Directory enthusiasm sparks partnership

The thirst for directory services among organisations integrating their business processes and applications is a big factor in leading Wellington-based softeware developer and systems integrator SSLnz into a partnership with Australian company eB2B.

The thirst for directory services among organisations integrating their business processes and applications is a big factor in leading Wellington-based software developer and systems integrator SSLnz into a partnership with Australian company eB2B.

The latter has an LDAP/X.500 directory server in its repertoire, claimed to have security of “defence grade,” and a number of ancillary products such as a directory firewall and an X.509 digital certificate store.

The partnership will provide opportunities to meet demand for directory service software and skills among a number of Wellington organisations including the Defence Force and the Dairy Board, both existing clients of SSLnz, says business development manager Andrew McClure.

SSLnz grew out of the technical resources arm of Sustema Consultants, and only in the past six months has had a truly separate identity, McClure says

“We see an increasing demand for directories and meta-directories,” he says. The meta-directory provides a single point for managing information in several directories, organisation-wide, from information on employees to that on business partnerships, securely and keeping it all up-to-date.

With such large and multiplying software-aided business tasks as CRM and ERP, web-services and data warehousing/Olap becoming a feature of a growing number of businesses, there is a need for a central repository that will tie together the information in these various applications, McClure says. “As we catch our breath from the internet boom, it’s time to give attention to such management aspects.”

Directory management interworks with single sign-on and public key infrastructure (PKI). One of the appealing aspects of eB2B is that it has “searched the world for best-of-breed products and ensured that they all interoperate,” McClure says.

The move will not turn SSL into more of a product company, McClure says. Its focus is on providing complete business solutions for its clients, and the software products are simply tools in its bag rather than merchandise.

The company has been Oracle-centered until now, but recognising Microsoft’s growing role in the enterprise space, it is talking to the company about becoming a Microsoft Development Partner.

Won’t this create potential conflict in choice of vendor for a particular job? “I’m going to give you the glib response and say ‘we will use the technology appropriate to our client in each case',” says McClure. “Everyone says that, but that’s the only way of explaining our strategy.”

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