New Networks First MD forges managed security future

Recently-appointed Networks First managing director Tom Mulvaney sets his sights on growing the managed network provider’s security practice in the face of channel demand

Networks First has formally announced the appointment of Tom Mulvaney as its new managing director, replacing interim incumbent and chairman Peter Titmus, who has stepped back focus on his role of chairman.

Mulvaney, who joined Networks First via its early stage private equity backer, 3i, has been with the business for well over a decade and most recently served as finance director.

The channel-only service provider has invested heavily in its sales and training operations over the past 12 months, and speaking to MicroScope, Mulvaney said his biggest priority was to continue that business development.

Midlands-based Networks First, a Cisco Silver and Master Managed Services Partner, also works with the likes of Aruba, Avaya, HP, Mitel and NetApp, and provides a range of services across the UK, including LAN and WAN, wireless, VoIP and datacentres.

Key end-user deployments include a major LAN migration project for Northampton Council, and an IP telephone upgrade for public relations outfit Porter Novelli.

Mulvaney said that the firm had identified a number of opportunities it was best placed to deliver through the channel, and has now moved to focus its energies in that area. It has taken on new account managers and sales teams to target new partners and increase business volumes through existing resellers.

“We’re looking to develop stronger relationships with outsourcers who look to us for specialised expertise to offer to their customers. At the smaller end of the scale we have expertise across a number of networking technologies, and can bring skills in terms of project support, monitoring, management and maintenance,” he said.

A big area of focus will be around Networks First’s security business, where it already works with Checkpoint and Cisco. Mulvaney revealed the firm is already in discussions with a number of other potential vendor partners on that side.

“The conversations we have keep coming back to managed security services,” said Mulvaney. “We have a presence there but we think we’ll be developing that further, because our foundation of maintenance and our managed services wrap means you can’t escape the security dimension.

“It will definitely become a bigger area worldwide and we’re in a good position to take advantage of that,” he added. “We have already had lots of interest in or advanced LAN security product and have already talked internally about making that an advanced networking security product.”

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