How do Microsoft Teams manage identities?

Balu Ilag | December 12th, 2020

How do Microsoft Teams manage identities?

How do Microsoft Teams manage identities?

Microsoft Teams is a cloud-only service that means the user who access Teams must have cloud identity. It doesn’t mean teams require cloud-only identity. Teams do support all identity models that all available with Office 365. Teams leverage identities stored in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), which combines core directory services, application access management, and identity protection into a single solution.

Today Microsoft Teams supports all the identity models which are available in Office 365, including cloud identity, synchronized identity, and federated identity.

  • Cloud Identity Model: Using the Cloud Identity model, a user is created and managed in Office 365 and stored in Azure AD, and the password is verified by Azure AD.
  • Synchronized Identity: Using Synchronized Identity, the user identity is managed in an on-premises server, and the accounts and password hashes are synchronized to the cloud.
  • Federated identity model: The Federated Identity model requires a synchronized identity where the user password is verified by the on-premises or online identity provider (such as Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)or Okta).

Most popular identity model that most of the organization using is the synchronized identity because, for the security reason, most of the organization maintain their on-premises identity. Then they synchronized with Azure Active Directory through AAD Connect.  The organization wants to maintain its own on-prem identity as the source of truth that synced with Azure AD. Then Teams leverage synced user identity to Provision services such as enable and assign Teams license, phone system license, enable exchange mailbox, assign phone number, policy assignment, and so on.

If you are looking for complete details, then refer book with chapter#1:

Understanding Microsoft Teams Administration (


Understanding Microsoft Teams Administration book. Retrieved from

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