Already a market leader in the UK, Agenor Technology has set its sights on worldwide expansion. How can the company win and service new clients who sit far across the globe?
Agenor Technology embarked on a journey to bring its business into the IBM® Cloud, enabling the company to provision instances more quickly and service client accounts more cost-effectively.
40% growthin revenues from ICEFLO as Agenor Technology global reach
15% risein SLA compliance thanks to the resilient, powerful IBM Cloud
Business challenge story
Setting sights on growth
Every month, organizations across the world are forced into making high-risk changes to their mission-critical IT infrastructure. For example, they might need to install new hardware, refresh their middleware, migrate an application to the cloud, move to a new data center, or rehearse their disaster-recovery process for compliance reasons. With each project comes an inherent risk: if things go wrong, the company may be unable to serve customers or meet its SLAs, television broadcasters and newspapers can publicize the failure, and costs can rack up fast.
Luckily, help is at hand. Agenor Technology has built its business specializing in helping major enterprises to complete complex IT projects smoothly, efficiently and within challenging timescales.
At first, Agenor Technology helped clients manage projects via traditional methods such as spreadsheets, phone and email. But visibility was poor, communication with stakeholders was arduous, and it was difficult to predict and mitigate looming risks.
In response to these challenges, Agenor Technology developed ICEFLO – a solution that brings visibility, supports collaboration, and gives early warning of potential problems in complex IT projects. Initially, the company installed its solution on-premise at each customer location, but time-consuming implementations hampered the company’s aims to grow its business. Agenor Technology wanted to serve a rising number of clients more cost-effectively – but how?
Serving big-name brands
A few years ago, Agenor Technology embarked on a journey to gradually bring its business further into the cloud. The company dipped its toes into the cloud model with an IaaS offering from a major cloud provider, enabling it to launch ICEFLO on a SaaS basis for customers for the very first time. The SaaS options proved popular with clients, and Agenor Technology decided to embrace the cloud model more tightly. The company switched to IaaS and PaaS offerings from IBM Cloud, which it uses to serve SaaS offerings to its clients.
Jason Forsyth, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Agenor Technology, begins: “We decided to move to IBM Cloud because it offers excellent security, and because it gives us global reach, as IBM has data centers in many locations worldwide.
“Cloud has made it so much easier for us to deliver responsive, high-quality service to our clients. We have achieved 99.9 percent service availability and a 15 percent increase in SLA compliance.
“One major advantage is that we don’t need to liaise with the client’s IT teams to get hardware capacity before we start an implementation. These negotiations can take months and end up costing more than the subscription.
“Additionally, we can provision new instances much faster – consistently in under four hours. Ongoing support is also much easier – for example, if we release a new version of ICEFLO, we can upgrade all clients in one go, and we don’t have the complexity of supporting multiple software versions.
“Recently, we switched to a pure-cloud approach. We turn down business from customers who don’t want a cloud solution, because we know that it is very difficult and costly for us to service on-premise clients to our high standards.”
To better take advantage of the opportunities presented by cloud, Agenor Technology has transformed its organizational structure. To boost agility, the company has adopted a flat structure, and broken down organizational siloes between teams such as pre-sales, sales, and delivery. Additionally, Agenor Technology is harnessing cloud-based solutions to enable faster, more efficient collaboration – internally and with clients.
“All of the software we use internally runs on cloud,” explains Jason Forsyth. “Cloud enables us to adapt very quickly – for example, if we come across a new solution that better suits our business, we can chop and change our approach on-the-fly.”
The new cloud approach has been a hit with customers, enabling Agenor Technology to serve a growing number of high-profile clients more efficiently.
For example, Agenor Technology recently helped a major UK high-street bank move a large data center from the Netherlands to the UK over a single weekend. The bank processes trillions in transactions every day, so it was crucial to complete the move on time and with minimal disruption to customers. The relocation affected more than 1,000 staff across 13 sites worldwide, and over 90 business systems. Thanks to Agenor Technology’s support, the client completed the relocation smoothly and within the deadline, with 37,000 individual tasks completed over 55 hours. Throughout the project, key stakeholders had full visibility of progress via real-time dashboards in ICEFLO.
Agenor Technology also helped the same bank rehearse its disaster-recovery process, including shutting down the bank’s mission-critical mainframe in one data center, restarting all systems and services in a secondary data center, then reversing the process to return all services to the primary site. Three other banking services ran their disaster-recovery rehearsals over the same weekend – and dependencies between the systems necessitated careful coordination of the four events. Agenor Technology helped the bank to manage the events using ICEFLO, helping 370 people complete approximately 7,000 tasks.
IBM Services have also engaged Agenor Technology to assist a Dutch bank in migrating 1,100 apps to a private IBM Cloud over 32 waves spanning a four-year period using IBM DevOps methodology. ICEFLO on IBM Cloud also enables IBM Services to work collaboratively with the client and other partners in the account on a global scale. This increases throughput, reuse of collateral and gives everyone the same platform, vocabulary and processes during mission-critical cutover events.
Together, Agenor Technology, Agenor Technology’s ICEFLO solution on IBM Cloud and IBM Services are bringing other clients and industry sectors onto the platform.
Extending its reach
Adopting the cloud has already sparked significant benefits for Agenor Technology, broadening the company’s horizons.
“Since migrating to IBM Cloud, we have started talking to prospects in the Middle East and even Australia,” adds Jason Forsyth. “It would not make financial sense for us to service those clients using an on-premise model, so cloud really has unlocked doors for us to sell to companies all over the world.
“We’re not just reaching out to new continents; we’re tapping into opportunities in new industries, too. Our roots lie primarily in banking, but we have recently won our first retail client, so IBM Cloud is helping us expand to new sectors too. We have achieved a remarkable 40 percent growth in revenues for our ICEFLO solution.
“We have already identified a bunch of opportunities to pursue in future. For example, our ICEFLO solution could help to manage hospital relocations or the decommissioning of oil and natural gas sites, so we can start speaking to clients in those industries. Across all sectors, we could help companies prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR], or assist with SAP migrations, so there’s a lot of potential business out there for the taking.”
In future, Agenor Technology plans to take advantage of the latest IBM technology such as IBM Watson APIs and microservices to introduce enhanced functionality quickly and at low cost.
Jason Forsyth concludes: “To us, IBM Cloud is so much more than a platform – it holds the keys for us to take our business onto the world stage, and to win market share in new industries. We are excited to see what we can achieve in the future.”
About Agenor Technology
Agenor Technology is an award-winning company with a proven track record of successfully planning, executing, and delivering major IT projects and infrastructure programs on behalf of clients. The company is headquartered in Melrose, The Scottish Borders in the United Kingdom, and was named a ‘2016 Cool Vendor in DevOps’ by Gartner.
- IBM Cloud Managed Services
- IBM Services for Managed Applications