Although the software industry has been around for a while, it was in the mid-'90s that a new trend was picking up. There was one missing piece in the industry which would act as a middle ground between system software and business applications. This was brought through technology software later called –Message Oriented Middleware (MOM) and extended to a general term- Middleware. Now in 2019, Middleware technologies became essential components of distributed applications. Nastel Technologies was one of the companies pioneering in proactive monitoring of MOM products at the very beginning and with time it has evolved to become a leader in analytics for IT operations.
We interviewed David Mavashev, Nastel Technologies CEO. Here are a few excerpts.
Could you tell us about how Nastel began?
We started as a consulting company in late 1994 and subsequently transformed into a software product vendor. We went into MOM monitoring even before the term “middleware” came into vogue in the late ‘90s. Application groups were embracing the emerging MOM technologies to address the needs of their own business users. To keep mission critical applications highly available and reliable the monitoring and management was essential. System management vendors did not jump into development of in-depth monitoring solutions for middleware waiting for the maturity of evolving technologies, thus creating a vacuum.This vacuum created an opportunity for us. In those days, to avoid operational and reputational risks, enterprises had to either internally develop monitoring scripts or partner with a willing vendor. So we partnered with one of our customers and in 1998 we released AutoPilot – a proactive APM solution.
Throughout the years we have continuously evolved and innovated. Today, we have more than 150 plug-ins for various technologies covering mobile devices, distributed systems, open source middleware, and even legacy applications on ZOS. Nastel has more than 300 customers of Fortune 1000 companies worldwide in various industries including financial, retail, healthcare manufacturing, telecom and many more.
What your firm’s products and services?
Our AutoPilot is a proactive Application Performance Monitoring (APM) suite for composite mission-critical applications across hybrid cloud environments and in-depth expertise in MOM products. Nastel XRay on the other hand, is our big data analytics platform that has built-in Machine Learning (ML) capabilities and Decision Support reporting and custom dashboarding. XRay can automatically track and trace business transactions end-to-end across heterogeneous systems. We also have Nastel Navigator, which is a self-service middleware management solution that is used by DevOps and middleware support groups. Nastel offers services related to the implementation of its solutions including customization, training, usage assessment, performance tuning, and improvement assessment.
Do you think your offerings encourage innovation?
Nastel has been in business for 25 years now. It has organically grown, won against much larger competitors and has kept its customers for years. We continuously innovate, and make sure our solution adapts to the evolution of customer needs. Innovation is the core of Nastel’s culture. We always look forward to making the life of the users easier and efficient.
How does your company analyze the competition in terms of product capabilities?
There are several ways we assess our competitors. Firstly, we get feedbacks from our customers and prospects. We attend various conferences and trades hows where our competitors present their solutions. Vendors issue press releases, create marketing events and videos, write blogs, etc. We look at social media publications and LinkedIn profiles, talk to analysts such as Gartner, Forrester, IDC, EMA, etc. It all helps.
In some cases, we get competitive information during the hiring process of sales reps or pre-sales engineers. We also hire third-party companies to provide an independent objective assessment of the competition.
How loyal is your customer base and what are you doing to improve it?
Our customers are very loyal and, some have been with us for more than two decades. It is very rare for us to lose a customer. It happens in some cases when the company is acquired, run into financial difficulties, or changed technology directions. However, in many cases they come back.
We are always looking to improve customer experience. Last year we established an internal Customer Success Group. The main goal of this group is to identify issues, make sure customers fully understand our solutions capabilities and all their concerns are addressed.
What is your company’s vision moving forward?
We are considered to be the best in class in the middleware management segment. We are the only company that can track business transactions of mission critical applications end-to-end. We are now looking to shift into taking the market leadership in AIOps. It is an emerging market and we have the best technology and solution that our customers can greatly benefit from. We may bring in some financial partners to achieve these goals.
Meet the chief
David Mavashev, CEO and Founder
Mr. Mavashev founded Nastel in 1994. He is an industry-recognized expert who brings both his business and technical acumen to the table at Nastel. He is a General partner at Elefund LLC, an investment and venture capital company that helps new startups with innovative and disruptive solutions in a variety of industries. He is also the founder of jKool, a SaaS-based startup pioneering new artificial intelligence and analytics techniques that provide valuable business insights from real-time streaming data.
Before his stint as an entrepreneur, Mr. Mavashev architected and managed the implementation of the first commercial messaging product in a joint venture between a subsidiary of NYNEX and IBM. He has logged many years as an IT consultant working with some of the world’s foremost enterprises.
“World leaders chose us over IBM, BMC, CA, and other tech giants in the industry, and relied on our products to keep their mission-critical business services highly available and highly reliable.”
“As CEO of the company, my goal is to execute on the set growth plan and win. I am ready to go aggressively about it while making sure that all parts of the company execute in unison towards the set revenue goals.”
"Our Corporate Philosophy is to stay focused and be the best-in-class company in all aspects of our business."