AzureDigital Transformation

Identity-Enabled Digital Business: Engaging Customers and Partners with Entra External ID

Entra enables organizations to streamline online customer engagement through an integrated Digital Identity platform.

Speaking at WebSummit Rio, Matias Woloski and Damian Schenkelman of AuthO / Okta, explain how key Digital Identity innovations, Passkeys and Verifiable Credentials, will usher in the next generation of online applications.

These innovations provide one of the keystone foundations for Digital Transformation, meeting the need of streamlining and speeding customer experiences.

Using e-commerce and other digital business systems can often prove a cumbersome and frustrating process, with identity registration and authentication workflows requiring multiple, repetitive steps that can lead to abandonment of purchases and forever lost customers.

Matias and Damian explain and demonstrate how these frustrations can be tackled through state of the art identity technologies, and how to build customer engagement steps that are minimalist, fast and ultimately pleasurable for customers.

Frictionless Digital Business

To set the scene Damian walks through a hypothetical demo, a use case of purchasing airline tickets, to highlight how the future of Identity will transform digital business processes.

Primarily this demonstrates the use of Passkeys, and how it can streamline the account creation / e-commerce workflows. Critically he explains this is not part of the application functionality but instead exists on the Android phone, as part of the Google Password Manager app, where the user provides a fingerprint authentication.

He then shows how the airline achieves a ‘KYC’ (Know Your Customer) requirement through the phone sharing Verified Credentials, that have been issued by an official government authority. Damian envisages a future of a single digital wallet that stores all of a user’s Passkeys and Verified Credentials.

Engaging Customers and Partners with Entra External ID

For organizations seeking to extend their Identity platform to enable these new digital business models that engage customers and partners in these ways the key building block is Entra External ID, which is now generally available.

Entra External ID represents an evolutionary step in unifying secure and engaging experiences across all external identities including customers, partners, citizens, and others within a single, integrated platform.

It includes all familiar features of Azure AD External Identities plus new capabilities, now in public preview, including developer-centric tools to build secure, compliant web and mobile applications for your customers, citizens, and partners – within minutes.  

External Identities in Microsoft Entra supports CIAM (Customer Identity Access Management) and B2B applications so you can leverage B2C features like customization, security, and extensibility in a familiar but new platform.

Azure AD B2c

For customers Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) B2C is a high-scale and powerful platform to configure sign-up, sign-in, and profile management for customer-facing applications. Azure AD B2C is generally available today.

As the documentation explains Azure AD B2c Azure provides business-to-customer identity as a service. Your customers use their preferred social, enterprise, or local account identities to get single sign-on access to your applications and APIs.

Azure AD B2C is a CIAM solution capable of supporting millions of users and billions of authentications per day. It takes care of the scaling and safety of the authentication platform, monitoring, and automatically handling threats like denial-of-service, password spray, or brute force attacks.

Identity-Enabled Applications

For developers looking to build applications that utilize these foundations Microsoft offers a range of best practice resources and case study examples.

This video walks through creating secure identities for apps using the Microsoft identity platform, and this session is intended for identity architects and developers who want to leverage Azure AD B2C as their authentication solution for their custom developed applications.

The CIAM best practices are explained in this webinar where Yoel Horvitz and Namita Singh explain how External Identities in Microsoft Entra supports CIAM and B2B applications so you can leverage B2C features like customization, security, and extensibility in a familiar but new platform.

The Tech Accelerator provides this in-depth tutorial on how to build secure and scalable apps with Entra External IDs, and in this case study Nitro explains how they are utilizing Microsoft Azure to enable their digital signing and identity solution world-wide. They also talk about how they tackle data residency challenges when working across countries.

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