ASG Software announces first cloud-based automation and service orchestration for mainframes


Barbara Spicek, ASG’s senior vice president of global systems integrator and channel sales

By Mark Cox

ASG Software Solutions has announced the launch of CloudFactory for Mainframe (ASG-CloudFactory/MF), a cloud-based, fully-automated, service orchestration platform that is a first in the mainframe space.

The new offering represents ASG’s ability to reap its recent investment in distributed solutions and repurpose them to its legacy mainframe base, which it has been making software for since the 1980s.

“ASG grew up in mainframes, then added in more open and distributed solutions, with a channel focus, but the DNA of the company was still direct sales and mainframes,” said Barbara Spicek, ASG’s senior vice president of global systems integrator and channel sales. “But last year, new leadership was put in place, which accompanied a complete transformation of the company.”

That transformation led to a focus on three lines – the traditional systems, content management, and cloud, with the latter two substantially bolstered by recent acquisitions. The core components of the ASG-CloudFactory/MF suite were developed for these latter areas. They are: ASG-CloudCockpit, a workspace to access applications, services, data and the self-service catalog; ASG-CloudStore, an Amazon-like service request management platform; and ASG-CloudRobot, a workflow designer and automation engine.

“These were already part of the CloudFactory storage line for open and distributed solutions, and the news today is that we are now making it available for the mainframe,” Spicek said.

“Taking this technology into the mainframe environment is dramatic,” she added. “We have the only cloud based automation solution for mainframes in the market.”

Spicek said that ASG-CloudFactory/MF’s self-service and automated workflow functionalities lets  organizations shorten mainframe provisioning from days to hours or minutes, and provide cost savings of up to 50%. It will also accelerate mainframe request fulfillment and achieve complete status transparency. Also, because of its mainframe workflow and script libraries, organizations now have a knowledge repository on hand, so even non-experts are able to manage mainframe requests and provisioning, eliminating skill-shortage issues from the retirement of the mainframe generation.

Earlier this year. ASG increased its resources for its distributed channel and rolled out its ASG Solution Partners program, and while CloudFactory for Mainframe has a partner angle, it is a very different channel than that distributed one.

“CloudFactory for Mainframe is compelling for large mainframe SIs who work with that customer base, but the mainframe community is a very specific community, so while there may be some overlap with our distributed channel, it is specifically aimed at larger SIs who focus on that market, as well as some MSPs who serve it,” Spicek said.

“For those mainframe-focused partners, this really is a massive opportunity,” she added. “While many have predicted mainframes would die out for years, they are still there, but their staff, and their skills are aging, and they really need service support. We will also help those SI partners by engaging with our direct organization and bringing those SIs into our large accounts.”

Spicek said that while the change in ASG’s DNA change is moving them towards channel, even their distributed partners are at the high end of the solution provider scale.

“We are looking for about 70 partners in the US, and about 25% of those would be mainframe SIs,” Spicek said.

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