In the modern world, organizations are transforming how they work with their partners and customers. This means seizing new opportunities quickly, reinventing business processes, and delivering greater value to customers. More important than ever are the strong and trusted relationships that allow for employees to collaborate with partners, contractors and customers outside the business.
At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more and we can do this by helping organizations work together, better. Business-to-business collaboration (B2B collaboration) allows Office 365 customers to provide external user accounts with secure access to documents, resources, and applications—while maintaining control over internal data. This let’s your employees work with anyone outside your business (even if they don’t have Office 365) as if they’re a user in your business.
There’s no need to add external users to your directory, sync them, or manage their lifecycle; IT can invite collaborators to use any email address—Office 365, on-premises Microsoft Exchange, or even a personal address (Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo!, etc.)—and even set up conditional access policies, including multi-factor authentication. Your developers can use the Azure AD B2B colloboration APIs to write applications that bring together different organizations in a secure way—and deliver a seamless and intuitive end user experience.
B2B collaboration is a feature provided by Microsoft’s cloud-based user authentication service, Azure AD. Office 365 uses Azure AD to manage user accounts and is included as part of your Office 365 scubscription. For more information on Office 365 and the Azure AD version that is included visit the technical documentation.
What you need to know about Azure AD B2B collaboration and Office 365:
- Work with any user from any partner
- Partners use their own credentials
- No requirement for partners to use Azure AD
- No external directories or complex set-up required
- Simple and secure collaboration
- Provide access to any corporate application or resource
- Seamless user experiences
- Enterprise-grade security for applications and data
- No management overhead
- No external account or password management
- No sync or manual account lifecycle management
- No external administrative overhead
Over 3 million users from thousands of business have already been using Azure AD B2B collaboration capabilities available through public preview. When we talk to our customers, 97% have told us Azure AD B2B collaboration is very important to them. We have spent countless hours with these customers diving into how we can serve their needs better with Azure AD B2B collaboration. Today’s announcement would not be possible without their partnership.
To get started, watch our latest Micrsofot Mechanics Video to see the benefits of cloud-based B2B identity and access management. You can read more details on the Azure AD B2B team blog (including the licensing requirements) and then get started with Azure Active Directory B2B collaboration today.