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.
In 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 Xello’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.