Case Studies

Federal Group

Challenges

Federal Group’s target time frame for execution of the project was aggressive and was achieved through the partnership between Federal Group and Dilignet. Like any complex project, there were some unexpected hurdles. Adam Jones, Federal Group’s Infrastructure Manager explains. “We encountered some challenges with Office 365 activation and certificates within our environment. Dilignet’s experience meant we were able to quickly identify the problems and resolve them.”

Solutions

The partnership with Dilignet was critical according to Mr Jones. He singled out Dilignet’s flexibility as being key. In particular, he was impressed that they didn’t approach the project with a specific outcome or methodology in mind. Rather, they were prepared to listen and determine the best approach for Federal Group rather than follow a rigid process. “The approach was that Federal Group worked with Dilignet as a partner,” said Mr Jones. “It was highly collaborative. We looked at several approaches to the project and there was a lot of knowledge sharing”. Like any complex project, there were some unexpected hurdles. Adam Jones, Federal Group’s Infrastructure Manager explains. “We encountered some challenges with Office 365 activation and certificates within our environment. Dilignet’s experience meant we were able to quickly identify the problems and resolve them.”

Outcomes

Federal Group is now ready to embrace its new cloud strategy. New services built upon Microsoft’s Azure Cloud are now more easily accessible and users will benefit from single sign-on and new applications.

“Dilignet fulfilled all our expectations,
they did not just meet them, they exceeded them!”

Bruce Lawrence, Technical Project Manager, VIT

FAST FACTS

The objective of the project was to setup Single Sign-On for users in Federal Group to leverage Microsoft Cloud Services and allow for future adoption and scale, as well as support Federal Group’s cloud strategy.

Federal Group achieved single sign-on by implementing Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), which provides a single identity under which users can log on and access both cloud and on-premises services.

Dilignet also setup tenant access for the following Microsoft Online Services: Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Intune

The outcomes are that users can now login to Microsoft Online Services using a single account withSingle Sign-On configured, as well as Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Windows Intune solution were enabled.

Client Overview

Federal Group is a privately owned family company which operates significant tourism, hospitality, retail, casino and gaming assets in Tasmania, and a national sensitive freight company. They are the oldest continually operating hotel group in Australia.

Federal Group is Tasmania’s leading provider of tourism, entertainment, conference, event and corporate experiences. They operate Wrest Point and The Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart, the secluded Country Club Tasmania and villas in Launceston, and the luxury coastal retreat Saffire Freycinet.
Federal Group wanted to move to a more flexible and agile IT environment that could meet their changing needs quickly. They made a strategic decision to embrace cloud services where they fitted business requirements.

Project Summary

The transition from on-premises services and managed applications to the cloud can be a challenging prospect. Joining their domain to Microsoft’s Azure platform and deploying Microsoft DirSync is a critical part of that strategy.

The deployment of Microsoft DirSync means Federal Group can now copy their local Active Directory to their Windows Azure tenant Active Directory instance. DirSync runs every three hours to push changes from the on-premises directory to the cloud instance.
Brendan Charles, the General Manager of Technology Services for Federal Group explains. “The challenge was two-fold – having the expertise to complete the project and knowing, with certainty, what it is that we were doing rather than learning as we went”.
Federal Group achieved single sign-on by implementing Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), which provides a single identity under which users can log on and access both cloud and on-premises services.

Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) allows Federal Group to collaborate securely across Active Directory domains with other external organisations by using identity federation. ADFS also means Federal Group can reduce the need for duplicate accounts, management of multiple logons, and mitigate credential management challenges that can occur when establishing cross-organisational trusts.

Although this was the first step in Federal Group’s move to the cloud, they haven’t stopped there, with a cloud-based HR solution now deployed. They are also evaluating Yammer leveraging off the initial project that delivered Single Sign-on. Users can login to Microsoft Online Services using a single account and access Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Windows Intune-enabled solutions. Federal Group is using the new capability with their test and development teams. This means when they launch the next step in their strategy they will have developed further internal expertise. This is because an important part of Dilignet’s approach to the partnership was to ensure knowledge stayed within Federal Group. One of Federal Group’s upcoming requirements is the management of mobile devices and PCs from the cloud. They now have the foundations in place to implement Microsoft Intune. This will give employees the opportunity to use the devices they choose to access applications and data while following corporate policies.