‘An Interview with David Mavashev, Nastel Technologies Founder and CEO: ‘We Help Some of the Largest Global Companies Analyze, Track, and Visualize Data from Mobile to Mainframe’

“We provide IT organizations and business executives with the tools and insights they need to understand and manage their digital environments.”

As today’s enterprise IT environments have grown steadily in complexity over the last decade,  so too has reliance upon sophisticated middleware communications backbones. They act as the central nervous system for complex business application ecosystems spanning mainframes, distributed systems, cloud platforms, and the mobile universe.

In view of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present Nastel Technologies.

Nastel provides application performance and transaction management software solutions. It offers AutoPilot M6 application performance management suite for managing the performance of business transactions and composite applications; AutoPilot WebSphere MQ management that provides end-to-end application process monitoring; AutoPilot on-demand for WebSphere MQ; and AutoPilot M6 TransactionWorks, a business transaction management solution.

The company also provides implementation, training, business view jump-start, advanced business view training, usage assessment and performance tuning, application performance improvement assessment, AutoPilot solution architecture assessment, and AutoPilot user certification program services. It offers its solutions for managing application performance, managing business transactions, meeting service level agreements, and predictive problem prevention solutions.

Nastel is headquartered in Plainview, New York. It has additional offices in the U.K., France, Germany and Mexico, and a network of partners throughout Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia.

David Mavashev, Nastel

Technologies Founder/ CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review.

Below is an excerpt.

Can you brief us about the history of your company?

I was working as a project manager and architect in a joint venture helping IBM to develop its first Message Queuing product for reliable connectivity of mission-critical applications. Having worked prior to that in large financial institutions it was obvious to me that the monitoring and management of the new IBM’s product will be required to ensure reliable communication.

IBM claimed that a potential market for MQ will reach $1B by the year 2000. Although the market was in its infancy many vendors in systems and enterprise management space decided to get a part of the pie.

We started as a consulting company in November of 1994 with a vision to transform Nastel into a product startup. In 1996, we developed the first management product MQControl for IBM’s messaging product MQSeries. It was a part of a consulting project in a major pharmaceutical

company. Enterprises were not ready to be early adopters of a product of a three-person company, instead, they were suggesting to us to partner with large vendors fearing the risk of going with an immature supplier.

A direct sales approach was very expensive and required substantial capital. Various VCs approached us, but Nastel had only one customer and we had to give up substantial

equity. We decided to bring a few additional customers and try an OEM strategy. Industry analysts such as Gartner started a Magic Quadrant for IBM’s MQ. Because of my in-depth

knowledge of MQ and its monitoring needs Gartner positioned Nastel far right in the Visionary Quadrant. They suggested us to fund a partner or sell our technology to more established vendors.

“Our ability to exploit middleware messages to abstract business understanding from machine data places us at the right place, at the right time with the right technology to dominate the AIOps market that is just now emerging.”

What was Nastel’s next move?

We approached large public software companies in the enterprise monitoring space – Boole and Babbage, BMC, Candle, Landmark, CA, HP and IBM. All of them initially rejected us stating that they already have solutions. Their marketing worked much better than their R&D.

These companies had multi-million dollars budgets, large customer bases, skilled developers. They did not see any reason to acquire or OEM any technology from a third party. Some of the companies were IBM mainframe-oriented, had very little knowledge of distributed environments. MQSeries was offered on more than 20 operating systems including Mainframe. Software developers in those corporations did not understand the needs of middleware users, the internal knowledge was scattered across different groups.

What were the biggest initial hurdles at the outset and how did you overcome them?

In the summer of 1996, we were offered $4M to be acquired by Candle Corporation. The deal fell through because of a competitor filed a frivolous lawsuit to block the sale fearing stronger competition from a more established player.

In early 1997, Boole & Babbage, had in excess of $100M in revenue, wanted to acquire us. Being ambitious and hoping to use Boole’s sales channels to generate revenue we closed an OEM deal with them including royalties and substantial multi-million dollars upfront payment. Later in 1998, BMC with revenues in excess of $600M at that time entertained a very good offer to acquire Nastel. As in the case with Boole instead of taking the deal we decided to OEM our technology with a much higher multimillion dollars upfront payment and higher royalties.

This was followed by a similar deal with Landmark Systems.

Nastel’s solution became a defacto standard for MQ monitoring and management. Ironically, all these companies are no longer independent. Nastel, on the other hand, is in business continuously innovating and flourishing. To hedge our bets, we competed with our OEM partners and acquired direct customers, some of them have been with us for more than 20 years.

Tell us about the first product that was launched.

In 1998, we introduced to the market the first, best-of-class middleware management solution – AutoPilot.

Later, the product coverage extended to monitoring of other emerging technologies. Throughout the years we have licensed our solution to more than 300 enterprises worldwide, leaders in their own space, enterprises such as Citi, BNP, Dell, Best Buy, UHG etc. Our solution is a de-facto standard in middleware management. CA, now Broadcom, HP now Microfocus and IBM resell our solution. Throughout the years we continuously evolved to innovate, most recently adding AI, machine learning, big data analytics, covering new technologies such as Kafka and Blockchain. Nastel has been a strong player in APM, ITOA and AIOps markets. Last year, IBM Global Service became a Nastel Reseller to cover new emerging middleware technologies that IBM software does not support.

What do you hope to accomplish in the long run?

We are already known as the best-of-class company in the middleware management. We are the only company that delivers a highly scalable solution on the market that tracks business transactions from end-to-end throughout the entire heterogeneous systems – from mobile devices to legacy applications on the mainframe. Today, we provide solutions that deliver the highest levels of availability and performance for large enterprises, with the shortest time to value. Our ability to exploit middleware messages to abstract business understanding from machine data places us at the right place, at the right time with the right technology to dominate the AIOps market that is just now emerging. We are now planning to shift into taking the market leadership; to achieve that we may bring financial partners but not at the expense of the solution quality.

Moreover, we will be focusing on AI and machine learning applied to the AIOps market. Also, we plan to go after emerging Blockchain technology.