Gartner recently released their Magic Quadrant for Identity Management as a Service (IDaaS). Microsoft’s Azure AD premium solution was placed in the “Visionary” quadrant. It is a good achievement given the fact that Azure AD Premium was introduced less than a year ago.
This is Microsoft’s first year on the IDaaS Magic Quadrant. Microsoft entered the IDaaS market in May 2014 with its business-to-employee (B2E)-focused Azure Active Directory services. There are three service levels; the Premium offering provides features that are in line with other Web-centric IDaaS providers, and includes licenses for Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM) that are to be used with customers’ on-premises systems. Microsoft also offers Azure Active Directory Premium as part of its Enterprise Mobility Suite, along with Microsoft Intune and Azure Rights Management.
- Microsoft joined an established IDaaS market, and was able to leverage its current and substantial customer base — particularly Office 365 customers — to add Azure Active Directory to contracts. The company has broad and deep marketing, sales and support capabilities.
- Microsoft already has demonstrated high scalability with Azure Active Directory. The service underpins other Microsoft Azure services.
- Microsoft has a strong international presence for its service offerings, and continues to expand its infrastructure as a service (IaaS) presence worldwide.
- The company is able to leverage data sources and machine learning to support intelligence functions, such as identifying known bad IP addresses and devices to help prevent fraudulent activity.
- Microsoft’s strategy demonstrates a strong understanding of technology, socioeconomic, security and jurisdictional trends that will shape its offerings going forward.
- Microsoft does not yet provide a B2C IDaaS offering. It is planned for 2015.
- Microsoft’s on-premises “bridge” components are Active Directory Federation Services and Azure Active Directory Sync. Customers must implement and manage these two components on their own. Microsoft’s Azure AD Connect (similar to other IDaaS vendors’ approaches), which will combine these functions, is now in preview.
- While Azure Active Directory Premium includes access licenses for MIM, customers are responsible for managing that implementation themselves, or with the help of third parties.
- Microsoft can provide user provisioning to some cloud apps; however, Web-centric competitors have a lead in terms of the number of apps they can provision to, as well as the depth of SaaS fulfillment that supports the provisioning of roles, groups and other attributes.
- Microsoft can provide provisioning and SSO for enterprise users to social media sites, and has APIs and software development kits (SDKs) for social media support; however, the service does not yet provide packaged social registration and sign-on to Azure Active Directory or target systems.
Alex Simons, Director of Program Management at Microsoft Identity and Security Services Division said the following on this results,
We’re really pleased with this result. We believe it validates our vision of providing of a complete solution for hybrid identity management, a solution that includes not just a directory and employee identity management, but full suite of identity capabilities, an integrated device management offering (Microsoft Intune), leading edge information protection (Azure RMS) and a robust set monitoring and security capabilities.