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Progress in 2024: VAST and A New Business Line

February 22, 2024

Seth Berman
President & CEO
News Category: 

To say the team at Instantiations has been “busy” lately would be an understatement, but since we’ve recently completed an important transition, I should take a moment to provide an update.

In short: Things are going really well at Instantiations.

So how did we get here? A year ago, I wrote:

“It's clear that the customer-centric approach that drives new features and innovations for VAST is also resulting in growth opportunities for Instantiations itself...not only in the near term, but for the long term too.”

And, at the recent Smalltalks 2023 event in Argentina, I defined this same type of approach as following a “boutique” business model. Essentially, this means Instantiations focuses on creating a specialized, high-quality, and personal experience for our customers.

While following this approach/model, we’ve continued to invest in VAST with a focus on customer needs, and we’ve simultaneously developed deeper business relationships that have led to new opportunities and, ultimately, a new line of business for Instantiations.

New Fintech Services

In mid-2022, our customer-centric approach caught the attention of one of our Financial Technology (Fintech) customers. They were looking for a partner to help support a specific set of software systems they had developed, and they needed it done carefully due to the importance of the clients using these systems.

Based upon decades of experience doing something similar with VAST, both parties felt this was a good fit for Instantiations. And certainly, another contributing factor was that one of the primary technologies being used for these Fintech systems is the VAST Platform.

As a result, Instantiations reached an agreement to support and further modernize these systems, and as of January 1, 2024, Instantiations started supporting various tier 1 and tier 2 financial institutions in the US and Canada on this mission-critical software.

This agreement (and the creation of our new Fintech Services business line) would not have been possible without more than a year of hard work from folks on our Fintech customer’s side as well as others at Instantiations. We’ve built an additional team of engineers and staff that are Fintech industry veterans along with more engineers with expertise in VAST, Java, COBOL, and other technologies at the core of these important systems. Meanwhile, our current VAST Platform engineering team is also growing and continues to provide support directly to existing VAST customers.

Everyone at Instantiations (both our new and existing staff) are very excited about this business line. It’s taken much time and energy to pull this together, but that was to be expected, because we wanted to move at a pace where we ensured that this agreement was beneficial for everyone in our organization.

Much like the longevity and stability we've brought to VAST for the last 20 years, our goal is to bring our same methodologies and value to these important banking systems and further extend their life as well. For more information about this new business line, see our Fintech Services page.

Continued Longevity for VAST

With the VAST Platform being a core technology of many of the systems in our new business line, it further solidifies the importance and longevity of the VAST Platform product. Not only are our VAST customers using it for their organizations and their customers, but we’re using VAST ourselves to serve our new Fintech customers.

In essence, we became a customer of ourselves. This will position us to better understand, empathize, and help VAST users in a superior way. And ultimately, this new business line will allow us to continue to invest more directly with additional staffing and new VAST enhancements for the long term.

VAST Platform 2024 & VAST Support Portal

Within the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing the latest version of VAST: VAST Platform 2024 (13.0.0). It will provide a host of new features and enhancements like: WebView2, Unicode database integrations, Unicode integration in Seaside, performance increases through use of SIMD, JIT improvements on ARM, and more! We’ll be surveying VAST users in coming months on future features they’d like to see.

Beyond VAST itself, we’ll additionally be launching a new VAST support experience. Made possible through a new VAST Support Portal we’re building jointly with a partner specializing in these types of systems, VAST customers will have a centralized area for finding information about the VAST Platform as well as quickly requesting support.

These support requests will be ingested into an industry-standard system where you’ll be able to manage your support tickets and see their status from a single dashboard, and even refer to previously closed tickets quickly and easily.

What’s next?

For 35 years, Instantiations has been a company that continually expands its capabilities to stay relevant and grow. Traditionally, our expertise aligns more with development platform creation, language runtimes, and the tooling to support them. However, it’s become clear that there’s demand to support existing applications using VAST (and other) technology, and Instantiations is well-equipped to provide those services where needed. Our first major initiative down this path is our new Fintech Services line.

We’ve seen that companies may be inappropriately structured to continue internally maintaining these systems, so we’ve positioned ourselves to provide ongoing support and custom engineering for this existing critical software. Our services leverage our existing expertise, while we simultaneously expand our domain knowledge related to Fintech through extensive technology acquisition and staff growth.

Our current path at Instantiations is the natural progression that’s been many years in the making, and I look forward to bringing more news of future progress as Instantiations continues to grow and evolve.

Together, we can build something great.

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