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.
Renewed Focus & A Reverse Merger
In 2005, we realised that in order to properly service our customers, we needed to properly understand their businesses. We introduced sector specialisms to ensure that we understood how best to technically support our customers and their IT needs. To provide such a service, you have to know your customers as if they were your family and since then we have specialised in the legal, financial, recruitment and governmental sectors.
In 2014, e-know.net merged with Nasstar in a reverse takeover to form the Nasstar Group. Nasstar was founded in 1998 by then CEO Charles Black and was one of the first service providers in the world to offer hosted virtual desktops and was first to market with a multi-tenant platform designed for resellers, what is now known as 'cloud computing'. Charles Black was a pioneer pushing the boundaries of technology and chose to float Nasstar on AIM in 2005 in order to fund the R&D cycle and to create scale through acquisitions.
VESK, Kamanchi and Modrus Acquisition Stories
Milestones, Awards & Recognition
Over the years we have had more than our fair share of internal milestones, our first customer joined us in 2000 and is still with us to this day, in 2002 we signed our first legal customer, Martin Kaye, in 2003 we signed up our first recruitment customer, Angela Mortimer and in 2004 we hit 1,000 users, reaching the 10,000 user mark by 2016.
In 2000 we were the first UK partner to be granted hosting rights for Microsoft Dynamics NAV and in 2002 we became fully accredited Citrix and Microsoft partners. In 2006 we achieved Microsoft Gold Partner status and in 2009 we were the founding member of the Citrix CSP Program. Following this, we adopted the PRINCE 2 project methodology and ITIL support framework, achieving 99% satisfaction in our annual customer survey.
In 2010 we moved into our purpose built headquarters at Datapoint House, a 5 million pound state of the art data centre for our private use and we achieved our ISO 27001 security standard certification, complemented in 2016 by our Cyber Essentials Certification and G-Cloud 7 status. That same year we were also included in the London Stock Exchange Group's 'Top 1,000 Companies To Inspire Britain' report and were delighted to be featured again in the 2017 report.