Novell Identity Manager 3 adds a new user portal that gives end users greater access to identity data and provides visual mapping of relationships.
"Sometimes it can be hard for a business manager to find out things like everything someones been provisioned for. We provide tools in the user portal to do that," said Bob Bentley, product line manager for identity solutions at Novell, based in Provo, Utah.
Novell created an add-on module for the portal that introduces a provisioning workflow system that can simplify user administration by automating approval requests and designating role, group or individual assignments that are part of the approval process.
The module complements existing rule-based provisioning.
The new add-on could make life a lot easier for IT administrators at Hunter Douglas Inc., said Brian Hobbs, IT Director for the Broomfield, Colo., company.
"Were an extremely decentralized organization with 30 sites around the country. When it comes to provisioning, we dont have a central way to manage this. By putting it through one provisioning process, it makes it more streamlined for us and takes up less time for our guys in the field," he said.
According to Bentley, the provisioning module with an approval workflow gives users more options. When a request is made, the system dynamically calculates whats being asked and whos asking it, and decides whos next in the chain to make this decision, Bentley said.
This gives users a much more sophisticated way to interact with the system, said Nick Nikols, senior analyst at Burton Group in Midvale, Utah.
"In the past theyve been able to do limited approval workflows, but not set up a group policy or delegated administrator capability around approvals, or … expose this as a task list. Now I can have each employee in the environment thats part of this workflow get a task list of things they need to be approving or doing. I can incorporate aspects of provisioning that arent part of the computing environment, such as tell someone to go order a chair or a cell phone. That can be placed in someones queue," Nikols said.
Novell also integrated more self-service features into Identity Manager 3, with new self-service password management that aids end users in recovering passwords, and new delegated administrator tools.
"Say a business function owner needs to work with volunteers who need access to e-mail or to get into the building, but it isnt appropriate to put them into the [human resources group]; we provide these kinds of delegated administrator tools for functional owners to add people within their scope," Bentley said.
The new release is due Dec. 13.