Novell to Nsure VARs

Published: October 23rd, 2002

Having a security crisis at your company? Novell has rolled out a batch of solutions in the secure identity management space and struck deals with 20 channel partners in a bid to help businesses deal with the ongoing angst.

Dubbed Novell Nsure, the goal of the new identity platform is to deliver

business resources to a distributed workforce, partners and customers, while keeping systems safe and secure, says Chris Stone, Novell’s vice-chairman, office of the CEO.

He says the company has revamped its OneNet strategy over the last eight months and will earmark substantial funds in other key markets including Web application development (Novell extend) and cross-platform networking services (Novell Nterprise).

“Many of you have been beating us up, primarily because of our lack of marketing, our lack of focus and things of that nature. I think today that changes. What you’ll hear from us is a very specific focus around secure identity management.”

And while NetWare is a key fundamental part of the business going forward, he says it’s going to be just a component of the overall strategy. Analysts say the company had a tough time selling the NetWare platform into markets like security, e-business and Web development.

Stone says the new strategy will cater to Linux, Unix and other platforms and not just around NetWare.

He says a frustrating problem CIOs face is how to safely extend resources to internal and external users. “As we work with customers we see business problems common virtually among all of them, and business requirements are clearly changing and employees have much greater access to a company’s information, regardless of where it is.”

Dealing with trading partners – and conducting business electronically – also requires a new level of interoperability that doesn’t typically exist today in many organizations, he says. “And opening a corporate network to the world creates a long list of serious security issues.”

Considering many business executives like to have the ability to exchange information with trading partners and customers without human intervention, the interface for these solutions has to be highly interactive, he adds. “They have to be flexible. No longer do we just view information through a laptop or a desktop – it’s five or six different devices that we lug around in our briefcases in order to access the same data, but it’s presented to us in five or six different ways.”

As such, the desired information is not easily accessible, he says. “The information and the people that provide the fuel for this are usually locked down deep, whether it be in finance, marketing, sales or customer support, or any other part of the organization – these systems were all originally deployed to address discreet departmental needs. They may serve their original purpose pretty well, but they don’t communicate well with each other. And they don’t take advantage of the Web.”

To help with the disconnect, the Novell Nsure secure identity management solutions involve both consulting services and products. “The solutions will deliver the resources, the information based on who people are and what they need to access.” Stone says the solutions simplify the management of user identities and will integrate these identities across enterprise applications.

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