Shropshire-based Nasstar plc is marking an important milestone in 2018, as the company celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Founded in 1998 by then CEO Charles Black, Nasstar started out as a small website development and hosting services business with a focus on innovation and delivering excellent customer service, two values that are still intrinsic to the business today.
20 years on and Nasstar is one of the largest UK providers of hosted managed services, with offices spread across five geographic locations, nearly 200 staff and over 15,000 hosted desktop users. Hosted managed services remain the business’s core offering, however as a result of multiple acquisitions over the course of four years, the business now offers an enhanced service portfolio which has resulted in significant growth and market penetration.
Since inception Nasstar has been a forward-thinking business, 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.
In 2014, Nasstar served approximately 2,400 users on its hosted desktop platform and was involved in a £13.0m reverse takeover of e-know.net, a hosted desktop provider with over 100 managed service clients, ranging in size from 1 to 1,500 users.
Nasstar had, over the last ten years invested heavily in innovation to create a powerful hosted desktop solution, likewise e-know.net was an established provider with a strong proposition and a clear sales and marketing strategy to address chosen sectors. The combination of the respective strengths of the two businesses created an enlarged business capable of providing a hosted desktop service to a wide range of business types and sizes.
In the summer of 2014, Nasstar acquired Kamanchi, an organisation born out of an industry need for fast, detailed customisation to recruitment CRMs and databases. Today, known as Nasstar For Recruitment, the business provides fully managed IT services and systems integration to hundreds of recruitment consultants around the world. The original Kamanchi team for the backbone of Nasstar’s professional services division and deliver recruitment focused IT services and support to clients.
In 2015, Nasstar acquired VESK, a hosted desktop provider founded in 2005. As well as providing valuable additional resource and a broader geographical reach with data centres in Singapore as well as London, the acquisition bought both market synergy and opportunity, with consolidation in the legal sector and potential across the public sector due to VESK’s G-Cloud accreditation.
In 2016, Nasstar acquired hosted managed services provider, Modrus further strengthening the business’s capability. As well as bolstering Nasstar’s engineering expertise, the acquisition also bought the business a presence in additional markets and true ‘follow the sun’ support function via an office in New Zealand.
The last twenty years has seen the organisation grow and evolve dramatically from its humble beginnings, Nasstar’s CEO, Nigel Redwood comments:
“Nasstar’s anniversary is a significant milestone in the company’s history and it’s extremely rewarding to look back on the last twenty years and see the continued growth and success that the business has experienced. Our success wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic team we have here at Nasstar, they are dedicated to understanding the markets we operate in, delivering exceptional customer service and striving towards innovation.
Both e-know.net and Nasstar were founded in a time before the cloud or hosted services had been invented but from day one, the DNA of both businesses was fully hosted and fully managed services, with huge amounts of technical support made available on a 24/7 basis. It makes me immensely proud to witness the progression of the company over time and I am sure the next twenty years will be as successful.”