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A real giveaway

Mar 16, 20044 mins
Enterprise Applications

* NetVision gives away self-service password reset tool to BrainShare goers

There was a time when simply visiting a vendor’s booth at a conference or trade show could net you a T-shirt, a diskette with an evaluation (or demo – remember Dan Bricklin’s DEMO program? It’s still going strong at Software Garden – see link below) or even a big, chewy chocolate chip cookie (that’s what we gave out at the Thomas-Conrad booths). Nowadays, you have to sit through an inane marketing presentation along with 20 perfect strangers just so that one of you can get a T-shirt. Demos are now Flash presentations on the Web, and you’re lucky if the vendor will let you walk off with a used pencil. So it’s refreshing when an old, established friend of the NetWare community announces a real giveaway.

Next week at BrainShare, NetVision is actually going to give away a useful product, one that’s actually been part of a selling product for a while. Of course, giving away useful stuff isn’t all that odd for NetVision. It has been part of the NetWare community almost since the launch of NetWare 4 (and eDirectory, formerly Novell Directory Services, formerly NetWare Directory Services, a.k.a. NDS).

NetVision’s Synchronicity was the first product to integrate information from other identity repositories into your NDS environment. Up until Novell launched DirXML, in fact, many people thought Synchronicity was the best way to integrate NetWare 4 and 5 with Windows NT, Windows 2000, Lotus, Exchange and (oh yes) NetWare 3. I certainly thought so when I introduced readers of my Network World column to the product back in 1997 ( Over the years since then, the relationship between this writer, NetVision and Novell has enjoyed some ups and downs but I’ve consistently said that NetVision’s products belonged on your network. And now you can have one for free.

The successor to Synchronicity is called NVIdentity (, and it’s an all-encompassing identity management product. One of its more popular features has been a Web-based self-service password reset tool for users. Some have estimated that help desk calls to reset passwords cost an enterprise $5 per user per year – that’s $50,000 annually for a one thousand employee company. If the users can reset their own forgotten passwords, then you save that money. If you can get the self-service password reset functionality for free, well, you could see your chief financial officer’s eyes light up. Well, now you can.

As part of its presentation for BrainShare, NetVision has broken out the self-service password reset function from NVIdentity and it is giving it away to all comers. The function does require you to be using eDirectory – but we all do, don’t we?

It’s fairly easy to set up, and very easy to use. Each user simply supplies one to seven questions and answers to be used as challenges. When the user forgets a password, a simple Web interface asks the questions, validates the answers and allows the user to create a new password.

There’s a whole lot more to it, including monitoring, auditing and configuration options. Be sure to stop by NetVision’s booth at BrainShare to learn all about it and find out how to get your free copy. Have a great time in Salt Lake City.

(This paragraph only for those NOT going to BrainShare) and watch the demo for Password Self-Service Manager, then download the application and start using it. All for free. It’s neat, it’s useful, it can save your company lots of money – what’s not to like?

While our colleagues are basking in the, um, weather in Salt Lake City you should point your Web browser to