ASG Software Targets Channel In New Cloud, Content Software Push

Software developer ASG Software Solutions is ramping up its channel team and program as part of a move to expand its presence in the business of providing technology that partners can use to build their cloud offerings.

The company, founded in 1986 and focused for nearly all of its life on the mainframe software business, this month brought on a new channel chief to work with Barbara Spicek, the former Brocade channel chief and now ASG's senior vice president of global systems integrator and channel sales.

The transformation from a focus on mainframes and direct sales to a channel-friendly provider of cloud, orchestration, content optimization and big data software has been a major thrust for ASG, Spicek said.

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"We've become, after 30 years of existence, almost like a startup," she said.

Part of the transformation has been to bring on a new channel chief, Michael Mayer, who started in January as the company's vice president of system integrators and channel for North America. Prior to ASG, Mayer was the channel chief at Vancouver-based Peer 1 Hosting.

ASG is now in the process of recruiting systems integrators worldwide that are looking to build integrated cloud and content solutions for customers including virtual desktop, compliance and records management, content management, and application optimization, Spicek said.

New from the company is the ASG Solution Partners program, which is aimed at helping integrators with a complete solution for a cloud infrastructure.

"We not only deliver a standard practice that partners can resell; we also actively help partners set up valid business models," she said. "We also offer complete professional services and management revenue to partners."

The company will roll out more offerings aimed at a broader channel partner base later this year, and it also plans to unveil its first distribution partnership, Spicek said.

One partner that has had success with the ASG Software Solutions cloud platform is DirectNetworks, a Madison, Wis.-based managed services provider.

DirectNetworks used ASG's cloud technology to launch a cloud platform via a new division called DirectCloud, said Colin Mehlum, vice president of DirectNetworks.

ASG was the only company that offered a multitenancy desktop hosting technology along with all the backend services that go with it, Mehlum said.

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DirectNetworks, which acts as a reseller of the DirectCloud offering, has already moved 15 of its customers to DirectCloud since it opened last June. DirectCloud is also signing up other channel partners, DirectNetworks' Mehlum said.

"One of the big things about ASG for us is it could provide us with a multitenant backend that [would be] easy to manage," Mehlum said. "Also, we wanted to host virtual servers, Exchange servers, DNS, Active Directory and other services. And it may sound cheesy, but we also wanted it all to be available via a browser at any time."

ASG was able to provide the infrastructure to host the full DirectCloud platform in the cloud, Mehlum said.

"They did a good job from the start to make us a cloud services provider," he said. "We had done one-offs in the past. But we needed help to tie all the pieces like billing and so on together."

ASG also did it quickly, Mehlum said. "ASG had a two-to-three-month timeline in mind," he said. "But we had a two-to-three-week requirement. They met our deadline, even with a major snowstorm that hit while they were here."