Today Surbiton ...

A British online service provider is poised for expansion in the US and Europe, writes Roger Trapp

Conventional wisdom has it that success in the helter-skelter world of the internet is largely connected with being based somewhere like Oxford or Cambridge, if not California's Silicon Valley or Austin, Texas.

But that sort of logic appears to be be confounded by Compulink Information eXchange (CIX), which operates from the south-west London suburb of Surbiton. Claiming to be Britain's longest-established online service provider, the company is in the midst of an ambitious growth initiative aimed at making it a player in business's most exciting sector.

The organisation recently bought IP Warehouse, a Florida-based business that has developed a software package which allows a comprehensive search of the internet for infringement of intellectual property rights. Now, through the recently acquired InfoNetworks, it has received accreditation to issue the internet domain names that enable companies to use the ".com" suffix.

The company believes this is just the start. It is poised to take a significant share of the recently deregulated - and potentially lucrative - domain-registration market in Europe and elsewhere, and is looking for further acquisitions.

Graham Davies, CIX's sales and marketing director, attributes a lot of the progress to the enterprise's long-standing reputation in the information technology market.

Founded in 1984 by a husband-and-wife team, it quickly became well known among other British electronic communications pioneers through its introduction of an e-mail system and a conferencing service that attracted 17,000 users by the early 1990s.

However, it did not have enough money to fund developments. And it took the arrival early last year of new management backed by finance from Legal & General Ventures to give the company its impetus. The management buy- in put in place a board of three executive directors and a non-executive led by Douglas Bitley, the managing director, and Niels Gotfredsen, the finance director. But it is Mr Davies, the director with prior experience of the information technology industry, who is playing a fundamental role in setting the strategy.

Much of his thinking has been conditioned by his experience with a company that set out to provide internet and intranet solutions for companies. He could see that the key requirement was to have a platform on which to build other services, which is what his previous company lacked, he says.

Moreover, many companies are realising that the websites established for them by design companies with little information technology experience are not sufficient. CIX, Mr Davies believes, is well positioned to help out. But he is also convinced that success in such an area is about getting the opportunity to demonstrate what you can do - and that is dependent on having sufficient presence to be taken seriously by the larger companies in the vanguard of such developments.

It is this realisation that is also behind the desire to raise the company's profile in the US. Not only is this the place where much of the technology is developed, it is also where the fresh applications tend to appear, adds Mr Davies. He and his colleagues say that recent monthly revenues have been up about 70 per cent on last year and they are looking for a similar jump in the coming 12 months.

A key factor in achieving this will be the acquisition of another internet service provider in the US. Such a move should help the company attract what Mr Davies calls "more interesting things to work on", and help set it apart from other players.

To illustrate the sort of service CIX is looking to provide in an age when not just technology specialists but people in all professions are seeing the potential of the internet, Mr Davies points to DoctorsNet. This is an information service run by doctors with which CIX is looking to work to offer members an internet connection. This kind of thing "fits very well with what we are trying to do for the company", he says.

More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
footballBut the Newcastle United midfielder's news has 'left his mistress furious'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style