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Novell: Romancing the Stone

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Chris Stone, senior VP of strategy and corporate development for Novell, was the founder and guiding light of the Object Management Group, and is therefore a thoroughly-structured person. His day trip from Boston brought a simple and direct message to the IDC European Forum: directory services had the power to transform the nature of business over connected networks. He lamented that there was no efficient file and print service on the Internet, and that the naming system was bad: searches mostly yielded too many items. His sales message was that Novell leads in its ability to cache the Internet, and that the way to build the network was through directory-enabled services -- and, oh yes, Novell had a product called NDS that could help. It was rather scary when Stone advocated a digital persona, or Global ID for the Internet -- something like an Internet social security number, he suggested. For very many surfers, it was the ability to be anonymous that was so important. Stone saw portals as destination sites, beneath which there were flat files. Users had to log on from site-to-site, instead of being able to burrow away in a rabbit warren in sure and certain knowledge as to where each tunnel went by virtue of a directory and a map. Novell had not been asleep, Stone said, but he did concede that perhaps it had taken a nap. Novell's strategy was now to directory-enable the network, with the directory managing Java servers. ®

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