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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2018

A Deep Dive into Cloud: CoreStack, a Bellevue Startup, Unlocks the Potential of Your Multi-Cloud Governance

thesiliconreview-ezhilarasan-natarajan-ceo-corestack-2018

We believe that for enterprises to continue to innovate faster as they embrace the cloud computing phenomenon, they will need cloud technologies that are Interoperable, Intuitive and Enable Effective Governance to optimize Cloud Usage while minimizing Cloud Risks: Ezhilarasan (Ez) Natarajan

Multi-cloud approach is becoming mainstream as the overall cloud adoption is increasing across the globe. Enterprises use a combination of options, from public and private cloud to hybrid cloud from multiple providers. This means that companies must now find ways to govern multi-cloud environments seamlessly. A true multi-cloud governance platform should empower organisations with capabilities to automate and control workloads over any cloud infrastructure, securely.

As the need for an apt Governance solution is inevitable, we are thrilled to present CoreStack – a cloud governance platform that accelerates multi-cloud adoption, optimizes consumption and enforces governance for businesses to maximize business agility and deliver predictable outcomes.

CoreStack ensures effective Consumption, Operation and Optimization of Cloud Services through its unique Cloud-as-a-Code approach. The platform delivers predictable outcomes supporting agility across enterprise and enforces compliance relevant to budgets and policies.

CoreStack was incorporated in 2016 and is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.

Interview Excerpt: Ezhilarasan (Ez) Natarajan, CEO

Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?

CoreStack was launched to address a very acute and critical problem for enterprises transitioning from traditional IT to cloud technologies.

All clouds are not the same. Each cloud has its own sets of unique merits and capabilities that resolve the diverse technology based requirements enterprises may have. Thus, we believed that organizations will adopt a blend of cloud. Multi-cloud will become a necessary step forward to resolve their technology needs and empower their users across the various orgs as well as extend the benefits to their customers.

Managing multiple cloud technologies is an arduous task. We wanted to help enterprises stay focused on their core business and their customers, and hence CoreStack, the next generation cloud service governance platform came into the existence. CoreStack enables enterprises to put their cloud, containers and server-less technologies, on an auto-pilot mode by incorporating aspects of machine learning and artificial intelligence with connector-less integration capabilities. Corestack accelerates cloud adoption, optimizes consumption and enforces governance for businesses to maximize business agility and deliver predictable outcomes.

How successful was your first product roll out? Share the experience.

First product roll out was done for a Gaming customer, that had multiple gaming apps with millions of subscribers. The customer’s cloud journey was simplified with CoreStack and roll out was hassle free. It was a proud moment for the entire team to see an overwhelmed customer and a substantial reduction in their cloud spend due to use of CoreStack. They are a happy customer even today and have grown multi-fold ever since. Working with them has also helped strengthen our product in solving real-world problems.

What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?

Winning the first 10 customers was a challenge because our product was new and it was not easy to convince the customer about the value our technology could bring for them. In order to win the customer, we offered POC’s and showed them the value. But this often resulted in the prolonged sales cycle. Having a clear product roadmap, plan and team for product maturity and customer success from the beginning always helps. It was challenging to prioritize between building support for a plethora of tools and technologies vs. depth of use cases.

What do you feel are the reasons behind?

Your product popularity – Cloud governance can be complicated, especially with multi-cloud on the horizon now. The CoreStack leadership team comes from top fortune global companies and had early exposures to many of the emerging challenges. They have instilled their experiences in CoreStack to simplify the Cloud governance for Enterprises. CoreStack helps organizations manage and monitor multiple cloud environments from a single dashboard. Its automation capabilities lead to swifter, streamlined processes with no room for manual errors.

Since the implementation of CoreStack platform in their Enterprise environments our customers have become evangelists, as they always recommend us to their peers and partners in the industry.

Your consistent growth as an organization – Everyone in the organization right from developer to strategic management derives our motivation from customer success. That is the single north star that drives our organization. Our clear understanding of the need to be nimble and agile in a technology world which is fast changing has helped as well.

If you have to list three factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?

Our people – CoreStack is proud to be built by some of the most gifted minds out there in the world of cloud tech. Every person comes with a diverse set of skills and a deep thirst for knowledge. They are the ones that shape our product to become the best-in-class in cloud governance.

Being open to change – At CoreStack, we build tools that help organizations move ahead in their cloud journey. We regularly interact with our customers to understand their pain points in depth. Our empathy is channelized into our products. Once we build new features, we go back to them and listen to their views. This constant nature of imbibing feedback, criticism and working on it has helped us constantly offer the solution that our customer requires.

Automate everything – Gone are the days when manual intervention was needed at every step of cloud monitoring and governance. If a process can be automated, we do it. This helps organizations avoid the pitfalls of manual errors and ensure that the lights will always be on, and someone will be there to raise the alarm in case of an emergency. 

How do you and your company contribute to the global IT platform and society at large?

We are a big proponent of opensource technologies. We consume and contribute to the opensource world. While cloud has become ubiquitous, consuming and governing cloud can be a daunting task. Our ‘Cloud as a Code’ IP makes multi-cloud governance as much easier and effective as possible. We are also participating in the national skilling program. We contribute to the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) by sharing our learnings. As a member of Educause, we help higher education in the advancement of learning through technology.

Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?

We believe that AI and machine learning will have key roles to play in the near future across industries. Even as we speak 38 percent of enterprises are using AI, as per a survey. As an avid technology enthusiast, in the coming years, I would like to combine these technologies with cloud to resolve some of the key challenges that organizations face, for example, using predictive analytics to obtain insights of cloud usage behavior. We aim to be the leaders in providing next-generation cloud service governance platform that puts cloud, container and server-less technologies on auto-pilot mode through artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Ezhilarasan (Ez) Natarajan: A Brief History of CoreStack’s Promising CEO

Ezhilarasan Natarajan is an entrepreneur and accomplished technology executive with 20 years of experience in architecting and delivering business solutions that satisfy diverse technology requirements across multiple industry segments.

After repeatedly building large scale Cloud platform services, Ez had the vision to build a Cloud Lifecycle Platform that could accelerate Enterprises adoption of Cloud technologies. He has been instrumental in building a Cloud Governance Platform that empowers enterprises to adopt Public Cloud and Cloud-centered technologies to coexist with their past technology investments.

As a first leader and chief architect, he built a differentiated cloud transformation life cycle approach and implemented the approach as Cloud Enrichment Platform. The transformation model and the cloud enrichment platform originally architected and built by Ez have been applied for a US Patent, pending approval.

Mr Natarajan earned his Bachelor’s in Computer Science Engineering from India and a Masters degree in Business Administration from US.

“Cloud-as-a-Code – a declarative approach to cloud service consumption – helps enterprises consume modern stacks and tools across multiple clouds, helping them innovate rapidly without compromising on the governance.”

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