Digital transformation and customer experience experts, FourNet, have acquired leading cybersecurity, network infrastructure and collaboration specialists Nowcomm, one of only two Cisco Gold, Master Security and Master Collaboration accredited partners in the UK.
Today’s announcement is the third acquisition in three years for FourNet as the global business pursues a high-growth, best-in-class acquisition strategy. It’s also the second significant strategic acquisition since FourNet secured investment from leading mid-market investor Palatine.
The investment in Derby-based Nowcomm significantly enhances FourNet’s cybersecurity and network infrastructure offering to customers.
Nowcomm was founded 18 years ago by US technology giant Cisco employees Mark Lamont and James Baly who saw a gap in the market for a consultative-led Cisco business, focused on engineering and technology.
Nowcomm now has 34 highly accredited employees. The purchase of the firm will bring FourNet’s employee headcount to over 200.
Richard Pennington, co-founder and CEO of FourNet, said: “We warmly welcome Nowcomm into the rapidly expanding FourNet family.
“As one of the leading Cisco partners in the UK, they bring with them a wealth of specialist skills and expertise which will enable us to provide a significantly enhanced cybersecurity, networking and collaboration offering to our customers – from central government to blue light and other critical services.
“With the post-covid convergence of the IT and communications marketplace and the increasing pace of digital transformation, it also provides Nowcomm with access to a broader spectrum of solutions and customers.
“Today’s strategic acquisition, and the ones to follow, will enable us to maintain our position as the partner of choice for public sector and enterprise customers. With FourNet, customers can be assured we have all the IT, security, communications and customer experience expertise, coupled with our 24/7 dedicated technical support teams, to help digitally transform their business.”
James Baly, Nowcomm co-founder and Director for Front Office, said: “This is a merging of like-minded businesses. Our companies are both at the top of their game and have a very similar culture and outlook – customers first, high customer retention, technology and engineering innovation, and best-in-class expertise.”
Mark Lamont, Nowcomm co-founder and Director for Back Office, said: “These are exciting times for the Nowcomm team. We have been working with FourNet on various projects in recent months, and it is clear that our thinking and our businesses are very well aligned. Together we will serve our customers better and open up a whole new customer base.”
Last year, FourNet acquired infrastructure and security firm C>Ways, and in 2021 bought ComputerTel.
James Painter, Senior Investment Director at Palatine said: “Adding capability through strategic M&A is a key part of FourNet’s growth strategy with Nowcomm representing the second acquisition since our initial investment. This acquisition will enable FourNet to expand its offering to customers and we are keen to support the group in making additional acquisitions in the future.”
FourNet has offices in Manchester, Burton-on-Trent, Scarborough and London.
Pennington points out: “Nearly every organisation in the UK has had to fundamentally review their network requirements since the pandemic, as hybrid working practices have changed our lives.
“Those changed daily patterns have also contributed to a dramatic increase in the cyber security threat landscape for businesses and public sector organisations alike.
“An overwhelming 90% of UK senior executives, surveyed recently by PWC for its Digital Trust Insight’s report, say that cloud-related cyber threats associated with digital transformation are their number one priority in 2023.
“Two-fifths of respondents also expected cloud-based threat vectors to have a significant impact on their organisations in 2023, and nearly half said that a “catastrophic cyber-attack” was their top business risk. Yet more than two-thirds admitted they have not yet mitigated the risks associated with digital transformation.
“Organisations large and small now require an efficient, easily managed and secure underlying network, across multiple locations and hybrid working environments. They need the tools and systems to continually monitor and flag security risks. Most fundamentally they need access to the skilled professionals to interpret and act on these threats. And it’s partly why we are announcing today’s acquisition of Nowcomm.
“Our two companies fit together very well in culture and outlook. Innovation is at our core. We focus on tailor-making the appropriate solutions for our customers depending on their requirements. FourNet now has more people, a host of additional skills, greater experience and a highly accredited team to enable us to provide even more innovation in top-to-bottom secure infrastructure to new and existing customers.
“Whether it’s our central government, blue light or other critical service customers, or our smallest to largest enterprise customers, you can be assured that with today’s news we have all the IT, security, communications, 24/7 dedicated technical support and customer experience expertise to help digitally transform your organisation or business.
FourNet counts the UK Prime Minister’s Office, a range of Whitehall departments, local authorities, housing, health, blue-light and utility companies among its growing list of customers and is one of the fastest-growing privately-owned UK tech companies.
FourNet were advised by BDO (Chris Heatlie), Gateley (Leigh Whittaker and Hannah Serene) and Megabuyte (Philip Carse).
A team from Grant Thornton led by Nick Gillot advised Nowcomm’s shareholders.
Alongside acquisitions, Palatine has supported FourNet’s organic growth strategy including its investment in establishing a customer experience unction led by former Capita executive Oliver Bareham, who joined in summer 2022.
If you want to know more about FourNet or Nowcomm, go to www.fournet.co.uk