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Wilfrid Laurier University Enhances Novell GroupWise and NetMail with eControl

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Omni Technology Solutions Inc.

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Posted: 17 Mar 2005


Founded in 1911, Wilfrid Laurier University is a premier Ontario university and is renowned for attracting high quality students. The Faculties of Arts, Science, Social Work, Music, the School of Business & Economics and the Brantford Campus offer an unparalleled academic experience.

"Novell Nterprise Solutions provide the technology backbone that we use to deliver secure and reliable collaboration and network services to over 12,000 students and 1,100 faculty and staff members," says Andrzej Gadomski, Manager, Client Services of Information Technology Services. "Novell NetWare, GroupWise, NetMail and ZENworks allow us to deliver 24 x 7 access to our environment."


"One of the biggest IT challenges we had at Laurier was satisfying the on-going needs for user account management in our physically and logically distributed environment," explains Aaron Jacob, Senior System Analyst of ITS. "When you have 1600 workstations spread around multiple buildings, campuses and labs, it is a challenge to satisfy the expectations of our users." Jacob continues, "As the technology expectations of our users increase, so does the complexity of supporting them. Security has always been a major factor in our having chosen Novell solutions. One of the security challenges we had encountered with GroupWise related to the rights that are required by our Help Desk staff and junior network administrators. Our Help Desk staff and lab assistants were limited in their ability to manage GroupWise passwords, GroupWise Distribution Lists, GroupWise visibility and other GroupWise values because of the high security rights that are required. Therefore, all GroupWise user administration had to be passed to a senior network administrator. This slowed down our service to users because changes could only be made when the senior administrators were available. Our challenge was to find a system that allowed our Help Desk staff and lab administrators to carry out "tier-one" eDirectory, NetMail and GroupWise user management tasks without compromising security and without the complexities of ConsoleOne, NWAdmin or iManager."

The Solution

"When I saw eControl demonstrated at an educational conference, I knew it was the solution for us," explains Gadomski. "After discussing our needs and explaining that we used NetMail for our student accounts and GroupWise for our faculty and staff, it was clear that Omni's eControl would solve our user management and security problems".

Omni Technology Solutions Inc. ( is a Novell Developer Partner that delivers innovative enhancement solutions for Novell eDirectory, GroupWise, NetWare, NLD and NetMail. "The response to eControl has been outstanding since it was launched in March 2003," said Aldo Zanoni, Director of Customer Services for Omni Technology Solutions Inc. (Omni). "Our enterprise, government and education customers were asking for a better help desk user management solution for GroupWise, NetMail and eDirectory. eControl is unique because its web-based interface allows you to completely restrict the options that are available to help desk staff and junior network administrators. The eControl web interface replaces ConsoleOne, iManager and NWAdmin for password management, group membership, GroupWise distribution list management and other "tier one" help desk user management tasks. Most importantly, eControl users require no rights in eDirectory, NDS or GroupWise. Access to eControl tasks is controlled through the eControl Administration Proxy Application. eControl writes to eDirectory through LDAP and communicates with GroupWise through the GroupWise Admin APIs. One of eControl's most innovative features is its ability to provide a complete Audit Trail of all eDirectory and GroupWise changes."

The Results

"Our Help Desk staff, users and lab administrators are thrilled with the new system," continues Jacob. "The results were immediate. eControl took two hours to install and configure and it took no time to train our Help Desk staff. What impressed me the most is the excellent customer service and support we received from the support staff and developers at Omni. After completing the 30-day trial, we asked Omni for a number of changes and enhancements so eControl could better reflect our processes. They changed the interface and added a number of NetMail features so it would be easier for our Help Desk staff to create eDirectory, GroupWise and NetMail accounts for our different user types. With eControl user create wizards, the whole process is automated with no possibility for error. We now allow our help desk operators to manage eDirectory and GroupWise user changes without any security concerns. Our Help Desk staff now use eControll instead if NW Admin or ConsoleOne, and no longer needs to login as "admin"! The audit trail allows us to keep track of all changes. Our users appreciate the fact that when a change needs to be made to their accounts, it can be made instantly. With eControl being browser based, changes can be made from any allowed workstation on our network."

"The return on our investment was immediate," explains Gadomski. "eControl helped create a WIN, WIN, WIN situation for our students, staff, Help Desk staff and network security staff. With the custom changes to eControl, we were able to immediately simplify what was otherwise an arduous and complex process. I strongly recommend eControl and Omni Technology Solutions to all universities and colleges looking to simplify their user account administration for Novell, GroupWise and NetMail. It has been a great experience for us."

eControl includes four modules: eControl Help Desk, Self Administer, Account Create and Contact Lookup. Users can try a live eControl session by using the logins and passwords on the eControl home page links at:

About Omni Technology Solutions Inc.

Omni provides enhancement solutions that leverage the power of Novell NetWare, eDirectory, GroupWise, and NetMail. Other solutions provided by Omni include CCUweb (web calendar creation based on the contents of a GroupWise or Outlook account), EMU (bulk user management), Omni Mobile (GroupWise mobile solution for PALM, PocketPC and Symbian SmartPhones) and others available at

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