Published February 22, 2000
Volume 8, Number 2

NetsWork is Making Connections
Growing Voice/Data Network Company Brings Headquarters to Hacienda
NetsWork CEO Don Hawley stands in front of their new corporate headquarters at 4256 Hacienda Drive.

By Jay Hipps
Network Editor


NetsWork, Inc., an emerging leader in network infrastructure solutions, is moving its corporate headquarters into Hacienda this month. 

"Every major service provider and telecommunications company is a stone's throw from here, so when we looked for a logical place to erect a corporate headquarters, Hacienda was a natural place to think about," says Don Hawley, CEO and chairman. About 100 of their 700 employees will work in the park.

The company focuses on network design, installation, configuration, and maintenance, and has also introduced a variety of services for building owners and property managers. 

Turnkey Networking
NetsWork was founded over two years ago by Hawley and Jay Fischer, now the company's CFO, after their research identified some opportunities in the networking market. 

Their goal was to provide a single source for a company's network needs, to offer everything from network design and installation of cabling and routers to configuration of Microsoft NT and Novell Netware software. The company even provides ongoing network maintenance. 

NetsWork has grown by acquiring companies with experience in those areas, beginning with Valley Communications, a firm that had 17 years of experience with clients including the State of California and Hewlett-Packard, and Peterson Communications, which provided LAN/WAN maintenance to financial organizations like Wells Fargo Bank. The company has completed five more acquisitions since then.

It's been a successful strategy, Hawley says, because "if you have rendered excellent service in one area of networking, your customers would love to have you broaden your services so they have one less company to deal with. Plus, as we render that kind of service for, for example, Wells Fargo Bank, that becomes very appealing to U.S. Bank or CalFed, which are also large customers of ours now." 

Technology for Building Owners
The last nine months has seen NetsWork expand its offerings into a related area, technology management for building owners. 

Hawley sees this as another emerging market that plays to NetsWork's strengths, this one being brought about by legislation. 

Telecommunications deregulation in 1996 gave control of a building's riser system what Hawley terms "the communications spinal cord of every building" back to the building owners from their local phone company. The riser system now stands as the final obstacle between hundreds of billions of dollars of new infrastructure capable of providing broadband voice and data connectivity, in the form of fiber optic and coaxial cable, and tenants that want to take advantage of these new technologies. 

"With all the money spent to get these backbones built, about 99 percent of the buildings in the country today are not broadband capable," he notes. Help is on the way, however.

"What has happened is that we're working with the whole technology management area with building owners to put together a comprehensive plan on how they're going to deal with that," he says.

They've already landed several high-profile property companies, including the Walter Shorenstein Company, Irvine Properties, and Boston Property. Former Shorenstein vice president Tom Donoghue recently joined NetsWork as well. 

Hawley's original goal was to create a company of about $125 million in revenues; NetsWork will approach $100 million this fiscal year. With the booming networking market, the company is off to a good start. 


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