Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs IBM Security Access Manager comparison

You must select at least 2 products to compare!
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and IBM Security Access Manager based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two Access Management solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs. IBM Security Access Manager Report (Updated: January 2023).
672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"In terms of identity management, it helps to improve security posture. It generally helps in terms cloud security, simplicity, and single sign-on for multiple apps.""Azure Active Directory features have helped improve our security posture. The remote working has been a massive help during the pandemic.""The portal version of the Azure active directory is pretty robust.""We use BitLocker for policy enforcement. And now, because of the Microsoft 365 Business Premium package, we get Intune as a part of it. That's very useful for us for setting policies and managing the systems. The biggest strength of Azure AD is Intune.""The most valuable features of this solution are security, the conditional access feature, and multifactor authentication.""All of the features are amazing, such as identity governance and privileged identity management.""The scalability is good now, and I find it to be more stable and faster since scaling up to ESX.""The most valuable feature is the conditional access policies. This gives us the ability to restrict who can access which applications or the portal in specific ways."

More Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Pros →

"From the integration point of view, it supports SAML, OIDC, and OAuth. For legacy applications that don't have support for SAML and other new protocols, it provides single sign-on access to end-users. From the integration compatibility point of view, it is highly capable.""The most valuable feature of IBM Security Access Manager, at least for my company, is multi-factor authentication. That's the only feature my company is using. The solution works well and has no glitches. IBM Security Access Manager is a very good solution, so my company is still using it.""Its stability and UI are most valuable.""I have found this solution to be really practical and when a user wants to log in, it is effortless and runs smooth."

More IBM Security Access Manager Pros →

"Some systems do not integrate very well with Azure AD. We thought of going for Okta, but later on we were able to achieve it, but not the way we wanted. It was not as easy as we thought it would be. The integration was not very seamless.""I would like it if Intune could manage MacOS or iOS directly. Right now, we have to use a third-party solution.""If somebody is using an IdP or an identity solution other than Active Directory, that's where you have to start jumping through some hoops... I don't think the solution is quite as third-party-centric as Okta or Auth0.""An area where there is room for improvement is the ease of use of the dashboards.""Sometimes, what one customer may like, another may not like it. We have had customers asking, "Why is Microsoft forcing us to do this?" For example, when you use Exchange Server on-premise, then you can customize it for your company and these customizations are unlimited. However, if you use Exchange Online or with Microsoft 365, then your ability to make modifications is limited. So, only the cloud versus is limited.""I want better integration between Azure AD and the on-prem environment because there are currently limitations that can hamper employee experience. We use a feature called password writeback, that can be challenging to implement in a hybrid environment. Employees can change their passwords using a self-service password reset (SSPR) feature, which reflects from the cloud to the on-prem identity, but not the other way around. Currently, there is no way to reflect passwords from on-prem identities to the cloud.""Reading documentation could be simplified. Technical support could also be faster.""When we add some user groups, at times they will not be properly configured. Also, sometimes Azure AD is not aware of the group policy, like the control, device functions, and settings, in detail. For example, you cannot configure these settings through mobile devices. It doesn't provide the flexibility to do that. The other challenge is that a third-party application may provide access without authorization."

More Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Cons →

"What we'd like improved in IBM Security Access Manager is its onboarding process as it's complex, particularly when onboarding new applications. We need to be very, very careful during the onboarding. We have no issues with IBM Security Access Manager because the solution works fine, apart from the onboarding process and IBM's involvement in onboarding issues. If we need support related to the onboarding, we've noticed a pattern where support isn't available, or they don't have much experience, or we're not getting a response from them. We're facing the same issue with IBM Guardium. As we're just focusing on the multi-factor authentication feature of IBM Security Access Manager and we didn't explore any other features, we don't have additional features to suggest for the next release of the solution, but we're in discussion about exploring ID management and access management features, but those are just possibilities because right now, we're focused on exploring our domain.""They can improve the single sign-on configuration for OIDC and OAuth. That is not very mature in this product, and they can improve it in this particular area. OIDC is a third-party integration that we do with the cloud platforms, and OAuth is an authorization mechanism for allowing a user having an account with Google or any other provider to access an application. Organizations these days are looking for just-in-time provisioning use cases, but IBM Security Access Manager is not very mature for such use cases. There are only a few applications that can be integrated, and this is where this product is lagging. However, in terms of configuration and single sign-on mechanisms, it is a great product.""There are a lot of areas that can be improved, but the main area is the lack of customization. You cannot easily customize anything in the product. It is not easy to tweak the functionality. It is challenging to change the out-of-the-box functionality.""The solution could be classified as a hilt system. There are a lot of resources being used and it is suitable for very large enterprises or the public sector."

More IBM Security Access Manager Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "We got a good deal. If you get rid of all the products providing features that Azure Suite can provide, then it makes sense cost-wise."
  • "Microsoft has a free version of Azure AD. So, if you don't do a lot of advanced features, then you can use the free version, which is no cost at all because it is underpinning Office 365. Because Microsoft gives it to you as a SaaS, so there are no infrastructure costs whatsoever that you need to incur. If you use the free version, then it is free. If you use the advanced features (that we use), it is a license fee per user."
  • "Make sure that you get the most out of your Office 365 licenses for Azure AD. If you have additional concerns for users who don't have an Office 365 license, consider Azure AD Premium P1 and P2. Be aware that you have to evaluate your license usage beforehand."
  • "If you have a different IDP today, I would take a close look at what your licensing looks like, then reevaluate the licensing that you have with Microsoft 365, and see if you're covered for some of this other stuff. Folks sometimes don't realize that, "Oh, I'm licensed for that service in Azure." This becomes one of those situations where you have the "aha" moment, "Oh, I didn't know we can do that. Alright, let's go down this road." Then, they start to have conversations with Microsoft to see what they can gain. I would recommend that they work closely with their TAM, just to make sure that they are getting the right level of service. They may just not be aware of what is available to them."
  • "If you are dealing with one supplier with an out-of-the-box solution, which provides you end-to-end capabilities, then it is naturally cheaper and less of a headache to manage and operate."
  • "Be sure: You know your userbase, e.g., how many users you have. You choose the right license and model that suit your business requirements."
  • "For the Czech people, the solution is not cheap, as we are not a rich country. However, for most countries, the product pricing is acceptable."
  • "Everything needs to be considered for the requirements and if it is within the budget, then you can come up with a solution, whether it is SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS."
  • More Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The license and costs depend on the amount range of users you have. For just approximately 2,000 users, the price is practical and fair. However, when you have 20,000 users, it starts to become really expensive, and the discount per user is not attractive enough to go ahead and purchase."
  • "It costs about 300K AED for a year. Its pricing is a bit on the higher end, but in comparison to other products in the market, its price is still better. There are lots of other products that are very costly."
  • More IBM Security Access Manager Pricing and Cost Advice →

    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Access Management solutions are best for your needs.
    672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Azure Active Directory's single sign-on feature has been helpful because users don't need to authenticate again and again each time they access it. Users only need to sign in the first time, and Azure… more »
    Top Answer:Active Directory is bundled with a package of Microsoft services, so it doesn't cost much. I don't know about the individual license of Active Directory.
    Top Answer:Microsoft services and most familiar third-party applications are currently supported, but we can't find many other platforms that integrate with Office 365 or Azure Active Directory. Microsoft should… more »
    Top Answer:I have found this solution to be really practical and when a user wants to log in, it is effortless and runs smooth.
    Top Answer:The solution could be classified as a hilt system. There are a lot of resources being used and it is suitable for very large enterprises or the public sector. In the future, there could be better… more »
    Top Answer:I am a provider of mobile authentication and my customers want to upgrade the Single Sign-On platform solution. We then provide them our mobile authentication to plugin with the new version of IBM's… more »
    out of 30 in Access Management
    Average Words per Review
    out of 30 in Access Management
    Average Words per Review
    Also Known As
    Azure Active Directory
    Learn More

    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), part of Microsoft Entra, is an enterprise identity service that provides single sign-on, multifactor authentication, and conditional access to guard against 99.9 percent of cybersecurity attacks.

    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a cloud-based identity and access management service. This service helps your employees access external resources, such as Microsoft 365, the Azure portal, and thousands of other SaaS applications. Azure Active Directory also helps them access internal resources like apps on your corporate intranet network, along with any cloud apps developed for your own organization.

    Azure AD is intended for:

    • IT admins: As an IT admin, use Azure AD to control access to your apps and your app resources, based on your business requirements. For example, you can use Azure AD to require multi-factor authentication when accessing important organizational resources. You can also use Azure AD to automate user provisioning between your existing Windows Server AD and your cloud apps, including Microsoft 365. Finally, Azure AD gives you powerful tools to automatically help protect user identities and credentials and to meet your access governance requirements.
    • App developers: As an app developer, you can use Azure AD as a standards-based approach for adding single sign-on (SSO) to your app, allowing it to work with a user's pre-existing credentials. Azure AD also provides APIs that can help you build personalized app experiences using existing organizational data. 
    • Microsoft 365, Office 365, Azure, or Dynamics CRM Online subscribers: As a subscriber, you're already using Azure AD. Each Microsoft 365, Office 365, Azure, and Dynamics CRM Online tenant is automatically an Azure AD tenant. You can immediately start to manage access to your integrated cloud apps.

    IBM Security Access Manager helps you simplify your users' access while more securely adopting web, mobile, IoT and cloud technologies. It can be deployed on-premises, in a virtual or hardware appliance or containerized with Docker. ISAM helps you strike a balance between usability and security through the use of risk-based access, single sign-on, integrated access management control, identity federation and mobile multi-factor authentication. Take back control of your access management with IBM Security Access Manager.

    Learn more about Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)
    Learn more about IBM Security Access Manager
    Sample Customers
    Azure Active Directory is trusted by companies of all sizes and industries including Walmart, Zscaler, Uniper, Amtrak,, and more.
    POST Luxembourg
    Top Industries
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Computer Software Company13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Energy/Utilities Company6%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Financial Services Firm24%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Insurance Company14%
    Company Size
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise54%
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise66%
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise57%
    Small Business10%
    Midsize Enterprise9%
    Large Enterprise80%
    Buyer's Guide
    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs. IBM Security Access Manager
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs. IBM Security Access Manager and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
    672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is ranked 1st in Access Management with 101 reviews while IBM Security Access Manager is ranked 14th in Access Management with 4 reviews. Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is rated 8.8, while IBM Security Access Manager is rated 7.8. The top reviewer of Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) writes "With multi-factor authentication, we've seen a marked decrease in the number of threats we've seen come through". On the other hand, the top reviewer of IBM Security Access Manager writes "Supports on-prem and cloud environments, has good integration capabilities, and is easy to adopt". Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is most compared with Google Cloud Identity, Auth0, CyberArk Privileged Access Manager, PingFederate and JumpCloud, whereas IBM Security Access Manager is most compared with Okta Workforce Identity, F5 BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM), ForgeRock, Auth0 and CyberArk Privileged Access Manager. See our Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs. IBM Security Access Manager report.

    See our list of best Access Management vendors.

    We monitor all Access Management reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.