A COMPUTING services firm is set to launch itself on the global stage this week after investing more than £1 million in a software product that vastly increases the company’s growth potential.
Agenor Technology chief executive Andy Smith believes he can “double or treble” the firm’s £10m turnover over the next three years, and plans to create scores of high-value jobs at its bases in Edinburgh and the Borders.
He is also opening operations in Amsterdam and London this year.
The company specialises in managing upgrades and changes to IT systems and developed its software, called Iceflo, to make the process more efficient and safer in terms of avoiding the dreaded systems failures which are a hazard of any upgrade.
Now Agenor has developed a retail version aimed at small contractors, and is launching it this week. A version for medium-sized businesses is set to follow shortly.
He said: “At the moment we are recruiting software developers and making a significant investment that requires Iceflo to generate significant revenues.
“We’re talking about £2.5m in sales in 2015, but none of us really knows. I call it the great experiment.”
Smith set up Agenor in 2007 after years of working as an IT contractor with Royal Bank of Scotland. The bank remains Agenor’s biggest customer and has helped it to post impressive growth figures – it was recently named as the fastest-growing technology business in Scotland over the last five years by accountancy major Deloitte.
More recently, Agenor has been branching out and taking on new customers, and now employs 25 staff and 100 associates.
As well as hiring developers and marketing staff to sell and upgrade Iceflo, the firm is also planning to take on an additional 25 associates as it continues to grow its original IT servicing business.
Smith says that he could grow faster but is limited by the number of experienced, skilled workers that he can find. He added: “We’re looking to grow to 150 and that’s about the limit, because I believe that if you scale up you lose the quality, and that is our value proposition to our customers.”
The firm is in the process of opening an Amsterdam office, and Smith says he has clients already lined up. He is also talking to Deloitte and IBM about the possibility of working with them on change projects that could benefit from Iceflo.
“The software business is not limited by any scale considerations,” Smith said.
“It’s massively exciting for us. These are the kind of strategic partners that allow us to transform our Edinburgh- centred business into a global business.”
Agenor still retains its original base in St Boswells, close to where Smith lives, and he plans to keep most of the software-related jobs in Scotland.
Because of the shortage of experienced developers, Agenor will use its own training programme to bring young workers up to the standard it needs.
Smith said: “I just love the idea of providing opportunities right on the doorstep. All of our jobs in software development will be based in Scotland.”