Cathay Pacific Airways Takes Off with Novell Identity Management Solution

  • International airline automates identity management and provides new employees quick access to resources with Novell Nsure solution
  • Corporate portal increases productivity by providing remote, single sign-on access to e-mail and other applications
  • Novell ZENworks significantly reduces maintenance time and costs with centralized management of distributed workstations and more efficient patch deployment

25 October 2004

As an international airline operating in more than 150 locations worldwide, Cathay Pacific Airways needed an identity management solution to reduce user administration time and costs in its highly distributed environment. The airline also wanted to create a Web portal to provide mobile employees, such as pilots and cabin crews, with secure, remote access to e-mail and other applications and resources from any standard Web browser.

Cathay Pacific worked with Novell® Worldwide Services to implement a Novell NsureTM solution that provides a solid foundation for managing user identities with the scalability to grow with the airline's business. By integrating the identity management infrastructure with Novell ZENworks®, the airline has eliminated much of the manual work associated with managing user identities and distributed workstations, allowing a small, centralized team to efficiently manage the entire enterprise. In addition, the airline's 14,600 employees now have secure, single sign-on access to e-mail and other applications via a corporate portal, so mobile users can be productive from any location.

“Novell is the perfect solution for our distributed environment,” said Y.C. Chan, IT infrastructure consultant at Cathay Pacific. “I don’t believe any other technology exists that can provide the same benefits. It’s quite remarkable to be able to efficiently run an outport IT infrastructure of our size with a centralized IT staff of 25.”

With Novell eDirectoryTM as the central repository for user identity information across the enterprise, users have a single ID and password to access applications. Novell Nsure Identity Manager automatically synchronizes digital identities across internal Web-based applications, eliminating the need to manually update information and helping the airline maintain accurate user information. This has allowed Cathay Pacific to significantly reduce the manual effort required to maintain user IDs and enables them to get new employees up and running in a few hours, rather than days. The centralized IT team manages digital identities across all locations, giving remote users the same access to resources as if they were in the home office.

For faster and easier remote access to applications, the airline built a portal to integrate e-mail and other Web applications, using Novell iChain® for front-end security and user authentication. Now employees have single sign-on access to the portal and other Web-based resources. By incorporating GroupWise® Web Access into its portal, Cathay Pacific has given mobile employees access to e-mail at any time from any Web-enabled device, rather than requiring them to carry a laptop, install client software or go to one of the airline's corporate offices.

“Our mobile employees live by Web access while traveling,” Chan said. “Imagine the chaos if a team couldn’t get the right flight schedule. The convenience of a secure corporate portal makes all the difference to employees who often need access from a hotel or airport kiosk. We are able to give the right people access to the right information while ensuring the security of our confidential data.”

Using Novell ZENworks Desktop Management the airline can manage its assets more efficiently according to user identity. Cathay Pacific has standardized its workstation configurations and created policies that prevent users from installing unauthorized software or disrupting their environment. ZENworks gives the IT team centralized control over a global enterprise to significantly reduce maintenance time and costs and allows them to distribute anti-virus patches and updates in hours, rather than days.

“I can’t say enough good things about Novell products, particularly its directory services and network systems management,” Chan said. “Novell backs up everything with great support. Whenever we run into problems, we always get the help we need.”

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) is a leading provider of infrastructure software and services to over 50,000 customers in 43 countries. With more than 20 years of experience in data center, workgroup and desktop solutions, Novell's 6,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world are meeting customer requirements for identity-driven computing and Linux solutions. By providing enterprise-class software and support for commercial and open source software, Novell delivers increased operating flexibility and choice at a lower total cost of ownership. More information about Novell can be found at

Novell, ZENworks, GroupWise, iChain and Ximian are registered trademarks; eDirectory, Nsure, exteNd and Nterprise are trademarks; and Ngage is a service mark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. SUSE is a registered trademark of SUSE LINUX AG, a Novell business.

Certain versions of content ("Material") accessible here may contain branding from Hewlett-Packard Company (now HP Inc.) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company. As of September 1, 2017, the Material is now offered by Micro Focus, a separately owned and operated company. Any reference to the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HPE marks is historical in nature, and the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HPE marks are the property of their respective owners.