Novell eDirectory Provides Identity Management Foundation for BT

  • BT's Directory Enablement Program, based on Novell eDirectory, to connect more than 100,000 employees, agencies and partners, potentially saving telecommunications giant millions of dollars
  • Identity management solution expected to reduce IT costs, provide faster deployment of new applications, increase security and improve business processes

4 November 2004

Novell today announced a major deal with BT (formerly British Telecommunications) to provide directory and consulting services to BT Exact, the telecommunications company’s technology and IT operations division. BT Exact is working with Novell on a directory-based program to integrate identity information among its various lines of business as part of an effort to reduce costs, increase employee efficiency and improve customer service. When completed, the initiative will involve more than 100,000 users globally, including employees, agencies and partners and could potentially save the company millions of dollars.

One of Europe's leading telecommunications service providers with more than 20 million business and residential customers in the United Kingdom alone, BT wanted to integrate and simplify its broad range of services across different business units. BT recognized that the creation of a core repository of digital identities would allow them to maximize their existing IT investments and ensure employees had access to the most up-to-date information.

Brian Giffen, CIO for BT Group operations, said, “Our objective was to create an authoritative source of identity information for the whole BT Group. In a large business, IT often develops at a departmental level leading to a range of applications, duplication of information, and possible security loopholes. BT saw an opportunity to unify its information and improve business processes.”

The Directory Enablement Program began with a study of the business needs and potential benefits of directory technology. BT Exact engaged Cambridge Technology Partners®, the business strategy practice of Novell Consulting® in the UK, to provide a strategic roadmap for the project, make the financial case for investment, and articulate the requirements for the necessary identity management technologies.

“We selected Cambridge Technology Partners because we were impressed by their independence and professionalism,” Giffen said. “Despite the fact Novell was a potential supplier, we found the consultants to be completely independent in their analysis, and they showed considerable enthusiasm and commitment to the project. A tight, six-week timescale was proposed for the initial identity management consultation, and the team delivered an extensive strategic plan for the Directory Enablement Program within deadline.”

The Directory Enablement Program, based on Novell® eDirectoryTM, provides the core infrastructure for the delivery of many other BT services and is viewed as a vital foundation for the company’s overall IT strategy, which is designed to accomplish four main objectives:

  • Identity Management to establish the core meta-directory service and infrastructure that will ensure accurate and timely information is available from the “One BT” identity repository.
  • Asset Management will utilize information from the meta-directory, allowing BT to manage the ownership of its assets, whether they are physical assets such as computers, mobile phones and company vehicles, or business-critical digital assets such as business intelligence and intellectual property.
  • Role-based Provisioning to create, change and manage digital identities across different applications. This means that when employees join the company, change responsibilities, relocate or leave the company, their access rights can be changed once and updated across all of their applications to improve productivity and ensure accurate information is available across the network.
  • Third-party Management will extend these functions outside the company to include customers, suppliers, partners and contractors enabling them to become more involved in BT’s business.

Through the implementation of the Directory Enablement Program, BT expects to more efficiently manage its resources and reduce IT costs associated with provisioning new employees and handling help desk calls. By providing a single directory that is integrated with the company's many applications, BT will be able to easily administer existing applications and introduce new strategic IT ventures that can be provisioned for those employees, customers and partners entitled to use them. Most importantly, BT can be assured that only the right people have access to their company resources on the network.

Faster, easier access to information will also allow employees to respond to customers more effectively. For example, up-to-date information on customers allows company representatives to respond to each customer's unique needs and identify opportunities to offer new services.

“Without a clear view of our information and assets, there were risks of unnecessary duplications of efforts and resources, over-complicated systems, missed revenue streams and limitations on our responsiveness as a business,” Giffen said. “We believe the Directory Enablement Program has the potential to save BT millions of dollars.”

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 and Ximian are registered trademarks; Cambridge Technology Partners and Novell Consulting are registered service marks; 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.