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Engineering Management and Leadership Alum Has His Head in the Clouds

SCU alumnus Robert Kenny Joseph '02, founder and CEO of Step Ahead Solutions, Inc., is working hard to revolutionize cloud computing. "We are taking a radical new approach to leveraging the best of the clouds," said Joseph, who earned his master's degree in engineering management and leadership from the School of Engineering.

Robert Kenny Joseph ’02 has put his engineering management and leadership education to good use
Robert Kenny Joseph ’02 has put his engineering management and leadership education to good use
Photo: Krishna Matcha

A former Oracle employee with a background in mathematics and computer science, Joseph saw the cloud as "the next big thing," but recognized there were major stumbling blocks to adoption—the array and complexity of services available and the difficulty of navigating the cloud, to name just two. So in 2010 he transformed Step Ahead Solutions to mitigate these problems for customers. According to Joseph, "Dealing with enterprise software requires highly skilled resources and systems; it's expensive and time consuming. Step Ahead occupies a unique space between cloud providers and end customers. We deliver engineered systems using cloud computing for enterprise computing—provisioning the infrastructure on demand for individual customers by bundling the best in class servers from cloud providers and enterprise software programs to suit their particular requirements. Consumers don't want to be tied to any one vendor; they want to be agnostic—have some AWS, some IBM; we provide that abstraction at quite a reduction in cost and we offer a single point of support to resolve all issues related to the products and cloud services from any provider we partner with."

After assembling a team to do all the engineering work and creating a high bandwidth network that is extremely fast, Step Ahead took their solution to a Boeing subsidiary. "They loved it the moment they saw it. They were in a cost-cutting spree and recognized our system was a sure way to cut costs," Joseph said. "Our service has the ability to change the way people use computers and the way IT operates. We can deploy a new system for customers within 15 minutes that has elastic memory, compute power, and storage capabilities to meet their individual software needs. All this is insulated from wireless attack and delivered inside the customer's secure cloud."

Having applied for a patent on their cloud application provisioning system, Joseph reports, "Our company is the only one of its kind to provide total solutions and customizations for enterprise computing, and it's a win-win situation: the customer saves money, and the providers make money as more entities make use of their products."

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