Novell Expands Identity Management with Compliance Platform

Novell has launched a compliance platform to challenge its competitors in the identity management space, including Oracle and IBM. The platform pulls together a number of Novell products, including Novell Identity Manager and Novell Sentinel. With this enterprise-class solution, Novell goes head-to-head with IBM, Sun Microsystems, Oracle and others.

Novell is looking to take on its rivals in the identity and security management space with a new platform of prepackaged products and integration resources designed to help organizations monitor compliance.

The company's approach can be conceived of as a play against its rivals in the identity management and user provisioning markets, including Sun Microsystems, IBM, Oracle and CA. Novell's Compliance Management Platform is its answer to the identity management challenges facing organizations, and lets the company demonstrate that it has an enterprise-class solution.

According to officials at Novell, the Compliance Management Platform includes the latest versions of Novell's identity and security management products, including Novell Identity Manager 3.6 for user provisioning, role-based access control and password management; Novell Sentinel 6.1 for security and event monitoring; and Novell Access Manager 3.0 for Web access management.

Also included is Analyzer for Novell Identity Manager 1.0, a data analysis tool for managing and governing data across disparate sources. The platform is rounded out by the Identity Manager Resource Kit 1.2, an out-of-the-box set of provisioning policies, documentation, success practices and guides designed to reduce implementation costs and speed the deployment of business solutions.

"Vendors such as CA, Sun, Oracle, and IBM have all invested in technologies such as role management, identity risk analytics, SIEM (security information event management), activity monitoring and access certification tools," said Lori Rowland, an analyst with the Burton Group. "Novell's Compliance Management Platform allows Novell to compete head to head with these vendors' offerings."

According to Jim Ebzery, senior vice president and general manager of Identity and Security Management at Novell, there are two key areas where the compliance platform helps Novell compete in the market.

"First and foremost, Novell has undertaken the efforts to integrate the products and not force customers [to deal] with the task of working with various, sometimes conflicting features within acquired products...[because] heavy customization of various products results in more difficult administration and a greater degree of difficulty when attempting to implement features of future versions," Ebzery said. "Thus Novell can deliver a lower total cost of ownership.

"Secondly, the inclusion of tools such as Analyzer allows organizations to significantly reduce deployment efforts by streamlining the analysis of identity data in disparate systems and establishing consistency as new identity stores are incorporated into the identity fabric of the enterprise," Ebzery continued. "The Identity Manager Resource Kit and Identity Tracking Solution Pack allows customers to take advantage of Novell's historical experiences of deploying identity and security solutions with out-of-the-box policies, deployment guidelines and best practices."

Rowland called Novell's move a significant announcement for the company.

"This gives Novell a competitive differentiator against some vendors in the identity management space," Rowland said. "More importantly, it gives Novell's customers more options as they build out technologies to support their governance and compliance mandates."