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Oxford Networks launches data services business, acquires Falmouth firm

Matt Wickenheiser | BDN
Matt Wickenheiser | BDN
Oxford Networks CEO Craig Gunderson (left) and Resilient Tier V President and Chief Scientist Charles Largay stand in one of the secure records rooms at the startup's headquarters in the former Brunswick Naval Air Station on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011.
By Matt Wickenheiser, BDN Staff

Oxford Networks announced it has launched a commercial data services center and has acquired a small Falmouth tech company to provide the expertise needed to run it.

Oxford said it acquired Norton Lamb & Co., a 10-person information technology consulting firm, for an undisclosed price.

Oxford Networks President and CEO Craig Gunderson said his company also has acquired the commercial-space assets of Resilient Tier V, a data security startup that the Lewiston-based telecom has invested in. Resilient retains the portion of its business that is focused on providing data services to governments.

Oxford last fall had announced a planned $5 million investment in Resilient Tier V, which was based at Brunswick Landing, the site of the former naval air station. Gunderson told the Bangor Daily News that his company invested less than that but still put several million dollars into the startup and remains a minority owner.

There were several delays in expected business progress last year, said Gunderson, and Oxford had the opportunity to acquire some of Resilient’s assets, which it did to form the basis of its new data center, called Oxford Networks Data Center. The data center will be a subsidiary of Oxford Networks and will provide IT services — including secure data storage — to business customers.

“On the heels of the prior investment that we made in that data center, Oxford is making another multimillion investment to evolve its business into being able to provide customers with an ever-increasing set of business solutions, whether they be cloud-based, data center, managed network services,” said Gunderson.

Oxford has taken over Resilient’s lease on one main building at Brunswick; the startup has an option to sublease space if it needs. It also hired 10 of Resilient’s employees who were focused on the commercial data services area, said Gunderson.

Between those hires and the acquisition of Norton Lamb, Oxford’s work force expands from 120 to 140.

One of the Resilient employees Oxford hired was Matt Jacobson, a former gubernatorial candidate and past president and CEO of Maine & Co. Jacobson, who had been hired for business development at Resilient, joins Oxford as executive vice president of sales and will be running the sales and organization of the new data services operation.

“When you think about the three-legged stool we put together, we’ve got this great fiber network, then you couple that with this extraordinary facility, this fortress, and all the advantages this brings you, and then you couple that with the extremely talented team from Norton Lam, it becomes a pretty powerful dynamic,” said Jacobson.

In addition to supersecure data storage in a military-grade, secure bunker of a building, the Oxford operations will provide managed IT services, disaster recovery services, secure vault data storage and virtualization services.

“We have exactly the right product in exactly the right place in exactly the right time in history,” said Jacobson. “Now more than ever data security is on the mind of every business owner. For a business owner or CEO to know that their business’ most important information is safe and being properly managed is critical to their peace of mind and to their business success.”

Resilient Tier V President Charles Largay said the startup still is operating out of a second building at the former base and is focused on data storage and security for the government sector — which he and other experts have worked on for decades.

As the company progressed, Largay said, it became apparent that the two focus areas of commercial business and government business should be separated, he said.

“I think this is probably a huge step forward for both of us,” said Largay. “This allows them to focus on expanding and becoming a provider in the next generation of cloud services for their commercial customers, and it allows us to focus on areas where our innovation and creativity has a big play in the challenges government has today.”

Both companies will work with each other as needed, as different customers come on board and request certain services, both Largay and Gunderson said.

“We’re both counting on each other to be successful,” Largay said.

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