Tech veteran launches new IT service firm

24 Sep 2010

Longtime IT security executive John Ryan has launched a new IT services company. Called Zinopy, the company employs 30 people and plans to hire a further 30 staff over the next two years.

The new company will primarily target customers in large enterprises, Government and public sector organisations.

Ryan is most associated with IT security from his 15-year tenure at Entropy and more recently Calyx, prior to which he spent five years in software development with Expert Edge. Ryan told Siliconrepublic that Zinopy would take a more holistic approach instead of providing security as an element that gets bolted on to existing IT systems. 

“There will definitely be continued security focus but I would have the view that security is going to be focused on data rather than infrastructure,” he said. “You will have much more tightly coupled applications, data and solutions rather than bits of plumbing stuck together.”

That will mean leading with consulting and services rather than trying to sell tools to address specific security problems, he said. Although the business will initially be split 50/50 between product sales and services, over time Ryan said that percentage would change in favour of higher-margin consultancy. “We would see it moving down to 30pc products and 70pc services over the next two years.”

Zinopy started trading three months ago and it has already acquired two complementary businesses – the ERP software developer Input Systems and Clear Learning, which provides training and development for IT professionals.

Who is on Zinopy’s board

Input MD Geoff Keating and Clear Learning MD Ger Coakley have joined the board of Zinopy as COO and CFO, respectively. “Rather than having three sets of overheads we saw a common goal and we think we can be more effective together,” said Ryan.

Zinopy’s service and product portfolio now includes a range of end-to-end IT security systems, along with an integrated ERP product called Origins, a billing and document management online portal designed to cut the cost and administration of invoicing consumers and more than 150 training courses in 25 key disciplines.

The electronic document management and invoicing products are provided through the software as a service model, and Ryan said helping organisations to move to cloud computing services like this would be a large part of the company’s business.

“What we’re offering will buck the trend (of reduced spending in the economic downturn) because customers will be able to invest less and get the same results,” he said. That’s a different IT model to the traditional one of capital investment followed by a long wait to see payback on the money spent. Since companies pay for what they use with hosted software or cloud services, the return on investment is almost immediate,” Ryan said.

Prior to forming Zinopy, Ryan’s most recent role was as general manager of the security division at the ICT service provider Calyx, which had bought his previous firm Entropy in 2006 as part of a massive acquisition spree over several years.

Calyx ran into financial difficulties earlier this year and went into receivership this month. Ryan said he considered spinning out the security business from Calyx but the receiver wanted to sell the entire company. “As an entity, it wasn’t viable but the security side itself would have been,” Ryan said.

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic