Over the past three decades, ASG Software Solutions has built a solid reputation as a provider of infrastructure automation software, primarily for IBM mainframe environments, which constitutes 90 percent of its customer base. Thanks to several recent acquisitions, the software company is now providing solutions to help customers automate their cloud environments, too.
The roots of ASG trace back to 1981, the year that former Marine and General Motors system analyst Arthur Allen retired to Naples, Florida, after a 25-year career that culminated in selling his first company, Allen Services Corporation, for $18 million. But instead of playing tennis all day in sunny south Florida, Allen used his mainframe programming knowledge to create ShopMon, a mainframe monitoring tool that would form the basis for Allen Systems Group, which he founded in 1986.
Thus started a second 25-year career for Allen, who still found enough time to play a little tennis. (He recently had a local tennis center named after him.) After acquiring dozens of software companies, ASG has become a global force, with more than 90 offices, 8,500 customers, and $300 million in annual revenue. It may not have the name recognition of the big four systems management vendors, but it frequently goes head-to-head against BMC Software, CA Technologies, and IBM Tivoli (but not Hewlett-Packard, which doesn't do much on the mainframe).
ASG today owns and maintains more than 200 products, which are grouped into three main categories. The bulk of the products are in the infrastructure automation area, and include monitoring and management tools for various servers, storage devices, OSes, mainframe subsystems, databases, networks, messaging systems, and application servers. The company also makes job schedulers, security, and performance management tools.
While the company started out with a focus on the mainframe, it broadened its horizons several years back and started supporting other OSes with its infrastructure automation tools, including IBM i, Unix, Linux, and Windows. This was just practicality on the part of ASG, explains Ed Hallock, ASG's senior director of solutions management.
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