As soon as he had finished school, Richard Gwilliam was keen to start work and, having discovered a natural aptitude for numbers, finance felt like a good fit. After applying to local companies, Richard was offered his first job in 1985 by an accountancy firm where he worked for three years, before moving into the insurance industry.
Whilst accounting and insurance gave Richard a strong grounding in business, his real passion was computers and electronics. He soon realised that the cables needed to connect computers to other equipment, such as printers, were not widely available, and, discovering a gap in the market, found the inspiration for his first business. Initially working from home, Richard began manufacturing cable assemblies and supplying components for telecoms and data networks. As demand for his services quickly grew, he soon had to move to his first commercial premises.
A computer business which developed software for the freight industry used Richard’s company to install their cabling and the directors were so impressed, they started recommending him to their customers. The company became a trusted partner and both parties worked together providing network services throughout the UK, particularly in London, Hampshire and Kent.
As a pioneer of what was to become a busy sector, Richard received more and more requests to supply and install network cabling and soon started installing other specialist networks to enable computers to communicate with each other.
In 1995, with a thriving business and strong reputation, Richard decided it was the right time to form a limited company and embark on a major review of his business with discussions concerning financial performance, business growth strategy and branding. Richard created ‘Easy Networks’ to not only accommodate the increasingly crucial and diverse roles computer networks and communications were playing in modern business, but also show that his company could ‘make a complicated subject easy for customers’.
Easy Networks Limited was incorporated on 22 November 1995 and received an overwhelmingly positive reception.
Richard continued to use the business model that first brought him success – working in partnership with IT companies to meet new customers and provide complimentary services. Networks were notoriously unreliable at the time, especially if installed by amateurs, so these partners were happy to introduce Easy Networks to new projects.
An example of one of the company’s early partnerships was with the education division of Southampton City Council, where Easy Networks installed the first network across over 80 primary and secondary schools. Other authorities who learned of the project’s success, soon engaged the company to provide services for schools, libraries, council offices and public sector organisations. easyNetworks is still a registered contractor for the supply of data cabling and wireless installations for many local authorities today.