Inside Microsoft’s Sleeping Giant Part 2 of 4
In part 1 of this series, I detailed some of the background and terminology around Azure Active Directory which among items functions powers Office365. I recently heard some feedback that some of the large SSO providers are having trouble competing with Azure AD’s Premium suite simply due to the large install base of Office365. At last count, we understand that the number of active users is well over 100 million. The understanding is that while Azure AD may not be able to go toe-to-toe with the larger SSO vendors on features, the pre-existing installs and existing Microsoft relationships is what is winning deals.
Azure AD’s features can be confusing and I have trouble keeping track despite reading every Microsoft related tweet I can find.
You can find a different take on the feature set here. I’m going to give you a bit more simplified version of offerings.
A Note on “free”: In Azure AD terms, free is free. Anyone can go https://portal.office.com/Signup/ and sign up for Office365 which will get you access to Azure AD Free. Other than putting a list of your users in the cloud, there is not a lot of value unless you purchase other services. Still, if your company does not have a deployment of Office365/AzureAD now but you plan to at some point, we recommend signing up. At the very least, you can register a tenant domain for your organization. More on that later in this series.
Disclaimer: We’ve purposely not included all features in the Microsoft article reference above instead we have highlighted and summarized features we typically received questions about. If you have more questions about the nuisances please feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to clarify.
Read part one here.