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Argon And Sage Pair Up For A Powerful Partnership When Argon Business Solutions, launched 40 years ago, it looked very different from the company that exists today. Chairman Melvyn Lubega explains how the company changed direction and gained a valuable partner in the process.

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What is the most important thing you've learnt as an entrepreneur?

Realising that "customer service' shouldn't be limited to when a customer pays you — it starts as early as when any business or individual enquires about your services. Understanding a client's business, in particular their pain points and fears, is critical to being able to serve our clients. So it's very important to invest the time to understand your client's needs — without a thorough diagnosis you cannot begin to discuss viable technology solutions.

Providing the right product for the right customer is the cornerstone of what Argon does. This approach has helped them assist companies with their ERP and other business management system requirements for decades, and here's how.

What attracted you to entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship has always interested me, particularly as a means to bring about meaningful change in an economy and create sustainable jobs.

From my first business, which was my high school boarding house tuckshop, which grew to employ a number of my dorm mates, through to the training management platform for businesses, which I have grown with my partners to employ people in over seven countries, the power of building and growing businesses has fascinated me.

It was during my graduate studies at the University of Oxford that I truly came to appreciate the power of technology as a tool to enable businesses to scale, innovate and meet customer needs in ways that were not possible a few decades ago.

With the growing number of business systems on the market, choosing and successfully implementing the right technology solution brings with it a great deal of complexity. This is the opportunity Argon captures — to be the technology partner of choice for businesses.

With 40 years of history, Argon must have a wealth of learnings?

At the genesis of Argon over 40 years ago, there was a different conception of a technology company: Selling computers and other hardware. Today, every business is a technology business with connected devices and systems powering every industry.

In this continuously changing technological landscape, our key strength has been our ability to understand where the industry is going and to be a learning organisation that masters emerging technologies and software that is most relevant to our clients.

And as a true technology partner to our clients, we have always been committed to not just implementing software and leaving — we ensure that this investment continues to provide meaningful and measurable value for our clients and ultimately, their stakeholders.

What is Argon's business ethos?

It's simple: To enable business success through technology, while always considering the client's perspective

Argon has an alliance with Sage, why is partnership important?

Client success is at the heart of what we do. In prioritising client success, we appreciate that we cannot be everything to our clients. So in order to be a trusted advisor for core system solutions, we need to partner to offer our clients the best in class, relevant solutions.

We are a leading implementer of Sage's business management software, and as part of this alliance we are exposed to international best practice from the over 20 countries where they offer their solutions to enterprises. We are able to leverage these best practices in order to better serve our clients. In our experience working with Sage, they are not merely a vendor but a vested partner in any project and client we serve together.

Visit: www.argon.co.za

Argon was formed in 1987 as the in house IT Division of the then Boumat Group of companies. We initially implemented 90 sites on-time, on-budget. This set our standard which is: 'Repeat this success story with every implementation.' Twenty seven years on, we have expanded our portfolio away from simply providing our own ERP. We try to understand your individual business as a whole and work with you to create the solution that you need.
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