Ascend Analytics Predicts 100 Percent of Clients Moving to “Private Cloud” Hosting Service

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Ascend Analytics designs energy analysis software for integrated utilites, merchant generators, electricity retailers and other sectors in the power industry. More companies are now choosing Ascend Analytics to host and support the software.

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“What we are offering is basically a private cloud. The point of a cloud is you don’t have to think about it.”

Customers have always known Ascend Analytics for the best software solutions in energy analysis but more and more of the biggest companies in the power industry are turning to Ascend’s technology team to keep those solutions operating and up to date.

Ascend Analytics Chief Technology Officer Sean Burrows says half of the company’s clients currently opt for the Ascend’s off-site hosting service but he expects that could easily rise closer to 100 percent within a year. Clients know their data is safe, their software is up to date and the hardware is solid with Ascend. “What we are offering is basically a private cloud,” Burrows says. “The point of a cloud is you don’t have to think about it.”

That growth in Ascend’s hosting component matches a trend across a spectrum of users and industries. Cloud computing has gone from buzzword to every-day solution for everybody from high-traffic web sites to iPod users keeping their music tracks on iCloud. For Ascend’s clients, that always-ready, on-demand service isn’t just dependable; It’s indispensable. With secure links, Ascend can map directly into client systems with seamless flows.

They don’t have to call an IT staffer when they have a problem. Ascend already fixed it. That’s where the economy of Ascend’s hosting package kicks in. Burrows estimates the cost saving at roughly 50 percent over on-site implementation. Ascend customers can get the results without spending resources on a large tech support staff. Ascend keeps the data solid and the hardware humming. Utilities, wholesalers and retailers using Ascend’s PowerSimm, CurveDeveloper and other products can rely on Ascend’s from-the-sketchpad-up expertise with every line of code.

“We know how it works because we designed it,” Burrows says. “We know how to keep it running.”

When Ascend releases a service patch, or a new module feature, hosted clients don’t have to wade through the user manual to make it run. Ascend’s top technicians have already installed it, tested it and made it work a dozen times before they’re ready to install it on a client’s system.

“We know how to use our system better,” Burrows says. “The clients get the benefit of that expertise.”

Ascend also knows the best hardware to match that system. Burrows, who wrote the first code for Ascend’s signature PowerSwimm program, says companies can avoid the expense of new hardware and the hundreds of employee hours it might take to select the right equipment and then make it work with their network. They don’t have to maintain the servers. They don’t have to worry about a systems crash or a spilled cup of coffee. They have access to Ascend software backed up on Ascend hardware 24 hours a day. “They get it when they want it from wherever they want it,” Burrows explains, describing the Ascend-hosted user experience as “seamless.”

But “seamless” doesn’t imply a lack of security. No unauthorized user can access a company’s data. Ascend’s hosting platform remains solid and secure with data sequestered and partitioned while remaining audit-ready for Sarbanes-Auxley regulations. “Each client has their own database. There is no comingling of databases,” Burrows explains.

There’s no loss of data either. Every simulation and input point is continuously backed up. “We’ve built it from the ground up to be to be a truly redundant system,” Burrows says. “We could lose almost any part of the system and keep running.”

Those advantages make Ascend’s “private cloud” a proven solution, as solid as the software. Burrows and his technology service started providing hosting services in2006.

“We had this before the word cloud even came out,” Burrow says.

Key Advantages of "Private Cloud" hosting:

  • Immediate software support.
  • Lower IT costs.
  • No on-site hardware.
  • Continuous data backup.
  • Accessible from any location.
  • Hardware and software updates without service interruption.
  • High-speed access.


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Rick Polito
Ascend Analytics
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Rick Polito