Domain Users considered as guests in Enterprise

First, we are new to Asana and are loving its features and potential.

I have gone through the forum and seen similar posts, but nothing really directly addresses our feedback to the development team for what we would hope to see regarding user licensing.

Currently, under the Asana user model, our understanding is that any user within the same email domain that is invited to the organization in Asana consumes a full licensed seat.

We are a .EDU, and I imagine that this becomes challenging for other larger organizations trying to accomplish project/task management where stakeholders vary often from project to project. We are also IT which means that we do a large amount of projects/tasks both internally with the entire team (currently all team members licensed), but also a ton of projects to support multiple areas on campus (building projects, facilities, business office, faculty, student services, athletics, and on and on). Simply put, the ROI of adding all users of an organization begins to diminish rapidly as those numbers begin to scale.

We have already invited outside stakeholders (vendors, etc) to some of our projects and the functionality is wonderful, although perhaps a bit too many permissions for a guest.

Currently, we are looking to resolve this by adding more seats to allow for more users, however; this may become a manual management issue when having to add/remove users all of the time in mind of seat count.

Some ways that we have seen this done in other systems:
Allow all domain email users to be able to default as a guest in the organization and not a licensed user and then assign licenses with permissions to those that are intended to have full access by those with Admin access. (role based access, not auto-based role definition).

  • This would solve issues with users going over license seats unintentionally.

  • This may help clear up some confusion on licensing for guest users

  • This would allow larger organizations (like .edu’s) to use Asana for more project management/collaboration through interdepartmental teams/stakeholders. I would also imagine this would excite those users in other departments to want a full license of Asana because it’s awesome(win/win).

This would probably entail decreasing some user permissions for guests, but the ability to comment, view, and be notified would be the base permissions to go from. I mention this because we also identify that Asana cannot give away too much access to everyone. We do believe strongly in the difference of a guest account vs a full license. This is one of the reasons we licensed an entire department, but the current way seat counts are used is limiting when you consider the larger organization and the desire to include them in projects or tasks.

Also, being a .edu means that we leverage sso, so having to use external domains outside of sso (for enterprise users), does not make sense from a user management perspective. It also seems wrong to say to an internal stakeholder that we can add you to a project but we can not use your organizational email to do so unless your department pays a full license for this 2 month project.

Which also leads me to the fact that because we are very annual on our budgets, constant scaling of licenses becomes more difficult for us as well.

We mentioned this to our trainer as well, but wanted to provide this feedback in the forums as well to share our idea with you. We would be more than happy to discuss this idea further with the development team if they have any questions about this feedback as well.

Also … Asana Rocks! We already know in a short amount of time it has already proven its value to our team, we just hope we can extend that functionality to the rest of our campus without pricing ourselves out of being able to use it. Fundamentally, it just seems that if Asana already allows the unlimited guest access to those outside of the organization, that they would be able to somehow make that same access available to those “guests” that are actually within the same email organization (especially under enterprise licensing and using SSO).

1 Like

I am in this exact situation currently as I have a set number of users that I want to manage in Asana but I also want to engage cross functional “guests” regardless if they are external clients or internal, same domain, employees. I cannot afford to license every person in my company and they don’t really need a full seat, they just need the same permissions as a guest would have to view a project, work an assigned task and mark complete. This would also alleviate and enhance the ability to use Asana as a pseudo ticketing system where anyone that has the same domain email as licensed users could email a task request to an Asana project. Further, we could Alias that Asana project’s email as “Asana Support Request” so when someone that is not licensed needs to engage work from the team they send an email to that alias and it comes though. Today, since they have the same domain email address, such an email bounces to them, however, if they use a different domain they can send in the request. It’s crazy to think about the level of effort in development that went into defining that restriction versus allowing the ability to have limited access users that don’t consume a license. From a sales perspective, you want to get people engaged with a product to the point where they say “i gotta have that”. This limitation really acts as a show stopper for me in evaluating the product and feels greedy.

1 Like

Absolutely! We are in the same boat. I am more than happy to involve my 10 member team and to pay for full functionality, but since we are a university I cannot at all afford to pay for a licensing seat for a person who might participate in 1-2 projects a year and nothing else, just because they have the same domain email as we do. It seems silly that we could work around this by having our “guests” create gmail accounts to interact but just because they have the same domain, they’re automatically a paid licensee? I agree with the previous person. It is greedy and definitely causes me to evaluate other software options.

@Rebecca_McGrath do you have any updates on this? We are an NHS organisation using asana and are experiencing the same issue - we can’t add people from other NHS organisations as guests because we all have the same email domain. We previously used which calculates guest vs full license based on the permissions a person has, not their email domain - is this not an option for Asana? It seems like a huge drawback of the system not to be able to use it for collaboration

Asana has a general solution for this scenario, called Divisions.

It’s quite a complex topic as it can be configured in a number of ways and carries with it a number of resulting behaviors. You can read about it here:

It can only be set up by Asana Sales, not on the customer admin side, so you should contact them for a full discussion of it; they will help you decide if it’s appropriate and how they should set it up in your particular case.

Asana, are you planning to address this? It is a critical need for our business and negatively impacting the sustainability of using your product after our contract.