Novell targets user ID management

In its ongoing bid to refocus and redefine itself, Novell Inc. announced Wednesday it has streamlined its secure identity management solutions.

Dubbed Novell Nsure secure identity management solutions, these offerings combine capabilities like directory and metadirectory services, provisioning, access management and professional services.

Novell Nsure Resources, previously code-named Mercury, was also announced. A part of Nsure, this is a packaged solution which enables the automation of provisioning employee access to business resources, the company said.

Nsure is designed to simplify user identity management and integrate those identities across a heterogeneous IT environment, Novell said.

In an online press conference, Chris Stone, Novell vice-chairman and CEO, acknowledged that the Provo, Utah-based network application provider has been criticized in the past for lacking a clear company focus. Novell Nsure represents a direct strategy moving forward, Stone said.

Nsure allows security policies to be consistently enforced across the entire enterprise, Stone said, allowing users a single sign-on to multiple applications and platforms, thereby reducing the cost of network and security administration.

The solution supports standards-based integration and third-party identity and security products. Stone also said the Nsure solutions will be supported and offered by Deloitte & Touche and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Ross Chevalier, director of technology at Markham, Ont.-based Novell Canada Ltd., said the solution is an easy fit for the Canadian market. Nsure and Nsure Resources are highly scalable and suit any sized organization, especially the mid-market, he added.

“It takes a set of key systems – HR applications, e-mail packages, directories and network operating systems – and links them, so that once a new user account is created in the authoritative system, usually the HR application, that account is also created on all the other integrated systems. That integration ensures the consistent and timely application of business policies,” Chevalier said.

Strong identity management practices are becoming top of mind for organizations, noted research director Roberta Witty at Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn. “Whether companies want to deliver Web services to business partners, make employees more productive, or drive down the cost of their existing infrastructure by reducing the elapsed time of fulfilling an access request for the real-time enterprise, identity management is key,” Witty said.

Nsure follows Novell’s earlier announcement (Oct. 4) of the rebranding of its entire catalogue of software products into three categories – Novell exteNd, Novell Nsure and Novell Nterprise – which group together Web-based application development software in one category, a move the company says will refocus and redefine the company.

“Over the past two years we’ve made some significant changes and acquisitions and have expanded into new areas that, to be blunt, have left the market confused about what Novell is,” said Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry. “This announcement is all about telling you what Novell is now.”

The three categories fit under Novell’s one Net strategy, rolled out in February 2000, which is Novell’s concept of a virtual network that enables access to all types of networks such as intranets, extranets and the Internet, through a single login. Available early November, pricing for Novell Nsure Resources starts at $55 per user through Novell solution partners.

– With files from IDG News Service