Skytap Introduces Organizational Management Capabilities

Tina Aarsvold

SEATTLE, WASH. – August 3, 2010 – Skytap, Inc., the leading provider of self-service cloud automation solutions, today announced Skytap Groups™, a new capability that enables companies to model their organizational structures quickly and easily within Skytap. With this new capability, managers are empowered to create multiple user groups and assign role-based permissions to each user or user group. As a result, Skytap enables IT managers to gain the highest level of visibility and control over cloud operations.

Most cloud services are designed to support individual users and typically lack functionality to support groups, departments or lines of business with hundreds of users. Skytap Groups breaks the status quo and enables businesses to model their organizational structure in the cloud. Businesses can now use one cloud platform for multiple user groups such as development, test, training, sales engineering and IT operations – and assign role based permissions to govern cloud usage. By bringing this sophisticated user management capability to the market, Skytap removes a significant barrier to cloud adoption.

According to Ted Chamberlin, Research Director at Gartner, Inc., “In the sprint to embrace various use cases for cloud services, most enterprises are realizing the lack of role based access and organizational management structures in current market offerings. Leading cloud providers must deliver these capabilities in order to retain and grow enterprise centric cloud business. Most providers have not embraced the need to layer on management capabilities and will struggle to gain a foothold in emerging enterprises opportunities.”

Introducing Skytap Groups with Enhanced Account and Project Roles

Similar to how Salesforce.com enables businesses to define sales territories and manage the sales pipeline in the cloud, Skytap Groups provides a flexible model to organize users based on their specific role in the organization, geographic location, or business unit.

For example, an enterprise IT organization can create multiple groups of users to support a project for a new application launch. Groups of developers, testers, and IT architects can each have their own environment and execute their specific role – developers can build the application; testers can use their cloud environment for functional validation; and IT architects can use their environment to ensure compatibility with the production platform. Using Skytap, each group can be invited to a project where role-specific templates and assets are organized. Each group’s usage and access policies can be managed easily and quickly with roles at the account level and at the project level, providing a greater degree of visibility and control.

“One of our main requirements for the cloud is the ability to implement our existing organizational structures,” said Nav Chakravarti, vice president of solutions at InQuira Inc., “Skytap’s new groups feature will allow us to set up our cloud environment similar to our internal operations. Skytap has delivered on the needs of our fast growing business including critical policy and compliance capabilities we need in the cloud.”

Skytap has also enhanced its user-based permission model to include more granular access limits with the addition of Account Roles and Project Roles. The Account Roles feature allows administrators to define specific access limits. This can range from user managers who can delegate management privileges down to a restricted user that may only have the ability to start or stop virtual machines. The Project Roles feature allows even more granularity by enabling owners of individual projects to further limit the access at a project level with roles specific to the project.

For example, a development manager can create specific user groups for local developers, a remote testing team and a localization contractor. The development manager is empowered to create dev/test environments, and then:

  • Delegate Skytap user management privileges to a senior developer
  • Add the testing team to participate in the project with collaboration privileges
  • Set the localization team with restricted user permission to limit their visibility

“This release represents another milestone in our quest to make Skytap the most configurable virtual data center solution available,” said Brad Schick, vice president of engineering at Skytap. “Businesses want to manage their virtual data center environments and access policies based on how their teams are structured internally – by groups, projects, and roles. Skytap Groups enables customers to configure their Skytap environments for their unique needs, making our cloud an extension of their physical data centers.”