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

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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: August 2022).
632,779 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:
"With Azure Active Directory we were able to manage with different options the access for different users.""The most valuable features of this solution are definitely the authorization and authentication, and the rule-based user validation.""For some applications, it's not only working for authentication but it's also being used to apply roles for users. From the management perspective, it's much better to have this because in the past we constantly needed to go into the console of the different solutions and create or delete users or modify their roles and permissions. Now, with Azure Active Directory, we can do that from a single point. That makes our management model much easier.""The most valuable feature is Identity and Access Management. As an IT administrator, this feature allows me to manage access for users and groups.""Azure AD has features that have helped improve our security posture.""Being able to use Azure AD means that you can use some of the Azure AD security features like Advanced Password Protection. As well as querying your normal password requirements like lengths and complexity, Azure AD has a feature in which you can put specific words. It can be words to do with your company, words to do with your company location, or words that a lot of your employees would otherwise use. You can disallow them. It's very good at making more obvious passwords, ones they're not allowed to use anymore. That's a good feature.""Azure Active Directory is a very simple utility to use, it has very good visibility and transparency, and an easy-to-use panel.""The best feature is the single sign-on provision for the various type of users."

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"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.""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.""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."

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"The synchronization with the local Active Directory and synchronization with all of the users on the local and cloud could be better.""The product needs to be more user-friendly.""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.""The most challenging aspect I found was the creation of organizational units and specific domains. They have a tool called Bastion, which is expensive and a little bit confusing.""Azure AD provides two types of features. One is Azure AD Excel and is already B2C. Out of both versions, Azure B2C requires some improvement, in terms of user management and role management, et cetera.""There is a concept of cross-tenant trust relationships, which I believe Microsoft is actively pursuing. That is something which in the coming days and years to come by will be very key to the success of Azure Active Directory, because many organizations are going into mergers and acquisitions or spinning off new companies. They will still have to access the old tenant information because of multiple legal reasons, compliance reasons, and all those things. So, there should be some level of tenant-level trust functionality, where you can bring people from other tenants to access some part of your tenant application. So, that is an area which is growing. I believe Microsoft is actively pursuing this, and it will be an interesting piece.""There are some features, where if you want to access them, then you need to make use of PowerShell. If someone is not really versed in PowerShell scripting, then they would definitely have issues using some of those features in Azure Active Directory.""The only issue is the OU is not properly synced. Therefore, you have to do a manual sync sometimes or you might lose the connector due to AD Connect or sync servers."

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"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.""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.""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.""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."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "This product is sold as part of the enterprise package and our licensing fees are paid on a yearly basis."
  • "MFA and P2 licenses for two Azures for fully-enabled scenarios and features cost a lot of money. This is where Okta is trying to get the prices down."
  • "We are a non-profit organization, so we get good prices from Microsoft for their products. It is working well, but it could be cheaper. For the type of organization we are, it would be good if they could give a little bit more and be more generous like Google, which has completely free services. Microsoft has free versions or web services called Office 365 E1, which is free for use, but we want to have it with more qualified clients."
  • "We pay about $35 per user."
  • "I think we're on the E3 — I think it was about 35 dollars per user."
  • "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."
  • 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 →

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    632,779 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:It has things like conditional access. For example, if someone is accessing sensitive information, then we could force them to do multi-factor authentication. Therefore, we can stop access if it is… more »
    Top Answer:Pricing-wise, they offer a stepladder approach. You can start with the lowest level features, then start increasing based on new requirements.
    Top Answer:Compared to what we can do on-prem, Azure AD lacks a feature for multiple hierarchical groups. For example, Group A is part of group B. Group B is part of group C. Then, if I put someone into group A… 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 Firm17%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Financial Services Firm20%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Insurance Company15%
    Company Size
    Small Business30%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise57%
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise66%
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise57%
    Small Business10%
    Midsize Enterprise10%
    Large Enterprise80%
    Buyer's Guide
    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs. IBM Security Access Manager
    August 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs. IBM Security Access Manager and other solutions. Updated: August 2022.
    632,779 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is ranked 1st in Access Management with 99 reviews while IBM Security Access Manager is ranked 11th 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, Okta Workforce Identity, AWS Directory Service and Salesforce Identity, whereas IBM Security Access Manager is most compared with Okta Workforce Identity, F5 BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM), CyberArk Privileged Access Manager, ForgeRock and Symantec Siteminder. 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.