Our Story Begins And Ends With Family
Nasstar started out in life as a company called e-know.net, founded in 1998 by our current Deputy Chairman, David Redwood and he founded e-know.net after famously coming out of retirement because Mrs Redwood got sick of having him around the house. Before attempting to retire, David had previously founded a systems integration business called Largotim in 1979 that he grew into a £60m business before selling to TRW in 1997. David´s previous experience was important to e-know.net, because it was only after retiring that David realised the key barriers to sales at Largotim were high capital and operational costs on his customers part.
First of all, the software that was being sold was expensive, the server infrastructure required to run the software was also expensive, as was running a skilled and incumbent IT department to manage the whole software and hardware stack, each of these were significant barriers to adoption of the software David used to sell and in retrospect the solution was obvious.
Before the cloud, or hosted services had been invented, David decided that his next venture would be a business that hosted software in its data centres, delivered that software to the customer over the internet and charged for access to it on a predictable per user, per month basis, solving all of the previous problems that he had experienced at his previous company.
In 1998 such a service did not have a name, but over the years it got called ASP (application service provider), hosting, managed hosting, SaaS and is now commonly described as 'cloud computing'. e-know.net was born and setup from day one to host our customers data and software, delivering that back to them on a per user per month basis. The DNA of our business from day one was fully hosted and fully managed services, with huge amounts of technical support made available on a 24/7 basis.
Present at the birth of e-know.net was our current Chief Financial Officer, Niki Redwood and sister of our current CEO Nigel Redwood. Niki had just returned from travelling the world after spending years working for KPMG, where she had previously qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Upon her return, David Redwood asked Niki to help him set up e-know.net, Niki agreed, telling her father 'I will help you out for a few months' and 16 years later, Niki is still our CFO, still core to the growth and development of the business.
Our current CEO Nigel Redwood joined the family business in 2002, starting off as a Sales Manager just as 3i had invested into the company. Between 1998 and 2002, the company was focused on delivering Navision (before Microsoft bought them) as an ASP product (SaaS) and e-know.net had mastered Citrix Metaframe, becoming one of the first in the UK to deliver applications in this way.
It was Nigel who first realised that if the customer was going to get the full ROI then we needed to host all of their applications and not just their core ERP application. In 2002 we changed our model slightly to deliver fully hosted desktops, containing all of a customers application set and after proving this strategy to be highly successful, Nigel became Managing Director of e-know.net in 2003.
Ever since the early days, our business has been built on core family values, combined with a protect and grow strategy. For us, technology is a given (to a degree) and we believe that what makes a company great is its people and its relationships with customers and suppliers. We believe that all stakeholders need to be looked after as if they were a part of our family.