While Google with its Google Apps for Work is a direct competitor to Microsoft's Office 365 offerings, the Moutain View company would also love its business users to use their Google ID as an identity solution to access other online services. To do so, the company currently offers a federated single sign-on solution based on Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) that allow Google apps users to use their credentials to sign-in to enterprise cloud applications via Single Sign-On (SSO).
Today, the company announced in a blog post that this program is going further by adding pre-configured support for competitors offerings such as Microsoft Office 365, Facebook at Work, Panorama9, New Relic, Concur, Coupa, Box, Slack and more. Google Apps for Work Product Manager Shashank Gupta also explains that using Google as an identity provider is also a way to improve online security:
Google's identity services provide even more security on mobile when combined with Google Apps enterprise mobile management controls like password strength, lock screen requirements and app management. These can work in tandem with the increasing number of mobile security options, from hardware such as fingerprint readers, to software such as Google’s Smart Lock. Our Google Smart Lock features are available to all Google Accounts, including those used at work, and we provide identity services and enterprise mobility management (EMM) as part of Google Apps for Work at no additional cost.
It's interesting to see Google playing nice with its competitors, and we wonder if Google Apps users who are also Office 365 subscribers will find this new single sign-on solution useful. Please tell us in the comments what do you think of this new initiative from Google.