies, Janovich used EMM platforms from AirWatch by VMware and MobileIron Inc. Carlisle Construction Materials considered these vendors but also looked to a vendor it was already using for another purpose, such as Okta Inc. of San Francisco. Carlisle was already using its identity access management (IAM) and single sign-on (SSO) products, and Okta released its own EMM platform, Okta Mobility Management (OMM), last fall.

Originally, Carlisle Construction Materials used Okta as a way to replace its Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) implementation as part of an Office 365 migration. It later used Okta for SSO on some of its Web apps, Janovich said.

Our services here federated with Microsoft directly and we had everything rolling.
Jeff Janovichsoftware analyst, Carlisle Construction Materials

Janovich was impressed at how completely OMM integrated with its existing Okta environment, including the ease of not having to navigate to a different portal to manage mobile devices.

"It's fully cloud-based and it fit in well within [Okta's] portal," he said. "It's just an extra tab [in the portal]."

Carlisle Construction Materials also ran into cloud-platform latency and support issues with OMM's competitors and ultimately elected to go with Okta's product over others, Janovich said.

For users with multiple devices, Carlisle Construction Materials had an issue with password changes and account lockouts. But through OMM, users can change their passwords in Active Directory and all devices are automatically updated.

"That was a huge win for us and really cut down on help desk calls and user complaints," Janovich said.

Okta aids Office 365 migration

Carlisle Construction Materials' Office 365 migration is nearly complete, and the different aspects of Okta are helping.

As a fully cloud offering, Carlisle Construction Materials could replace its on-premises ADFS implementation with Okta and, as a result, cut down maintenance and overhead costs, Janovich said.

"We were able to bring [Okta] in and, within 12 hours, I was able to get that fully implemented," he said. "Our services here federated with Microsoft directly and we had everything rolling."

In addition, Carlisle Construction Materials users will be migrated to Exchange Online and when a device is enrolled in OMM, all the server settings for Office 365 are pulled down by policy and email profiles are automatically configured on the device.

"That cuts down on help desk calls, as well as the need to send out a massive set of instructions with server settings, server names and how to log into things," Janovich said.

The most significant deficiency of the current OMM platform for Janovich is a lack of visibility for user reports and an easy way to access them from the admin portal. For example, if he wants to see how many devices an individual user has, it's possible to find that information, but not easily. He's been informed by Okta that's something the company is working to add to OMM, he said.

Okta has updated its core identity access management products and OMM with new features. Okta Verify with Push, its multi-factor authentication feature for single-tap verification, was updated for all devices, including Apple Watches. In addition, a new device-aware access management in Okta will stop unauthorized access of corporate information based on device profiles and user identity.

Carlisle Construction Materials beta-tested the Okta Verify with Push feature for its mobile device deployment and was impressed. It expects to deploy Verify with Push to more users in the future and will test out device-aware access management as well, Janovich said.

OMM pricing starts at $4 per user, per month. Okta's IAM products start at $2 per user, per month, with Okta Verify included in plans that start at $4 per user, per month.

Jake O'Donnell is the news writer for SearchConsumerization and SearchVirtualDesktop. He can be reached at jodonnell@techtarget.com. Follow him on Twitter @JakeODonnell_TT.

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