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Office 365 - subsidiary setup and sharepoint / GAL

Posted on 2014-02-19
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My organization currently has many different divisions and business segments.  For example, we have a commercial division that supports our residential and wholesale division.  Most divisions have easy access to the other divisions via sharepoint.  

We're currently hosting sharepoint 2013 on premise and it doesn't matter what their email address / domain is.  We're opening up another company in Puerto Rico that would be fairly independent of the other divisions, but we will still need sharepoint access across all divisions.  

Initially, I was going to create a new account and new tenant in office 365, mostly because we would like this company to have a separate GAL and as far as I'm aware, you can't separate GAL's by domain in office 365.  However, at some point we may migrate our sharepoint to office 365.  

I'm wondering what the integration would look like at that point across companies.  For example, how easy would it be for the puerto rico division to access the commercial divisions sharepoint site, and vice versa?  Could we link to the other tenants sharepoint site.  Would they have to enter a different set of credentials?  Ideally, we'd want it to be seameless where the commercial division would be able to log into sharepoint and see, residential site, commercial site, wholesale site, puerto rico site.  

So for the sake of a cleaner GAL and separate management, I'd like to create the Puerto Rico site as a separate tenant, however not at the expense of more cumbersome sharepoint integration down the road.  

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:asgJimk
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:Vasil Michev (MVP)
ID: 39871110
You can have separate address book policies with Office 365 (GAL segregation):

PS C:\> New-AddressBookPolicy -Name "All Contoso ABP" -AddressLists "\All USers","\All Rooms" -OfflineAddressBook 'new OAB' -GlobalAddressList "New GAL" -RoomList "All Rooms"

Name                                GlobalAddressList                   AddressLists                        OfflineAddressBook                  RoomList
----                                -----------------                   ------------                        ------------------                  --------
All Contoso ABP                     \New GAL                            {\All Users, \All Rooms}            \New OAB                            \All Rooms

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Here are some links:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh529948(v=exchg.150).aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj657455(v=exchg.150).aspx

Certainly it will be a lot easier than having to share resources between two tenants.

In principle you can share the relevant SharePoint resources with external users, but if the GAL segregation meets your needs, go with it.
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Author Comment

by:asgJimk
ID: 39871406
That seems fairly difficult to setup and maintain.  Will we have to use powershell anytime we create a new mailbox or distribution list?
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Author Comment

by:asgJimk
ID: 39871481
Also,
We're not currently using SSO but it's something we're looking into.  Would having multiple tenants affect our ability to to implement SSO with our main locations A/D server?
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Assisted Solution

by:Vasil Michev (MVP)
Vasil Michev (MVP) earned 2000 total points
ID: 39871670
No, you can assign Address Books using the GUI as well, if you prefer it.

AD FS can service multiple tenants, but you will need multiple dirsync servers deployed (one per tenant) and filtering configured to avoid syncing the same users to multiple tenants. It will be way more complex than using different AB policies

http://blogs.technet.com/b/educloud/archive/2013/08/02/multi-forest-and-multi-tenant-scenarios-with-office-365.aspx
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LVL 42

Accepted Solution

by:
Vasil Michev (MVP) earned 2000 total points
ID: 39876055
Some more news that might be helpful in your situation: Hierarchical Address Books are now available for O365.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff629379(v=exchg.150).aspx
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