The company started as an IT consultancy, but Agenor is fast becoming one of Scotland’s most innovative technology companies – combining software and business services to great success.
Agenor Technology provides two things: expert IT consultants, and a collaboration platform for planning and executing large-scale technology deployments. Both sides of the business help companies to manage complex change to their technology infrastructure.
The success of the company is testament to the thriving technology and business services sectors in Scotland. Agenor now counts IBM as one of its major clients, helping the IT giant to implement massive technology changes in some of the world’s largest companies.
Innovation is top of the agenda
Andy Smith, founder and CEO of Agenor, cites innovation as one of the most important factors in the company’s success. “We innovate in everything we do,” he says, “ICEFLO is the most obvious – we built it for our consultants, because there was nothing on the market that met their needs. But innovation goes further than that – I’d say our business model is fairly innovative too. For instance, we don’t have a sales department and our relatively flat hierarchy means ideas get discussed and decisions made quickly.”
Scotland is the right place to be for an innovative technology company: it’s relatively easy to hire talented people who are used to working at the rapid pace of a startup. “The company has the same ethos as a startup,” Andy explains, “but with the security of nearly ten years in business. It makes for an interesting, fast-moving culture, where everyone is encouraged – from the youngest to the most experienced – to pitch in with ideas.”
The small size of the company has a big impact too: what might take six months in a large corporation is more likely to take six days at Agenor. Andy said: “We’ve hired people from huge financial companies in the past, where it’s very difficult to get things done quickly because you have to work with so many levels of management. Here, something suggested today can be put into action tomorrow.”
Support from Scottish Enterprise and SDI
Agenor’s account manager at Scottish Enterprise has provided project support on numerous occasions. The company has also received support from a Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant – open to companies that create or safeguard jobs in Scotland.
Andy Smith and co-founder Jackie Smith attended an entrepreneurship development programme in Boston in 2012, and Andy went on an SDI-funded learning journey to Silicon Valley in 2014. Both trips have been enormously influential in growing the company – giving the founders the skills and inspiration they needed to set their aspirations higher.
Born in the Borders, growing up in Edinburgh
Agenor started out as a company based in the Borders – and it still has its HQ there. But most of its customers are in Edinburgh, a city that is now firmly established as a hub for innovative technology companies. Having a base in Scotland’s capital makes it even easier to attract talented people, as well as be close to customers.
When it comes to finding new people, Agenor looks to Scotland’s universities for home-grown talent. “The universities are outstanding,” says Andy. “We took on four students from Dundee for the summer, and we’re hoping they’ll join us full-time when they graduate.”
Being based in Scotland has given Agenor the ideal environment for its bold ambitions for growth: excellent people, a wide customer base, and a supportive business network.
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