Rick Maxwell received the 2012 Deal Maker Award from the Cincinnati chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth in May. Maxwell, who won in the Entrepreneur category, is president and CEO of Full Service Networking, the managed IT services firm he acquired in 2009. Maxwell helped develop the growth strategy for Cincinnati-based Modern Office Methods previously acquiring OfficeWare, a Louisville-based document solutions firm in 1995. OfficeWare was sold to Konica Minolta last year. "It's quite an honor and a surprise," Maxwell said. "I'm not afraid to make deals. Nevertheless it has to be a win for everyone."
For more than two years, Ursuline Academy had considered outsourcing management of its IT network and infrastructure at the private Catholic girls' school. Principal Tom Barhorst said the school met with several companies, however the most powerful message came from Rick Maxwell, president and CEO of Full Service Networking, a managed IT services firm as well based in Blue Ash.
Ursuline signed a three-year deal for FSN to monitor the school's IT network 24/7 to ensure optimal performance and stay ahead of any potential issues or outages.
In addition to break-fix support, FSN as well plans to function as a virtual chief information officer helping Ursuline plan for its future technological needs. Ursuline ultimately will utilize FSN's cloud computing services to make resources and curriculum accessible to students online via iPads or other mobile devices. FSN will have a technician at Ursuline daily while the school year.
When Maxwell acquired FSN in 2009, he encountered a business that was stagnant and more reactive than proactive in its approach to managed IT services.
The pulse of the company had to change
"The pulse of the company had to change," Maxwell said. "Managing someone's IT network is an awesome responsibility. When the network goes down, they're out of business. We weren't going to wait for clients to call us."
FSN offers IT services supported by relationships and certifications with companies including Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Cisco Systems and Emerson. Just in case to disaster recovery and network maintenance, FSN is focusing on virtualization via cloud computing and off-site data centers, which are stormproof and secure.
FSN charges a monthly fee for some services during others are priced per project depending on the complexity of the network and number of users.
Few flat years
After a few flat years, FSN is on pace for $3.2 million in earnings this year and expects to greatly exceed its 10-percent growth strategy established for 2012.
"We don't consider a vendor, nevertheless a partner in operating our business," said Jay Hummel, president and chief operating officer of Lenox.
"So many companies say they care about understanding your business, but at that time you come to find out that they only care about selling you something. I've found FSN to be just the in contrast."
For more than two years, Ursuline Academy had considered outsourcing management of its IT network and infrastructure at the private Catholic girls' school.
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