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Signalling the Way to Sufficient Security

Published: 18th January 2008

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Geoff Girdler is Chief Executive and co-founder of Emizon and Chris Fitzsimmons, Investment Manager at South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

A Sheffield company is embarking on globalising their unique product to make businesses more security savvy.

The Emizon Group, a leading provider of secure Internet Protocol (IP) signalling solutions for broadband networks, has received a £500,000 investment from South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

Emizon, based at the Annex Building at Sheffield City Airport, will use the funding to continue the development of its technology and establish a position as the largest IP signalling service in the UK. It is expected that the investment will also support its ambitions to become a global supplier in the alarms industry. 

Geoff Girdler is Chief Executive and co-founder of Emizon, along with Gordon Smythe and Sheffield based Andy Whitfield. The trio have created the first secure, managed messaging service specifically for IP networks - allowing businesses to identify if an intruder has targeted their phone lines and alarm systems.

The company conceived the idea five years ago but launched its service product in May 2007 at the International Fire and Security Exhibition and Conference (IFSEC) in Birmingham.

Geoff said: "We believe we have created a solution which has no global boundaries and through our bases in the US and Australia, we will be able to tackle operations overseas."

"South Yorkshire Investment Fund has seen the potential for growth in the business and this investment enables us to develop our business plan to where we want to be much sooner."

Emizon will be aiming the solution, which recently achieved the highest security rating for signalling - European Norm Grade 4 - at alarm installers. Already more than 2,000 units have been sold and a significant number of the major installers and alarm receiving centres are actively promoting the service.

Geoff added: "We have tailored the product to be easy to install and understand, especially for those businesses who are yet to fully embrace the IP revolution in the security industry or think the technology is beyond them. "

"Communication wires are often in a vulnerable position outside of the property and therefore likely to become a target for professional criminal groups. Therefore this secure signalling solution is ideal for banks, building societies and jewellery stores, with many insurance companies insisting on secure solutions as a pre-requisite of cover."

South Yorkshire’s growing reputation in the creative and digital sector, an industry which has seen massive growth in recent years, led Emizon to set-up a base in Sheffield.

Geoff added: "The Sheffield city region is becoming a technical centre of excellence. We found that South Yorkshire is growing faster than other areas in the country for its technical development and support. The city is also well-placed for motorway links and several airports within close distance."

Chris Fitzsimmons, Investment Manager at South Yorkshire Investment Fund, says: "Emizon is about the practical application of leading edge technology to every day business. They are working collaboratively across the industry with alarm panel manufacturers, alarm receiving centres and installers, to ensure that the industry harnesses the potential of monitoring, whilst protecting the security needs of customers in the long term."

"We are therefore pleased to support their business objectives with the investment."

South Yorkshire Investment Fund can provide seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

For more information on Emizon Group, visit www.emizon.com

For more information on how South Yorkshire Investment Fund can help your business please call 01709 386 377.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.
http://www.finance-yorkshire.com

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).