All posts by astalabs

New-Gen Resource Inventory

Asta Labs has released Asta Resources — a unique, new generation resource inventory solution. It enables managing information on resource configuration and processes of resource deployment and maintenance within diverse, in particular networking, environments of telecommunications networks, power grids, communications and transport infrastructures, and others. Information on both physical and logical resources can be managed – infrastructure sites and infrastructure connections, equipment and its hardware and software modules, logical connections, and much more. The information can have the rich multimedia form of photos, videos, documents, figures, floor plans, etc., and be presented using road and satellite maps and 3D visualisations. Asta Resources allows for resource management in a multi-party environment, when the resources are owned by different companies, which can describe their owned resources as planned or installed, designate as public or private, share them and lease, etc.

Asta Resources is an advanced and modern system but at the same time it is lightweight and simple. It is a mobile cloud computing system that supports a true SaaS model. A company can obtain its dedicated instance of Asta Resources in a matter of minutes with on-line registration of the company’s account, in real time activation of the company’s services in the cloud, and immediate, on-demand download of smartphone and tablet applications from the app store by the company’s employees. Implemented on Asta Architecture, Asta Resources is a highly scalable system that can be hosted in the Microsoft’s public Windows Azure cloud as well as in the company’s private cloud organised with Windows Server-based infrastructure.

Asta Resources realises the idea of the communitised business and operations support system. Its simple, intuitive and attractive smartphone and tablet applications, resembling social networks apps, are so much different than heavy, complex, overloaded applications of legacy, traditional resource inventory systems, which are installed on a limited numer of workstations and are only operated by a few highly skilled individuals. With simplification being one of primary system design objectives, Asta Resources provides for creating a large community of system users who can access resource-related information no matter who they are and where they are, using their everyday experience with instant messaging, uploading multimedia content or information tagging of social networks. In that way, Asta Resources promotes ubiquitous use of rich, multimedia resource-related information throughout all the divisions of the company, making the information more up-to-date, more consistent, and thus more valuable, allowing, in particular, for data crowdsourcing, etc.

Asta Resources is both flexible and future safe. Domain-specific models of resources that are downloaded at system deployment can then be customised and extended at system runtime — using object-oriented modelling concepts, system administrators can freely define new classes (kinds) of resources, like a new kind of equipment with specific functionality, and new resource types, i.e., specific types of resources of a given kind, like a new model of equipment of a given kind from a given manufacturer. Exploiting advanced capabilities and customisation features of the Asta Surveys technology arbitrary technical surveys can be defined to support resource management processes. And due to advanced workflow and workforce capabilities of Asta Platform those business processes can be tailored to the company’s profile, structure, maturity, and specific needs.

Now Asta Marketing

Asta Marketing is another new mobile cloud computing system from Asta Labs, which enables organising and managing marketing campaigns — running market surveys and distributing marketing information — using mobile devices. Implemented on Asta Architecture, Asta Marketing is offered as a service, hosted in the Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud.

Exploiting advanced capabilities and customisation features of the Asta Surveys technology, marketing managers of all types of companies can define arbitrary marketing surveys composed of freely defined queries with closed and open answers. Then, they can define marketing targets, which can be people, companies and arbitrary objects identified either directly or by means of addresses, characteristics, etc. Finally, supported by workflow and workforce capabilites of Asta Platform, they can define and manage teams of surveyors — mobile marketers — who are responsible for conducting surveys by interrogating their assigned marketing targets within assigned time periods. With mobile marketers filling in survey questionnaires and gathering textual and multimedia information using tablets and smartphones, the managers can review completed surveys in real time on their mobile devices, analysing the gathered information and the efficiency of marketer groups and individual surveyors.

Asta Investments Goes into Portfolio

Asta Labs has included a new mobile cloud computing system into its product portfolio. Asta Investments allows both investors and contractors to manage all kinds of investment projects. Using mobile devices, the representatives of all involved parties can collaborate in controlling projects, subprojects, their phases and tasks. Smartphone and tablet applications provide for managing most current information on status, schedule and all involved parties, and for handling descriptions, documents, maps and pictures pertaining to every project-related activity. The state of each activity can be reviewed and analysed using advanced capabilities and customisation features of the Asta Surveys technology. Based on Asta Architecture, Asta Investments is offered as a service, hosted in the Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud.

Making the City Asta Smart

Asta Smart City is a mobile cloud computing system that supports implementing the idea of e-administration. It enables inhabitants of municipal and rural communities to report problems concerning the functioning of the community infrastructure and services using a mobile app. The reported information can be immediately managed at community offices and the status and progress of resolving the problem can be monitored on-line by the reporting individual. The information can also be made available to local inhabitants, investors and infrastracture operators; combined with territorial and demographic data it can be visualised on street and satellite maps, e.g., using large-size television panels. Asta Smart City is offered as a service, hosted in the Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud, with the applications available for smartphones, tablets and desktops.

Read more (in Polish).

Asta Labs at Microsoft Partner Strategy Conference

On October 15-16th Asta Labs took part in the Microsoft Partner Strategy Conference 2014, held in Serock near Warsaw. An annual event, this year the conference promoted Microsoft’s motto ‘mobile first, cloud first’, concentrating on the issues of cloud computing, mobility, social media, security, and Big Data. The conference gathered more than 130 prominant Microsoft Partner companies from the Polish IT sector.

Regarded by Microsoft in Poland as one of the most promising partners in the area of advanced software solutions, Asta Labs has been among just several software vendors directly invited by the organizers. Using such an excellent opportunity, Asta Labs demonstrated the entire portfolio of its innovative mobile cloud solutions for both corporate and private users, presenting an exact answer to the challenge that results from the conference’s motto.

Asta Surveys Released

The Asta Surveys technology enables conducting arbitrary business-related and technical surveys using smartphones and tablets. The gathered information can be further analysed exploiting the business intelligence capabilities provided by Asta Architecture.

Thus, service providers can organise an on-line process of collecting data about their current and potential customers, the perception of their offer, their competitors, etc., directly at customer premises, while infrastructure providers, in particular communications and utility network providers and operators, can gather information on the technical infrastructure available at their customers’ premises, conduct technical interviews on their own infrastructural sites and connections, and on the equipment that is placed at those locations.

The Asta Survey Wizard application allows for freely defining surveys — one can add a new survey, define a number of open and closed queries, edit questions and answers, specify the single- or multiple-choice mode for closed-answer queries, link queries by specifying which answers unlock which queries, require attaching multimedia (pictures, videos, documents, etc.) while answering a query.

And the Asta Interview Master application enables conducting interviews using defined surveys. It features a simple and intuitive interface — answers are selected from drop-down or check-box lists, out-of-context queries are automatically skipped, multimedia can be attached by recording voice or taking a photo with an embedded camera, etc. Completed questionnaires with attached geo-position-related information are sent on-line to the central repository and can be viewed immediately, or business intelligence can be used to process the data from the questionnaires off-line. Both applications are available on Windows smartphones as well as on Windows tablets.

All components of Asta Surveys are implemented on Asta Platform and the Asta Surveys technology is integrated into the majority of (if not all) Asta Labs solutions, in particular into Asta Sales and Asta Operations — it is used, e.g., in the Marketing subsystem for organising market surveys and marketing campaigns, in the Customers subsystem for contacting customers in the call-centre and self-care mode, and in the Resources subsystem for running resource provisioning, maintenance and service activities.