Castellan Systems was founded by Michael A. Velez B.Math DipPM MSP. At the time he turned on the lights in the morning and swept up at the end of the day. But to this day, Castellan Systems still remains very much Michael's vision and passion. He provides the direction and ideas that we all try to turn into reality; and still gets his "hands dirty" cutting code.
Michael lives in Wollongong, Australia, although he was born in Madrid, Spain. He was educated mostly in Wollongong, Australia, graduating from its fine and much awarded University with a Batchelor of Mathematics degree, majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics (“Information Technology”, as a term, had not yet been invented!).
His personal interests lay in History, with a strong passion for the Crusades and the Napoleonic period. He also loves movies of any era, but generally passes on soapie girly flics. Since he also has a strong interest in aircraft and all kinds of military vehicles, watching war movies can prove interesting as he picks the wrong aircraft or military vehicle used to represent historical ones.
Don't get him started on Dan Brown's The Da Vince Code!
Michael's favourite, all-time movie star is John Wayne; the first movie his parents took him to see, as a toddler, at the cinema was a John Wayne western. To pay homage to this passion, he has the largest collection of John Wayne movies on VCR (kids, ask your parents what is a "VCR") in Australia, if not, in the Southern Hemispherse. It comprises 155 movies including every episode of the 3 Musketeers and The Shadow of the Eagle serials; it doesn't include any television appearances or movies his company produced but he didn't appear in. He knows this is a big boast to make, but every movie he has missing is either not available or lost to history. So others may have as many as he does, but not more. If you do, contact us as Michael will be most interested in talking to you.
Since he was born in Spain, Football (or Soccer to some people) is like a religion and Real Madrid is his team. He's a third generation Real Madrid supporter and proudly carries his "Madridista" card and displays the logo in every possible way. We maintain a small shrine to "Los Blancos" on this website (check it out) and Michael has launched his own www.blancosdownunder.com supporters website. Of course he also follows Spain and Australia and prays every World Cup that they don't have to play against each other.
He's married with two daughters; they are 10 years apart which bring with it its own challenges. As already stated, they live in Wollongong - a great city by the sea. Wollongong is Australia's ninth largest city, with a population of over 200,000. Located 80 kilometres south of Sydney, Wollongong covers 714 square kilometres and occupies a narrow coastal strip bordered by the Royal National Park to the north, Lake Illawarra to the south, the Tasman Sea to the east and the Illawarra escarpment to the west.
Michael has worked in the Information Technology business since 1981. In that time he has worked for large corporations like BHP Steel, BHP Information Technology, CSC Australia, ING Australia and Pillar Adminstration (today Mercer Administration Services). In that time Michael has performed a wide variety of roles from Developer, Systems Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Support Manager, Project Manager, Programme Manager and Portfolio Manager. During his career, Michael has supported a varied range of customers from those working in heavy industry, manufacturing and financial services. Michael's various roles have exposed him to a number of technologies in the infrastructure and application space.
Since 1992 he's been an IT Project Manager, Programme Manager and/or Portfolio Manager with customers like BlueScope Steel's Port Kembla Steelworks, ING Australia, Pillar Adminstration, Aon and First State Super. During that time, for his own personal benefit, he began the development of what would became Castellan Systems' first product, ProMan, to save him time doing paperwork and give him more time with the project team.
Besides his university qualifications and years of experience in Project Management, Michael holds a Diploma of Project Management and is an accredited MSP Practitioner (i.e. Managing Successful Programmes).
Unfortunately during his time working in those large organisations he found a distint lack of tools to support his everyday duties. Every project manager, including Michael, developed their own tool (usually using Microsoft Excel); you have to remember that deep inside every project manager lives a frustrated developer or "code cutter". So if projects happened to be handed over from one project manager to another, something that has happened to Michael a lot, the new project manager had to take on this other custom set of tools. Surely there was a better way! What about tool(s) that met everyone's need and were used by all project managers?
In at least in one of those organisations, a few single purpose tools were developed by individual initiave and adopted by the other project managers. One of those large organisations (a very large multi-national) developed a very expensive tool that really only added to the project manager's workload and was only good for management reporting if the project manager fed it all the information. Michael was already working on his first solution, ProMan, which provided far more assistance to the project manager than this rather expensive "solution" his employers had spent so much money on. So Michael founded Castellan Systems in 2011 in order to pursue the development of ProMan (now superseded by Condotiero and Almogavar) and other ideas.
In 2007 Michael decided he had enough of working for others and having to deal with ridiculous decisions by senior management that didn't know much about project management. So he decided to concentrate all his professional energies on Castellan Systems.
The rest is history, as they say.