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Rohan Basu
IT Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Responsive and knowledgeable support, good documentation available online, and single sign-on integrates seamlessly

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the single sign-on, which allows any application that is SAML or OAuth compatible to use Azure as an identity provider for seamless sign-in."
  • "In a hybrid deployment, when we update a license by changing the UPN or email address of a user, it does not get updated automatically during normal sync. This means that we have to update it manually from Azure, which is something that needs to be corrected."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is Azure SSO. Then, it is a hybrid synchronization of users and computers, and also for SCIM provisioning.

How has it helped my organization?

Using this product has helped improve our security posture. I don't handle security directly, but I know that our security team was able to identify logs containing erratic behavior, such as logins that were not authentic. They were able to identify and solve those problems.

This solution has improved our end-user experience a lot because previously, users had to remember different passwords for different applications. Sometimes, the integration with on-premises AD was a little bit difficult over the firewall. However, with Azure, that integration has become seamless. The users are also happy with the additional security afforded by multifactor authentication.

One of the benefits that we get from this solution is the Azure hybrid join, where my presence of the domains is both on-premises and on the cloud. It has allowed us to manage the client machines from the cloud, as well as from the on-premises solution. We are currently building upon our cloud usage so that we can manage more from the Azure instance directly.

Our cloud presence is growing because most people are working from home, so the management of end-users and workstations is becoming a little challenging with the current on-premises system. Having cloud-based management helps us to manage end-users and workstations better. This is because, with an on-premises solution, you need a VPN connection to manage it. Not all users have a VPN but for a cloud-based solution, you just need the internet and almost everyone now has an internet connection.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the single sign-on, which allows any application that is SAML or OAuth compatible to use Azure as an identity provider for seamless sign-in.

I like the SCIM provisioning, where Azure is the single database and it can push to Google cloud, as well as Oracle cloud. This means that the user directory is synchronized across platforms, so if I am managing Azure AD then my other platforms are also managed.

What needs improvement?

In a hybrid deployment, when we update the UPN or email address of a user who has license assigned, it does not get updated automatically during normal sync. This means that we have to update it manually from Azure, which is something that needs to be corrected. Essentially, if it's a hybrid sync then it should happen automatically and we shouldn't have to do anything manually.

Azure AD DS allows only one instance in a particular tenant, which is something that could be improved. There are people that want to have AD DS on a per-subscription basis.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Azure Active Directory for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Other than a few global outages, I have not seen any specific outages to the tenant that we use. In the typical case, we haven't faced any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability has been good. For the infrastructure that we have developed, there were no issues. We have nothing in terms of abnormal outages or any abnormal spikes that we have observed. Overall, scalability-wise, we are happy with it.

We have thousands of users on the Azure platform. The entire organization is on Azure AD, and everyone has a different, specific role assigned to them. Some people are using the database, whereas somebody else is using other infrastructure service, and the same is true for all of the different features. We have different teams using different features and I am part of managing identities, which involves using Azure AD and its associated features.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support from Microsoft is very good. I would rate them a nine out of ten. They are responsive and very knowledgeable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to Azure AD, we used on-premises Active Directory.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not very complicated because there are very good articles online, published by Microsoft. They give detailed steps on the process and including what challenges you may face. In our setup, the articles online were sufficient but suppose you run into any issues, you simply reach out to Microsoft for support.

Taking the purchases, planning, and everything else into account, it took between three and four months to complete the deployment.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team was responsible for deployment. In a few cases, we reached out to Microsoft for support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have not evaluated other options. The reason is that the integration between Azure AD and on-premises Active Directory is seamless and easy. Both solutions are by Microsoft.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing Azure AD is to consider the size of their environment. If it's a large on-premises environment then you should consider a hybrid model, but if it's a small environment then it's easy to move to the Azure cloud model directly. If it's a small environment then Azure AD is also available on a free license. This is how I would suggest you start looking at having a cloud presence.

Azure AD is easy to integrate and manage, and it will reduce your capital cost a lot.

In summary, this is a good product but there is always scope for improvement.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Fernando_Aranda
Desarrollador de .NET at Banco Azteca
Reseller
Great for multi-factor authentication and single sign-on capabilities with good scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "We have about 80 users in the Azure Active Directory right now, however, we know that if it was necessary to scale it for hundreds or thousands of users, it wouldn't be a problem."
  • "Microsoft is working with Microsoft Identity Manager for Active Directory on-premise. It will be very important to have these identity management solutions directly in Azure Active Directory. It's very important to have some kind of Azure identity manager as a technology for identity and access management for working both in the cloud and inside the Azure suite."

What is our primary use case?

We work with Active Directory in our own IT network in our office. We also deploy Active Directory projects in some other clients.

Active Directory is an active directory service from Windows for a Windows Server operating system.

We have synchronized identities on-premise with on-cloud identities in order to work with Microsoft-aligned services such as Office 365 and to work in the middle of hybrid topology for on-prem and cloud identities, as well as to be more productive with other capabilities that Azure Active Directory Premium offers. This includes, for example, single sign-on, multifactor authentication, Conditional Access, privileged access management, and Privileged Identity Management. Our current experience with Azure in the Cloud - Azure Active Directory - is it's very functional and productive in talking about identity and access management solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

In the last two years, as COVID has been present worldwide, the Azure Active Directory capabilities have allowed us to work completely in a remote way. It's not fully necessary to work at the office or in only certain locations. We are now fully capable to work from any location, any place in the world.

What is most valuable?

The most important thing about this solution is the capabilities for multifactor authentication and single sign-on that it offers for native Microsoft solutions and non-native Microsoft solutions.

The solution has features that have helped improve our security posture. Azure Active Directory works with some technologies around security such as mobile device management, mobile application management, and Azure Information Protection as well as Conditional Access and multifactor authentication. These capabilities give us a good level of security.

The solution has affected our end-user experience. For example, we work with several technologies in the Cloud, such as Salesforce. Azure Active Directory allows us to work within a single sign-on model. This allows us to work more easily, and not have to remember a bunch of different passwords for various applications. With a single sign-on, we can work in a more transparent way and we can be more productive, having direct access to our applications in the cloud.

What needs improvement?

Microsoft is working with Microsoft Identity Manager for Active Directory on-premise. It will be very important to have these identity management solutions directly in Azure Active Directory. It's very important to have some kind of Azure identity manager as a technology for identity and access management for working both in the cloud and inside the Azure suite.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for the last 15 years or so. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have the service running all the time and it runs and works without an issue. Up until now, we have not had any problems at all in terms of the availability of the service.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We know that if we need to integrate more than hundreds or thousands of users, we know this won't be a problem. We have about 80 users in the Azure Active Directory right now, however, we know that if it was necessary to scale it for hundreds or thousands of users, it wouldn't be a problem.

How are customer service and support?

We've contacted technical support several times over the last ten or so years. 

Microsoft is a very big, important company. People working in technical support have been very professional and quick to respond. They're very good specialists.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This is the first product that I consider as it is a powerful directory service and better than what any other company offers.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. We've worked with Azure Active Directory for the last three or four years and find it very easy to deploy. It might take maybe three days. 

In terms of maintenance, we only have a couple of people dedicated to offering technical support. Once you deploy it, it's not necessary to give too much support after that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I know that there are several other solutions, for example, Open LDAP, et cetera. I like the functionalities that Microsoft Active Directory offers. Therefore, it was not necessary to test any other technology.

I'm pretty sure that one of the main advantages of Microsoft Active Directory is that not only does it provide user management, it's also a technology component inside of a very big strategy for technology in any environment or company. It's native. Users can have their own mailbox for Exchange or Office 365. Active Directory is integrated as a way of authentication for any other database or web service. The main advantage is that it's integrated into a whole global authentication strategy.

What other advice do I have?

I am a Microsoft-certified systems engineer. I've been doing this for the last 22 years.

I'm a partner and reseller. We work with several specialists for deploying, project management, and development of solutions around Microsoft technologies.

For any customer or any client that is interested in deploying Azure Active Directory to have a full strategy for hybrid environments. They need to take into account users on-premise and users and resources in the cloud in order to have an integrated architecture and solution to best utilize the Azure Active Directory capabilities.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
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Learn what your peers think about Azure Active Directory. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2021.
554,586 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Chandra Guddati
IT specialist at BMO Financial Group
Real User
Top 20
Supports multifactor authentication, scales well, good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "It offers features that improve our security posture such as multifactor authentication, which is the second layer of protection that is used when we log into the cloud."
  • "The documentation, and the way that people are notified of updates, are things that can be improved. I'm a big fan of Microsoft products but the way they document is not that great."

What is our primary use case?

Azure Active Directory is similar to an on-premises access control system, but the service and data are hosted in the Azure cloud. Previously, everyone used to have Windows servers built as domain controllers for Active Directory to store their employee data. This assumed the role of a database for their employees.

With Azure Active Directory, which is in the cloud, you have the same functionality and there isn't much of a difference. The defining point is that you have access to online, cloud-based resources, such as Office 365.

In my company, as well as others, we had already implemented the on-premises Active Directory for our infrastructure. We leverage Azure Active Directory to synchronize the existing on-premises details to the cloud so that it creates an identity in Azure, which allows it to be used for other SaaS-based solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

This is the kind of solution that I feel you cannot run an organization without using.

Going forward, I expect that this solution will help to eliminate our on-premises infrastructure. Perhaps in the next few years, many companies will question their need for on-premises infrastructure and implement a purely cloud-based position. It will be a pay-as-you-go service.

Using this solution has affected our end-user experience because it enables and supports the Office 365 products that Azure provides. It is indirectly linked to all of the Office 365 solutions.

What is most valuable?

This is a feature-rich solution.

It offers features that improve our security posture such as multifactor authentication, which is the second layer of protection that is used when we log into the cloud.

What needs improvement?

The documentation, and the way that people are notified of updates, are things that can be improved. I'm a big fan of Microsoft products but the way they document is not that great.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Azure Active Directory for the past four years.

This solution was implemented approximately five years ago, before I joined the company.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We use this product on a daily basis. In fact, it is constantly being used and we don't have any problems with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good, and it is one of the reasons that we opted for a cloud solution.

We have more than 60,000 employees in the company and it scales very nicely. If more employees join the company then our usage will increase.

There are a variety of roles including administrators and different users. We have between 200 and 300 administrators.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support from Microsoft is excellent.

We have had multiple issues where technical support has been needed. For example, the other day, we had a problem with synchronization. One of the user licenses was not synchronized properly and when we identified the root cause, it showed that the profile was not linked to the Active Directory Account. That was the main problem.

For us, it's constant improvement. Once a problem has been resolved, we document it accordingly so that it doesn't reoccur. Essentially, we don't want to have the same story again.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also have Active Directory implemented on-premises, and it synchronizes with our cloud solution. The traditional Active Directory is what we used before this.

How was the initial setup?

I was not responsible for the initial setup but my feeling is that it is not very straightforward. From a technical perspective, I expect that it is somewhat complex.

The deployment took approximately six weeks. We are a large company with more than 60,000 employees and I expect that for a smaller company, with perhaps 100 or 200 employees, it might take a day or two to complete.

What about the implementation team?

One of the senior engineers in my organization was responsible for deployment. We also had assistance from Microsoft consultants. Between five and ten people were required for the deployment because it's a larger company.

There is no maintenance that needs to be done on our part. However, we have between 10 and 15 people who closely work on Azure Active Directory. 

What was our ROI?

Everyone uses a cloud solution to reduce the on-premises infrastructure cost and maintenance. In the coming years, there will be a lot of returns or a lot of cost-cutting that will happen.

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

The licensing is good and it is really easy to manage. We make sure that we only enable the licenses that are needed for the users, rather than enabling licenses in a blanket fashion. Basically, we only enable the features that are required for each of the users.

There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

What other advice do I have?

Microsoft is a vendor that is always one step ahead.

The biggest lesson that I have learned is to read the documentation properly and thoroughly. Microsoft is great, but the documentation is sometimes updated and we aren't notified. This means that anytime you apply any solution, just make sure that you follow the proper guidance and always test before deployment.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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DanielNdiba
Technology Security Specialist at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Offers good security features for controlling access to your resources, and easily integrates with Microsoft solutions and on-premise resources

Pros and Cons

  • "It can be used to grant access at a granular level. It provides secure access and many ways to offer security to your user resources. It provides a good level of security for any access on Azure. It gives you options like multi-factor authentication where apart from your password, you can use other factors for authentication, such as a code is sent to your phone or the authenticator app that you can use login."
  • "Its integration with open-source applications can be improved. I know that they are working on open-source authentication methods for integration with open-source applications, but they can make it more open."

What is our primary use case?

There are a number of use cases. You can use it as a central point of authentication for giving access to most of your cloud and on-prem resources. For example, you can use Azure AD to give access to a Microsoft 365 application, such as Outlook or Microsoft Teams.

What is most valuable?

It is quite stable. Being a Microsoft product, it easily integrates with most of the Microsoft solutions. It is very easy to integrate with most of the Microsoft solutions, such as Windows, Microsoft Office, etc. If you have your own internal web applications or you want to integrate with other solutions from other providers, such as AWS or Google, you can link those to Azure AD. If you want to integrate with on-prem resources, you can use your Azure AD on the cloud as the authentication point to give people access to the resources and so on.

It can be used to grant access at a granular level. It provides secure access and many ways to offer security to your user resources. It provides a good level of security for any access on Azure. It gives you options like multi-factor authentication where apart from your password, you can use other factors for authentication, such as a code is sent to your phone or the authenticator app that you can use login. 

It even offers the next level of access management, which gives a password for authentication, and you just use the authenticator app to log in. It enables you to configure things like identity risk awareness to detect if someone logs in from a suspicious location from where they don't normally log in. So, it provides a good level of security features for controlling access to your resources.

What needs improvement?

Its integration with open-source applications can be improved. I know that they are working on open-source authentication methods for integration with open-source applications, but they can make it more open.

It can be a bit expensive for an organization. There should be a better pricing plan for the license.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. In my current organization, we have about 6,000 users on Azure Active Directory.

How are customer service and support?

We are satisfied with their support. They provide different levels of support. They have Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 engineers, and the response time depends on the kind of agreement you have. Some agreements will guarantee you a faster response time 24/7, such as within four hours, so it all depends on your license.

How was the initial setup?

Considering that it runs on the cloud, the setup is quite easy unless you're doing integration with your on-prem Active Directory. For integration with your on-prem Active Directory, you need someone who is technically competent, and then it would be rather straightforward. They do provide engineers who can assist in that deployment, and they also do knowledge transfer to enable you to proceed with the deployment.

The initial deployment of the product usually takes about three months because you have to ensure all the prerequisites have been met. So, if it is a project for a big organization, we can do it in probably three months. If it is something simple, then it doesn't take much time because the only thing that you're doing is to plug into it. It is already running because it is a cloud service. So, the deployment comes in only if you're integrating it with your on-prem resources and, of course, with other applications. Otherwise, it is very straightforward. It is a cloud service, so it is just plug-and-play.

What about the implementation team?

For deployment, we work with Microsoft. We work with them directly, but for enhancements, we use Microsoft partners.

For maintenance, we have a team of about five engineers who run it. Internally, we have about two engineers and a manager in charge, and then we have two engineers in our infrastructure team. It is not that intensive in terms of day-to-day management because it is a cloud service, so everything is running from Microsoft Azure servers. Therefore, the day-to-day administration is not that much.  

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

It can be a bit expensive for organizations, but they do have different pricing models. Their free tier can be used on a personal level, but for an organization, the licenses might be a bit expensive. In general, the licenses can become cheaper, which will make it accessible for more people.

Currently, where I am working, we use an enterprise agreement. The license is renewed after every two or three years. So, we make an agreement with Microsoft to give us a license for a number of products, including Azure Active Directory, for two or three years.

What other advice do I have?

I would highly recommend this solution. We plan to keep using it for the long term.

It is among the best in the industry, but there is room for improvement. I would rate it an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MR
Principal Security Architect at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Centralizes usernames and credentials, perfectly stable, and good support

Pros and Cons

  • "It certainly centralizes usernames, and it certainly centralizes credentials. Companies have different tolerances for synchronizing those credentials versus redirecting to on-prem. The use case of maturing into the cloud helps from a SaaS adoption standpoint, and it also tends to be the jumping-off point for larger organizations to start doing PaaS and infrastructure as a service. So, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service kind of dovetail off the Active Directory synchronization piece and the email and SharePoint. It becomes a natural step for people, who wouldn't normally do infrastructure as a service, because they're already exposed to this, and they have already set up their email and SharePoint there. All of the components are there."
  • "Its area of improvement is more about the synchronization of accounts and the intervals for that. Sometimes, there're customers with other network challenges, and it takes a while for synchronization to happen to the cloud. There is some component of their on-prem that is delaying things getting to the cloud. The turnaround time for these requests is very time-sensitive. I don't mean this as derogatory for this service, but in my experience, that happens a lot."

What is our primary use case?

Usually, it is replicating an on-prem Active Directory environment into Azure. It is usually tied with generic email access and SharePoint Online access and building out provisioning for that. There typically is some sort of synchronization tool that is sometimes used in addition to or as a substitute for the typical Microsoft suite. So, it just depends upon the customers and how they're getting that information up there.

In terms of version, it tends to be a mixed bag. It just depends on the client environment and factors such as the maturity and the rigors of change management. Sometimes, it just lags, and we've dealt with those types of situations, but more often than not, it is more of a greener field Azure environment and tends to be the latest and greatest.

What is most valuable?

It certainly centralizes usernames, and it certainly centralizes credentials. Companies have different tolerances for synchronizing those credentials versus redirecting to on-prem. The use case of maturing into the cloud helps from a SaaS adoption standpoint, and it also tends to be the jumping-off point for larger organizations to start doing PaaS and infrastructure as a service. So, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service kind of dovetail off the Active Directory synchronization piece and the email and SharePoint. It becomes a natural step for people, who wouldn't normally do infrastructure as a service, because they're already exposed to this, and they have already set up their email and SharePoint there. All of the components are there.

What needs improvement?

Its area of improvement is more about the synchronization of accounts and the intervals for that. Sometimes, there're customers with other network challenges, and it takes a while for synchronization to happen to the cloud. There is some component of their on-prem that is delaying things getting to the cloud. The turnaround time for these requests is very time-sensitive. I don't mean this as derogatory for this service, but in my experience, that happens a lot. 

For the Active Directory component, there are some value differences and things like that as compared to on-prem. I have run into problems a few times when there is a custom schema involved with their on-prem installation. You can use it, but that custom schema or functionality is going to have to go somewhere else or rerouted back to on-prem.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for probably two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is perfectly stable. I haven't had any concerns or any problems with that.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have dealt with them. Overall, tech support is great if you have something that was working but it's broken and needs to get fixed. It is a different bucket if you have more of an implementation question like, "Hey, can we do this?", or "How to approach that?" Sometimes, it can be challenging to get the right people on that call to support those conversations.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup really depends on the customer. I have one customer right now with a super simple environment. They're just replicating it up. It's all Microsoft stack top to bottom with no real surprises or anything else. They're happy as pie with that. 

I have larger customers who tend to want some sort of management layer on top of it for Active Directory management purposes. This tends to go into the cloud, which introduces its own little challenges. In a more sophisticated enterprise, I start running into custom schema or workflow dependencies that just don't translate well from on-prem to cloud, but it is rare. It usually ends up being a third-party solution that we route them to with that. So, it's not huge. The challenge is more in identifying that. Typically, as much as we try, we rarely get it identified early enough to change our statement of work or our implementation, so it becomes a bad surprise.

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

Its price is per user. It is also based on the type of user that you're synchronizing up there.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise spending more time on planning and aligning your business processes with Active Directory and Azure in terms of custom schema and separating third-party accounts, external accounts, or customer's accounts from employee accounts. I've run into issues when people take an existing on-prem solution that has third-party entities or maybe external customers and start synchronizing it up. It is not a slam against the service, but that's where I start recommending people to do different instances of Azure Tenants to break that up a little bit and provide that separation. All of these are planning functions. Using this service can be deceptively easy, but you should spend more time on planning. Around 80% of it is planning, and the rest of it is the implementation.

I would rate Azure Active Directory an eight out of 10. It is super solid. I wouldn't say it's the best. I would love to have everything that you could do on-prem. I understand why it can't do that, but I would love that flexibility.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
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Joseph Chandrasekaram
Identity Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Robust identity platform, reasonably priced, and has responsive support

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features of this solution are security, the conditional access feature, and multifactor authentication."
  • "The management interface has some areas that need improvement."

What is our primary use case?

I use this solution as an identity platform for Microsoft Applications including Office 365. We have found that users have third-party applications for authentication using an integrated identity infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are security, the conditional access feature, and multifactor authentication.

The conditional access policies allow us to restrict logins based on security parameters. It helps us to reduce attacks for a more secure environment.

Multifactor authentication is for a more secure way of authenticating our use.

All our on-premises identities are synchronized to Azure Active Directory. We have an advanced license that enables conditional access based on logins, and suspicious behaviors. 

Active Directory is able to determine if a particular user signing in from a trusted IP or if there are two different sign-ins from two different locations. It will flag this latter incident as a potential compromise of a user's account. 

In terms of security, it provides us with the features to alert us if there are any fraudulent attempts from a user identity perspective.

It provides access to our Azure infrastructure and allows us to assign roles and specific aspects to different subscriptions. It has several built-in roles that you can assign to individual users based on their job scope. It allows for granular provisioning.

With onboarding applications, you are able to register applications in Azure Active Directory, which allows you to use it as a portal for access as well.

Azure Active Directory enhances the user experience because they do not have various IDs for different applications. They are using one single on-premises ID to synchronize and they are able to access various different applications that are presented to them.

If you have a new application, you will export the application within Azure AD and we add access to those who need that application and you are able to use the corporate ID and password to access it.

Azure Active Directory is a good platform for us. We rely heavily on providing our users a good system and interface that we seldom have issues with.

What needs improvement?

The management interface has some areas that need improvement. It doesn't give you an overview similar to a dashboard view for Azure Active Directory. The view can be complicated. There are many different tabs and you have to drill down into each individual area to find additional information.

There are too many features available, more than we can use.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Azure Active Directory for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's quite stable. There are no issues with the stability.

The identity platform is quite robust.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. We have deployed it globally for approximately 10,000 users and experienced not many issues. In fact, we have not encountered any issues so far.

How are customer service and technical support?

Generally, we don't have issues that require technical support. We have multiple domains within the Azure AD and we had an issue where SharePoint users were not able to access the domain.

We had a prompt response and were able to identify what the issue was. We were given specific tasks which led to resolving the issue.

I would rate the technical support a nine out of ten.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we did not use another solution. Primarily it was an on-premises Active Directory that we synchronized to the cloud.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was completed by a separate team.

We have five global administrators who are primarily responsible for providing access and assigning roles for all the various different groups and teams that have different subscriptions, and they will manage their subscriptions based on the roles that they are assigned.

In terms of deployment, Active Directory ensures that there is express route connectivity from an on-premises data center to Azure and ensures that there are sufficient redundancies in Azure Active Directory Connect Servers and Domain Controllers. 

What was our ROI?

We have seen a return on our investment. I would say that it is one of the key components of our identity solution

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

The pricing is very flexible. There are a few tiers of licensing, and it is a part of an enterprise contract.

It is bundled with other services and the pricing is quite reasonable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other solutions.

What other advice do I have?

I would strongly recommend implementing Azure Active Directory.

For new organizations, it would be best to start implementing directly on the cloud, and for our existing organizations who have on-premises solutions, it would be seamless to synchronize the on-premises user with the cloud and use that. 

I would rate Azure Active Directory a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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IAM manager at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Scales well, improves usability, and reduces friction

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a quite comprehensive solution and it scales quite well within our required scale as well, which is very useful."
  • "The solution has certain limitations. For example, it has very little governance functionality."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is our main identity provider and federation platform. We use it for authentication and for federations, for some provisioning, and a little bit of governance.

What is most valuable?

It's a quite comprehensive solution and it scales quite well within our required scale as well, which is very useful.

The product has helped to improve our security posture. The Azure stack has built out a lot of analytics features. Now, we can more effectively investigate issues. 

The solution has positively affected our end-user experience by improving our usability and reducing friction.

What needs improvement?

The solution has certain limitations. For example, it has very little governance functionality. This is, of course, a choice made by Microsoft to see which areas they want to have deep functionality, and which areas they believe are more profitable for them. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution probably since the mid-'90s when it was invented.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution has generally been quite stable. They've had some problems with the MFA and other things, however, they are a lot better at keeping the system stable than we are.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

What we have seen is that we are running into some of the limitations of scalability. That said, we are more than half a million or 700,000 internal users at the moment. There are relatively few organizations globally that are as big as we are.

We're seeing, for example, that the parcel reset, to sync parcel reset from on-premise into the system is challenging. It's more than the 30 seconds that you typically want. It's even sometimes more than the two minutes that Microsoft promises in their SLAs.

We see that our syncing is slow. We have to run it every three hours, which causes problems with being able to service our business efficiently.

Those are the main problems I've seen. On top of that, there are certain features that have run into challenges, for example, the AEDS is not fast enough.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is actually quite good. It's rather rare that we have problems with support.

They have been very good at informing us about when they have outages. That's something we really appreciate as it saves us a lot of time. If something on their side is broken, they tell us so that we don't have to look to find any problems in our systems. That's one reason I really like the way they've been handling things.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The system we used before was IBM ISAM.

The ISAM setup was on-premise and it's very expensive to run and maintain. The support for Microsoft is much better, which is an additional advantage for us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex.

We have half a million users from 20 different offices. They've all got different ways of wanting to do things, including the way we have to build the federation infrastructure, for example.

This has been a four-year project, and we're probably going to continue with it for the next year or as long as we'll be using the product.

The initial build we did was a six-month build.

Our implementation strategy was to delegate sections, including delegating identity and federation setup.

We have five full-time personnel that handle the maintenance aspect of the solution. We have outsourced the actual hands-on maintenance. This firm has a couple of engineers, an architect, and an engagement lead. We have three solution delivery managers on hand, however, they do other tasks as well and are not necessarily dedicated to AD.

What about the implementation team?

We used a systems integrator to assist with the initial setup. 

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

The product is priced quite well. The way that Microsoft prices per user and month is quite attractive to us. The level of the license cost is quite good as well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options. Choosing Active Directory was a management choice. 

What other advice do I have?

We are just a customer and an end-user.

I'd advise those considering the solution to find a good partner to work with. You do need to have an experienced system integrator with you when you do the implementation. The integrator we brought on did a good job on our side.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Solution architect at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
User-friendly with good pricing and easily customizable

Pros and Cons

  • "The single sign-on of the solution is the most valuable aspect."
  • "We would like to have more granularity in the Azure conditional access in order to be able to manage more groups for devices and for applications."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution only for the employees. It offers a single sign-on to business applications. Internal modern applications also go through Azure Active Directory, however, we use Active Directory for the legacy ones. (Kerberos).

How has it helped my organization?

It takes a couple hours to add SSO to new business SaaS. The Azure AD Marketplace has all the applications we bought so far as built-in templates.

What is most valuable?

The single sign-on of the solution is the most valuable aspect.

The initial setup is straightforward.

The solution offers good bundles that include Office 365. 

The pricing is pretty decent.

The product is pretty user-friendly and offers good customization capabilities.

What needs improvement?

We find that most of the new features are in preview for too long. It gives you the announcement that there's a new feature and yet, most of the time, it takes more than one year to have it generally available. Often we have to go and sometimes just use a preview without support. 

We cannot run all the configurations from the APIs. I would like to have something that has code and to just be able to back up and apply my configuration. Right now, we are managing more Azure tenants. It's hard to keep all of those configurations at the same level, the same value.

We would like to have more granularity in the Azure conditional access in order to be able to manage more groups for applications. That way, when adding a new applications I don't have multiple conditional access to modify. 

One of the main requests from our security team is the MFA challenge. Azure, by default, is more user-friendly. We have a lot of debates with the security team here as the MFA doesn't pop up often enough for them. From an end-user perspective, it's a better user experience, as users generally prefer fewer pop-ups, however, security doesn't like it. It's hard for security to add. 

We don't have Azure Premium P2 yet, however, most of the advanced security features are in the P2, and it costs a lot more money.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is relatively stable. The only issue we have is that there's a lot of things on Azure that are synchronous. Sometimes it takes time for changes to apply, and it kind of depends on the time of the day. A lot of the time we're happy with it, however, sometimes it creates a bizarre issue that is difficult to troubleshoot.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. If an organization needs to expand it out, they can do so rather easily.

We have about 9,000 people in our organization using the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

While the technical support is good, you need premium support. The standard support is more for small enterprises. We have the premium support and with the premium support, it's much better. There's a direct line to the correct type of support. It's very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used SiteMinder from Computer Associates. The main reason we migrated to Azure was for the integration with Office 365. It then became our primary authentication source for the employees.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not too complex. It's pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We didn't need the assistance of an integrator, reseller or consultant for deployment. We were able to handle everything in-house.

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

The pricing is really great and Office 365 packages are good. We don't pay for it separately. It's included in our package and the APIs are really great. I'm not sure of the exact cost of Azure. It's a package deal.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've looked into Okta for B2B and B2C clients, not necessarily for our internal employees.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer.

We're using the latest version of the solution.

I would recommend the solution for employees. It's a really great tool. However, we tried it also for consumers, for clients for B2B and B2C. For me, it isn't really a great production product. We researched Okta for that.

Overall, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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