Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium Review

It's just a product that made life simpler for my clients to be able to integrate everything.


What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is single sign-on, and if a company is going to use Azure AD, a lot of what they are looking for is to manage those sign-ins and logins and have a single place for it to be.

How has it helped my organization?

I've been in the Azure space since it started out and in the Microsoft Cloud AD since the BPOS days in the early 2000s, and it's just a product that made life simpler for my clients to be able to integrate everything.

What is most valuable?

The self-password reset if it's enabled and configured properly, really helps a company be able to reset rather than getting IT involved. 

Additionally, the capability of adding that single sign-on for other pieces that you might want to run through Azure Active Directory, such as Office 365 or Salesforce or any number of different third party authentications that you need can be done through Azure Directory Premium.

What needs improvement?

One of the things with Windows 10 as a company client's software is that they're using it on laptops, desktops, or whatever. In Active Directory Premium, you can control the sign-in and the spaces where documents might be kept on that device with Active Directory Premium and the rights management piece.

Documentation I think is always the worst part with what Azure's doing right now across the board. You may run into an issue you get a technician that says, "Here, look at all these links through self-documentation, and then make comments to it if you want to change it or do something." It's just that the documentation itself, is not very friendly to somebody who is just going in to it. If I had to turn it over to a customer, I just don't think that documentation is that friendly to somebody who does not have in-depth knowledge.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

My impressions of the stability of the product are that it is a pretty good product. I have seen one outage in the last three years, where it just would not work. It only lasted an hour. It was a pretty big deal, but other than that it has been very dependable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales really easy. It's just adding more scales. It is eally easily as far as number of users are concerned, if you're talking about scaling into other apps or other things that you have. Again, there's a configuration curve there. But, if you're scaling applications or services, then there can be a little more difficulty in that.

How is customer service and technical support?

It's hit or miss. I've had more success in the last probably eight months than I had prior to that. If there's one downfall to their tech support, it's too compartmentalized. So if you're talking AD Premium, and again, with all of the different pieces to it. If you have a single sign-on issue, you might get a different technician than you would get for a joining a VM to Azure AD or whatever. They compartmentalize their tech support, and I will say to myself, "Well, just give me a guy that knows what's going on." But, then they get very compartmentalized in their tech support. They have to bring somebody else in, or have to research or do whatever. So, that's the one criticism that I have. Response has been excellent. They get you well within their SOAs, depending on what you've got paid for tech support.

How was the initial setup?

It's pretty straightforward depending on what your needs are.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing is easy.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest piece of advice is if you're planning for all applications that need authentication, and making sure that all applications that need authentication or that you're going against, that you're using the premium parts of Active Directory for, are compliant with the solution and not finding out afterwards.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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