Branding Your Cloud: Be proud of your image!

**DISCLOSURE: While I am contracted to Microsoft Corporation, I am not an employee. The articles that I write are not meant to represent the company, nor are they meant to represent me as an employee or spokesman for the company. As has always been the case, all articles on this website represent me and nobody else.

Behike1**NOTE: The Behike brand and all of the images associated with it are registered trademarks of Habanos S.A. My usage of the name, along with all associated images, logos, and pictures are meant as a tribute to a product I respect. The tenant and associated domain are used for demonstration purposes only. There are absolutely no products or services for sale on this site, and while in my side hobby as a cigar sommelier I have met friends from Habanos, I have no affiliation to that company, nor (commercial) interest in any brand owned by same.

Companies spend a lot of time on their branding to remind people of who they are, to set them apart from their competition, and for myriad other reasons. Branding and brand recognition is something that companies spend huge amounts of money on, and it pays off… just ask Coca Cola and McDonalds.

Of course it is important to market to your customers, but surely it cannot be so important to market to your own employees… is it? Then why is it that when you take a job at almost any company, they give you branded swag? I have been given cups pens t-shirts jackets mugs lanyards suitcases and even a branded golf bag from companies I have worked for – even as a contractor. Companies use internal marketing to build corporate loyalty, and many other reasons. I have, over the course of my career, created group policy objects (GPOs) to push corporate logos to desktop backgrounds, lock screens, and so much more… on devices that nobody outside the company will ever see.

ADWith all of that, it makes perfect sense that Microsoft offers its customers of Microsoft 365 (as well as Microsoft Azure and other cloud-based offerings) the opportunity to brand their own tenants; rather than forcing us to see the Microsoft branding every time, we can make these sites our own.

Preparation:

There are a number of images that you will need to set up your branding. Be aware that the dimension and file size restrictions are not suggestions. These are hard limitations, and you will not be able to cheat them. Work with your marketing team to make sure you have the appropriate files (and with your legal team for text).



Image Resolution Max. file size
Sign-in page background image 1920×1080 300 KB
Banner logo 280×60 10 KB
Square logo image 240×240 50 KB
Square logo image (dark theme) 240×240 50 KB


Username hint:
this customizes the hint text in the username input field. I do not set this as a general rule.

Sign-in page text: This text appears at the bottom of any Azure AD sign-in page (and in the Azure AD Join experience on Windows 10. You have a maximum of 1024 characters, and can also add hyperlinks, **bold**, *italics*, and ++underline++.

Sign-in page background color: This replaces the sign-in page image if the image cannot load on slow connections. Enter a color in hex format (#FFFFFF)

As I mentioned in the note, I chose Behike as my tenant name for my environment. It stands to reason then that I will use cigars as my branding. Let’s go ahead and do that.

Let’s Do It!

Navigate to your Azure portal (https://portal.azure.com). In the top search bar (Search resources, services, and dogs (G+/) type the following: Azure AD B2C. In the results screen, under Services click Azure AD B2C. This service provides business to customer identity as a service, and allows you to provide a custom-branded identity solution.

Branding is done by language, but we are going to stick with the default (which in our case is English).

In the Azure AD B2C navigation bar, click Company Branding. In the Azure AD B2C | Company branding page, click Default.

In the Edit company branding sidebar that appears:

1) Under Sign-in page background image click the Select a file bar, and in the Open explorer that appears, navigate to the appropriate file (respecting dimensions and file size limits). Click Open.

2) Under Banner logo click the Select a file bar, and in the Open explorer that appears, navigate to the appropriate file (respecting dimensions and file size limits). Click Open.

3) In the Sign-in page text box enter the text you want to use.

Under Advanced Settings:

4) In the Sign-in page background color box enter the hex code for the colour you want use. If your company does not have a specific branding colour, ask them to pick a colour. For this example we will use blue. In a web browser type in Hex colour blue and you will get the hex code you want.

5) Under Square logo image click the Select a file bar, and in the Open explorer that appears, navigate to the appropriate file (respecting dimensions and file size limits). Click Open.

6) (Optional) Under Square logo image click the Select a file bar, and in the Open explorer that appears, navigate to the appropriate file (respecting dimensions and file size limits). Click Open.

7) In the Show option to remain signed in select either Yes or No.

At the top of the page, click Save.

image

Now let’s see what we see:

I decided to join my PC to Azure Active Directory (See article). I entered the username when asked, and clicked Next. I was immediately brought to this screen:

image

Excellent… our plan is working! Now let’s look at the day-to-day user experience. Let’s navigate to https://outlook.office.com. Here is the screen that I will see…

image

…until I let Outlook know that I am with the company, so when I click Next the world will change:

image

The background is branded, the foreground has a cigar, and my logon text is there.

My company branding is just a lot of fun, but yours is extremely serious; your employees will be reminded every day that they are a member of a team, and hopefully they will take pride in it.

Of course, with my branding, you might just think it is time to light a fine cigar!

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