Azure Active Directory B2B Collaboration has made it remarkably secure and convenient to collaborate smoothly and share applications across company boundaries. It is one of Microsoft’s fastest growing features and each month more than one million users are invited for collaboration through Azure AD B2B.
Microsoft has been consistently working to make B2B Collaboration smoother and more inclusive than before. The software giant has been constantly expanding on its vision of enabling its users to collaborate with different people from various organizations around the world, regardless of whether or not they have Azure ID. Recently, Microsoft unveiled a major step in this vision and announced the opening of public preview of support for Google IDs as an identity provider for bringing together partners. The Vice President of Program Management, Microsoft Identity Division, Alex Simons wrote that he is ‘thrilled to announce that Google is the first third-party identity provider that Azure AD supports!’ He further stated, ‘Our vision is to enable you to collaborate with people from any organization in the world, whether or not they have Azure AD or even an IT department. We’re reducing friction during invitation redemption and eliminating the proliferation of credentials by enabling your partners to bring their own existing identities to collaborate with you!’
This step seems to be a big breakthrough for the company as previously Microsoft required users to have an Azure AD account or a Microsoft account if they wished to take advantage of B2B collaboration. Addition of Google as another identity provider is aimed at making collaboration convenient.
According to the public preview, this feature can be employed by the users that have established Gmail accounts. Google identities can be enabled through Organizational relationships which is a new administrative experience which lets users manage all the settings related to external collaboration.
It must be noted that currently the Google ID supported for this collaboration is only @gmail.com extension. Also, Microsoft is supposedly also working with identity providers for enabling of federation with Azure Active Directory B2B service. It would be interesting to see what else Microsoft has in store regarding Azure AD B2B Collaboration.