Based on Novell Directory Services technology, Digitalme aims to make managing personal data on the Internet easier for consumers by helping them control how their personal information is shared, used and maintained on the Net, the company said.
Digitalme is targeted at e-businesses---including portals, application service providers, Internet services providers, and retail companies---that want to enable their customers to control their identities on the Web and enjoy such conveniences as single-click buying.
The consumer-oriented push extends the strategy espoused by the company's chief executive Eric Schmidt, which emphasizes directory services software technology as the means to provide the administrative glue for ever-growing internal networks and the Web. The move comes amid continued Novell momentum, underscored by a full-throttle focus on NDS and an increased interest from third parties in the computer industry.
"We have a demonstrable service for filtering individual users," said Samm DiStasio, director of NDS management marketing. "It reflects what companies are looking to do in e-commerce with personalization of the customer, and signifies the importance of the directory to the consumer by giving a face to the directory."
The strategy represents a departure from Novell's classic corporate focus and reliance on server-based technology such as its NetWare operating system, but observers say the company needs a technology like Digitalme to demonstrate its role in networking to a wider audience.
Analysts hail the move as exactly the kind of thing Novell needs to be doing to show off the power of the directory, because it has little to do with developers and a lot to do with people starting to have a relatively simple way to store information.
A slew of software vendors have lined-up to support the new identity management strategy, including Compaq and Intel, as well as alliances with a new wave of third party software developers who will deliver complementary services to Digitalme.
The list of alliances and partners includes AOL, ClickMarks, EZ Login, Facetime Communications, Just On, Knowledge Navigators, Privaseek Verisign and White Pine.
AOL today introduced Instantme, a new communications tool that allows Digitalme users to send instant messages to people listed in their Digitalme dynamic address book and to the community of 45 million AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) users.
In August, Novell and AOL announced an agreement to develop and distribute this co-branded messenger product to link users of its business technology to other members of the AIM community.
Verisign will provide security software for the new service with its digital certificate, which will include authentication of Digitalme member cards and integration of the two companies' directories.