Novell secures Vic Identity with $9.5m deal

Novell secures Vic Identity with $9.5m deal

Novell has defeated the likes of Sun and IBM in a multimillion dollar tender that will connect the directories of the entire Victorian Government.

Novell won the tender, worth $9.5 million, last week.

The win is part of a program that the government has termed Project Rosetta.

The Victorian government started Project Rosetta in late 2002 as part of an IT initiative to connect directories across the government.

Presently, the government departments all have separate and disconnected information directories, which means employees from the Department of Infrastructure, for example, cannot search a directory for the Department of Education.

Novell will be entrusted to ensure communication occurs seamlessly. It will also create a white and yellow pages directory for government departments to share and view information, which is expected to be completed by next year.

The second phase, which will connect the government with external suppliers will be completed by 2007.

Novell's solution will largely be based around its Nsure Identity Manager product (formerly DirXML). Among its many functions, the product can synchronise multiple passwords into a single login as well as being able to instantly modify or revoke access rights.

Novell consultant Stan Levine said the first task is to create a metadirectory of all the people in the government departments and agencies. “Knowing who someone is is important for sound policy. It is important for enforcing the technology,” Levine said.

Levine said Nsure Identity Manager is designed so that it knows when something happens. “It is an event drilling technology,” he said. “It then applies business logic to ask if [the event] should, or should not happen, or what happens next.”

Levine said biometrics and smartcards were good in identifying who a person is, but it was equally important knowing how security access was granted to an individual and by whom.

According to Rhonda O’Donnell, Novell’s president for Asia Pacific, the key component of this deal for Novell is this broader issue of identity-based computing.

“Novell is really pushing this now,” she said. “Identity-based computing is more than just the infrastructure and technology. The real key is about strengthening your business processes.”

Novell was shortlisted in March with tenders that included IBM and Sun. The company will partner with Deloitte on the consulting side of the contract.

O’Donnell said the win is a good one for Novell as it gives it a presence right throughout the Victorian government. “Some government departments are already customers, but not all, she said.”

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