Q&A with Michael Keen of ASG Software Solutions

By Michael Keen (Profile)
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Friday, February 24th 2012
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VSM: As a new contributor to Virtual Strategy Magazine, can you give our readers an overview of ASG Software?

MK: ASG Software Solutions was founded in 1986 by Arthur Allen and is a provider of professional services and software solutions for the complete range of enterprise software, all the way from the chip to the cloud. Since inception, ASG’s mission has been to offer real value in the marketplace. What differentiates ASG from other companies is our ability to offer an enterprise view into any environment. ASG solutions are platform agnostic and can work with what’s already deployed.

ASG operates globally, with over 70 offices around the world. Our solutions are used in 85% of the Fortune 500, including many of the world’s largest banks, airlines, retail establishments, governments and medical and manufacturing companies.

VSM: You recently announced major upgrades to your flagship CloudFactory product. What are the key upgrades to this technology?

MK: In version 7.1 of CloudFactory, we introduced several new features, the first of which is increased functionality with the introduction of SAML support in CloudCockpit. With this key functionality we can now provide Single Sign-On to external cloud services, like Salesforce.com, Office365, and Google. The value of this feature for private cloud users is that ASG can now federate CloudFactory instances making location aware delivery of services possible. We’ve also integrated CloudFactory with ASG’s core product offering, the Enterprise Automation Management Suite (EAMS), to provide availability aware capabilities for those services. From the Hosting Provider perspective, this SAML support makes the delivery from public or private cloud environments possible without end user intervention and enables ‘cloud bursting’ to external resources when internal resources cannot support 100% of the demand. This functionality is being driven again by the integration of ASG core technology EAMS.

In order to ensure a solid user experience on legacy browsers and devices, and to provide access to applications and other resources under any condition, ASG also now provides support for legacy browsers including IE6. In addition, ASG has introduced a browserless agent with OneTimePasscode integration for a seamless user experience. With the introduction of ASG’s new CloudShaper product we now support the ability to create virtual machines from scratch by integrating CloudShaper with vCenter making this a “one stop shop” for all infrastructure deployment and management. CloudShaper also provides the ability to deploy all types of Linux OS versions. Our CloudRobot product is also coming out with additional workflows for Exchange 2010, Sharepoint 2010, and Lync 2010. We have also increased the performance by 4x to 6x on the creation of users, customers, and resellers within our workflows.

Finally, in order to make it easier for our customers to use, we’ve introduced integrated dashboards to provide users with a single-pane-of-glass view to their personalized cloud services, in addition to an Amazon-like interface and service catalogue, which makes it easy to order and manage assets.