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"We passed the Valley of Death
and look confidently into the future"
The Novosibirsk Scientific and Technical Center Has been developing software almost for 10 years. Now the company is a resident of Skolkovo.

To understand how the NSTC managed to find its niche and become one of the fastest growing companies Akademgorodok, we spoke with the founder of the center Vladimir Ulyanov.
Vladimir, how and where did the NSTC begin?

- We began to form as a service company for oil and gas industry. After 2014, it became clear that our customers - oil companies - began to care very much about technological sovereignty. What this means: on the one hand, there is a need for new technologies, and on the other hand, the need for tools for the implementation of these technologies has become even stronger.

We can say that we have grown to the point that we began to convert our experience, knowledge and skills into serial software. This all happened in the fall of 2017. In 2018, 2019, 2020 we have grown and matured to a serial manufacturer.

Why the sphere of oil production? Are there any other areas of work?

— I will start from the end: now we are interested not only in the oil industry. For example, we solve the issue with partners who implement environmental control systems, because their environmental monitoring coincides

with our tools developed for enterprises. Plus, the idea of a new generation social network, which we started talking about a few months ago, perfectly correlates with the task of environmental monitoring.

Why did you start with the oil industry? The fact is that the oil industry, in my opinion, is a rather complex sphere
of industry from the point of view of physics and mathematics, and at the same time there are a lot of unresolved problems.

I am a geophysicist myself and have been working in the oil sector for more than 25 years. This allowed us to have
a very good stock of knowledge, connections, understanding of everything that brings profit to the business.

On the other hand, the collapse of Western companies made it possible to very effectively recruit the staff of the NSTC and take a high competitive position in the market. The oil industry is most loaded with mathematics, so what we do for the oil industry can be converted to other industries.

The NSTC is very closely connected with the NSU. What is the interaction based on?

— First of all, we consider the NSU as a forge of personnel. The fact is that our faculties are a source of qualified personnel with good fundamental training. This is the first one.

Secondly, after all, the teaching staff of NSU is now very much focused on commercialization and contacts with
the industry. The university ceases to be a free application to the institutions that it has been all this time and now there is a partial reorientation from academic institutions to applied companies at NSU. In this sense, we have good synergy. STC is a technology company for implementation, and NSU is considered as a source of fundamental solutions.

The university carries out some of its highly scientific research within its walls - they are engaged in fundamental science, and we are engaged in applied science.

Many companies are reluctant to hire students, but NSTC has a differenbt approach. Why?

— The fact is that the cycle of our applied tasks that we perform as part of routine activities is very large. Our current projects were founded several years ago and were the result of a large and painstaking activity. And in this sense,
the students who came 2-4 years ago have already become specialists. We grew up together with the projects.

On the other hand, having received a student of the College of Computer Science at our disposal, we get a decent specialist in a year. That is, after a year, a person begins to confidently benefit the company and the team. And after another two or three years, he becomes a specialist of a good level.

Do you have bonuses for students for their academic success?

- Yes. At some point, we noticed that too much enthusiasm of students can be harmful.

That is, we noticed that a number of young people are so interested in work that they drop out of school. On the one hand, it was possible to turn a blind eye to this, but on the other hand, we are for a full-fledged harmonious personality
in the team and are interested in ensuring that employees are disciplined. Moreover, this increases our credibility among students and the trust of the university. So at some point we decided, that part of the monetary remuneration, which we have quite decent in comparison with other companies, should be tied to monthly success in the curriculum.

Is the development of IT products in the field of oil and gas production a profitable business?

— We invest all the profits in development. This determines our good development. Let's put it this way:
by reformatting our company in 2017, we ensured an annual three-fold increase in terms of revenue, staff
and intellectual property. We have successfully passed the "Valley of Death" and are confidently looking to the future. And with the help of our partners, we hope not only to maintain, but also to increase our growth rates.

And what is the NSTC doing now?

— It is very difficult to describe it in two words. What do we see now? Until now, any technological software used
in non-IT companies has been very fragmented. Companies that needed specific technological solutions began
to depend on suppliers, and the use of software was comparable to a battlefield where everyone was trying to find their own tools. At the same time, each company tried to protect itself from the arbitrariness of sellers.

And how did this happen? You have a fairly wide range of software that is always in use, which usually supports several repetitive functions. That is, you can do the same thing with different packages.

This explains the fact that if suddenly one of the suppliers becomes greedy, becomes unfriendly, then you always have the opportunity to switch to another supplier, to another software. I'll give you a simple example: you are currently working in Microsoft Office, but you can switch to Google if Microsoft closes its licenses.

And you will not lose anything, you will continue to work.

This also applies to highly specialized software. There is always a market. All this was wonderful before the modern challenges. The year 2020 has shown that the depth of integration of products and business processes requires much more. A high degree of automation is required. This means that companies should switch to integrated solutions:
use programs not as separate modules and solutions, but as more holistic platform solutions. And here a very serious problem arises - how should the modern.

The software is designed in such a way as to be as integrated as possible, where all operations are performed without any additional actions. When each specialist does something different, and the data is transferred to a common array without intermediate transformations.

We have found and come up with a specific platform for ourselves, in which various functions are solved by a third-party company.

The software and at the same time an open interface allow various manufacturers to connect and write their own modules. Our solution is a kind of shell, and most of the work is done using plugins, which provides maximum functionality.

We are at a more macroscopic level and have figured out how to create a business process model that would be very visual and visual. The fact is that any enterprise containing resources distributed in space, and mining companies
are exactly like that, must control the production management, which is associated with the management of various elements of the enterprise. Wells, roads, pipelines, etc. - the company must manage this. This is where the need
for visual visualization of data arises in order to monitor and plan all processes. You can, of course, represent this in the form of tables, and you can put it all on a map. All this is clearly demonstrated by taxi programs, for example Yandex, which have a cartographic interface. You can always see where it is going, from where and how much it costs,
you can assess the correctness of the route, possible delays, etc.

The same principle was laid down by us – the display of all objects on the map. Another know-how was the visualization of processes. The fact is that we can display either static objects or moving objects on the map, while processes have variability over time and are constantly changing, but we have learned to display on maps attributes that relate
to the map, i.e. the location of these processes.

If we draw a road, we mean that it is not just a road, but a certain line along which goods are transported. Depending on the context and the task, we can switch from the road to the network schedule.

A network schedule is simply an effective way to manage tasks. We have laid a huge the number of methods that allow you to effectively manage processes and provide an opportunity to visually assess the situation and manage business processes on a time scale. The result is an effective interface for displaying and managing information, which allows you to display any tasks on a computer screen or in a situation center. This is a new principle of building the organization in which we participate and the product that we produce.