London, UK – October 8, 2012 – IMGROUP Online, a leading UK provider of Office 365, hybrid, public and private cloud solutions, has announced the launch of “ONCE”, an innovative new service which harnesses the power of Microsoft Azure to help organisations more rapidly deploy Microsoft Office 365 and to facilitate and streamline migration to the cloud.

Microsoft Office 365 takes the industry’s most recognised set of productivity and collaboration tools and delivers them as a subscription service – an attractive proposition for businesses and public sector organisations of all sizes. IMGROUP Online has created “ONCE” to complement and enhance Office 365, bringing enterprise scale single sign-on identity management and security to the cloud ‘as a service’. “This solution will help bring the ‘opex nirvana’ closer to a reality for organisations that want to put their capital behind what they do, rather than what they need”, explains Jeremy Neal, Head of Online Services at IMGROUP.

IMGROUP Online initially implemented “ONCE” across its own expanding organisation, migrating the active directory listing application that was previously run from its London data centre, into the cloud. This local data centre was a valid option while IMGROUP Online only had offices in the UK, though recent expansion into other markets, including a rapidly expanding Indian operation and new office in New York, drove the need for more reliable and scalable identity management process across the whole business. IMGROUP Online is now deploying this to many more of their O365 clients.

“Migrating the application to the cloud eliminates the risk of the data centre becoming a single point of failure, and removes the need for multiple user IDs, increasing the resiliency of the system and improving its performance”.

Neal continues, “ONCE provides a horizontal and complimentary layer to existing public cloud offerings, reducing their dependence on external infrastructure and so minimising obstacles to the cloud. This offering is part of IMGROUP’s commitment to bringing enterprise class IT solutions to businesses of all sizes, providing them with IT services that are aligned with their business objectives and which support their growth strategy.”