Active Directory Update - Allow users to update their own Active Directory information
Directory Update - Why purchase Directory Update

Why purchase Directory Update?

Our first consulting customer that we approached about purchasing Directory Update did not see what the big deal was? So, we asked the Help Desk supervisor how often they take calls to update user information in their Global Address List and how long it takes?  He ran a Remedy report of help desk calls where the user asked to change something in the Active Directory and they found that they were (on average) making 2 - 3 changes to user attributes each day. Each help desk call took at least five minutes since a Remedy ticket had to be created for the call and then closed.  They estimated upwards of an hour to and hour and 20 minutes per week was consumed by tasks that could be handled by a self-service web-page such as Directory Update.

What advantages does Directory Update bring to your organization?

  • Users can retrieve up-to-date, correct information from the Exchange Global Address List
  • Users that have required corporate contact information close at hand are more efficient
  • Reduce or eliminate errors that occur when inputting important information in to the Active Directory
  • Help desk and account administrators are freed up from time-consuming tasks such as changing a telephone number
  • Exchange Address Lists can be built to sort users by city, state, department, or office with confidence knowing that the Active Directory is correct.

How is Directory Update different?

After our initial release of Directory Update to customers other than our own consulting customers, we were surprised to find how many alternatives there were to products such as GALMOD. Certainly we knew of products such as Namescape's rDirectory and Imanami's WebDir, but there is actually quite a few more. We were continually asked: "Why are we different?"

  • Directory Update was designed with a very specific task in mind; allow end users to update and edit their own information the Global Address List / Active Directory
  • Make the application as easy to use and as simple as possible
  • Make the application easy to install and allow an administrator to get it customized as quickly as possible
  • Ensure that the application can share an IIS Web Page with other web, ASP, and ASP.NET applications such as Intranet sites or Exchange Server
  • Provide validated information (in the form of selectable information from a drop-down list) to minimize mistakes
  • Display fields that the administrator wants the user to see, but that user should not edit
  • Hide fields that an organization does not use or that the user should not update
  • Provide very low total cost of ownership (TCO) by being low cost, require little or no maintenance, and be simple enough for end users to use without help desk support.

There are flexible and versatile applications that perform many of the same tasks as Directory Update, but cost 10 times what Directory Update costs; applications such as WebDir as every bit as flexible as Directory Update, but offer far more features at significantly more cost. Applications such as Directory Wizard's Profile and the Dot Net Factory's EmpowerID are also great applications, but they are complex and have many features you may not need and at a price dramatically higher than Directory Update. There are cheaper applications such as GALMOD, the web-based GALMOD, or rDirectory that offer fewer features, less flexibility, higher deployment costs (free is not always free), and are harder to use. 

If you evaluate Directory Update and compare it against any other self-service directory update application, you will find our benefits and functions can not be beat.

Why not write my own?

Many organizations are fortunate enough to have "on staff" programmers, skilled scripters, and Active Directory gurus. Why not just write your own interface? Many organizations do just this, however the time involved in doing this will cost you far more than the Directory Update price of US$299.00. The initial version of Directory Update that was written specifically for a single customer with no ability to customize the interface took almost 50 hours of coding and testing time to make it work.

 


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