Microsoft Identity Manager in Plain English

Posted on 29 August 2018

Our Chief Technologist, Matt Fernandes, helps us better understand Microsoft Identity Manager, with a quick, simple explanation, no technical knowledge needed.

Microsoft Identity Manager (or MIM) is a complex, technical piece of software which is often given complex, technical explanations – until now.

At Identity Experts our mission is to simplify identity and access management. You don’t need to be a technical architect or a consultant to understand what software like MIM does.

So, here are the basic facts in plain-speaking terms.

What is Microsoft Identity Manager?

MIM is a piece of software that helps organisations synchronise employee account details for different systems e.g. email accounts, databases, customer relations systems, etc.

Imagine your IT network as a web: MIM is the big, fat spider that sits in the middle. It keeps an eye on each system and server, waiting for a change that it can pounce on.

If a user record has changed in one system, for example their job title in HR, MIM will spot this change and update it in another system – maybe the internal contact list in the email system.

This is ideal for situations like when people get married and change their names and more. Now that the basics are covered, let’s delve further.

What Can MIM Do?

MIM Can Generate Accounts for New Starters

Once you set up MIM and enter a user’s details into your main system, it can automatically generate accounts in other systems. This means you’re not relying solely on IT and HR to communicate, and new starters can access everything they need on day one.

MIM Can Deactivate User Accounts Instantly When an Employee Leaves

Just like when MIM activates accounts, it can deactivate them too.  It means you’re not going to be in one of those situations where you discover an old employee has access to financial details months after they’ve left.

MIM Tracks ‘Who’ Has Access to ‘What’ and Increases Security

MIM gives your IT team greater overview of access and systems, which allows you to protect accounts with privileged access to confidential information.

MIM Finally Lets Employees Reset Their Own Passwords

Imagine that. It’s just like resetting a password for social media or online shopping – but at work! No more wasting IT’s resource time with tiny, time-consuming tasks.

In summary, MIM cuts out a lot of unnecessary manual work and increases your overall security in the process.

How Do You Get MIM?

You’ll need to buy licences first. Licensing depends on different circumstances and can get a little complicated. Also, organisations sometimes buy too many licences without realising it.

Fortunately, if you come to Identity Experts we can advise you on the most cost-effective licencing method. Once this is done, it comes to set up and implementation, which – to be honest – is a little more complicated and technical. But you know where to call for help when you need it.

Anything Else?

Microsoft Identity Manager is just one tool for effective identity and access management. In fact, this piece of software is one part of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite, which includes many more features and security benefits.

There’s much more learn, but we hope this brief explanation offers a helpful starting point. If you do want to get to grips with the basics and so much more, be sure to check out our MIM Training Courses!

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