Business Cornwall explores the impressive growth of Aztek, a business started by a then 17-year old that now has local and international clients and hungry for more
Since MD Anthony Hudson started the business back in 2008, Aztek Business has evolved and grown greatly.
The company started as a general audience B2B/ B2C workshop to repair computers and has since experienced steady growth transitioning into what it claims is a “customerorientated company, and a single source solution of innovative IT, telephony and media solutions”. Pretty much a one-stop-shop for all your IT and digital marketing needs.
It was a natural progression and expansion for Aztek to get to this point of offering the breadth of services that it does today. The first change came about in line with the move away from the ‘break and fix’ society, meaning that people were no longer bothering to mend equipment, but rather replace.
At this point Anthony spotted a gap in the market for retained IT services and then moved to a full MSP (managed service provider) model. Director of media and development, Vladimir Lisic, explains how clients were demanding unwavering support for anything digital & IT. “Many clients would see us simply as the ‘computer guy’, and even if it was outside of our job role, your client would expect you to be able to deliver on a full host of IT services, delivering on everything from your firewall; networks; website; emails; printer etc.”
The team treated this demand for all encompassing digital and IT services as a challenge and wanted to be able to furnish this need, backed up by a growing team of skilled specialists in each area. And the business had its market firmly in sight – the ideal client
being one that could not perhaps justify full-time, in-house IT, so instead looked to an outsourced remote working IT support business – which is where Aztek came in.
This necessitated the natural growth over the past decade, and in being agile, Aztek has made sure that it has kept up with all the latest trends and needs to make sure its clients need not look elsewhere for any services.
The latest gap Aztek spotted and filled is in a suite of marketing services and as a result,
Aztek Marketing was born, offering services from branding and website design, to video
production, eCommerce solutions and all forms of marketing. Aztek’s drive and passion to continue improving and growing shines through and while you can see how its trajectory has been set, it has been perfectly guided by its motivated people. Anthony has only now turned 30 and has achieved a lot in that time. Explaining how the passion started, he says:
“From secondary school I have been computer-crazy and left school with no qualifications other than in IT, nor did I have any other interests. I did work experience in a small computer shop and thought I could do a better job!
“I then got into hosting and hosted game servers for EA Games. When the gaming industry changed, I decided to set up Aztek, aged 17. With my first employee Tim (who still works for Aztek now) we managed to secure great clients and started growing the business from there.”
As well as being highly technical, there is a strong entrepreneur in Anthony and he grew the business by picking up the phone and scouting for businesses. The team also thrive off working with other ambitious businesses, which includes Cornish Lithium, where Aztek is effectively its IT team, and while not revealing any detail, Anthony talks very promisingly of its future.
Customer loyalty or ‘customer orientation’ is another area which Aztek prides itself on and evidenced by the many clients it is still working with now and that have been with it since almost the beginning. When asked about USPs, Anthony stressed the importance of long-lasting relationships with its clients and they like to feel like an extension of the clients’ own team, rather than just a subcontractor. This is helped by nature of the managed service offering, whereby everything is inclusive, meaning that clients aren’t worried that every time they speak with a member of the Aztek team, they’re incurring additional cost. To name one example, Cornish Premier Pasties has been a longstanding client, which Aztek
talks about like they’re family. Aztek has provided IT support throughout its growth, where in peak season it will make circa 25,000 pasties, and now helps on a vast range of services including Internet, telephony, IT support and label printing.
An interesting facet of the business is that it has an office in Serbia, the land of Nikola Tesla, Novak Djokovic and many others. A cooperation that grew because of the shared
passion for quality work and achieving superior results for clients of various size and industry. When Anthony and Vladimir crossed paths in 2012, Vladimir was working in Serbia and the business relationship was forged from there, now with nine of the 23 team members working in Serbia. Both offices are cosmetically identical, too – from the carpet up! Also, Serbia conveniently has some of the greatest number of software developers per capita in Europe, with it being an occupation that many in the country aspire to, together with an enviable work ethic. In Cornwall we hear feedback of skills shortages, so for a Cornwall-based business, this has proven a good way to mitigate this and ensure a highly skilled workforce.
While on the subject of the team, this a critical part of Aztek and Anthony speaks very highly of his team and how he can rely on each and every one of them to deliver 24/7. The team is also important to Aztek’s plan to scale the business, as Anthony mentioned ‘you are only as good as your team’ and their hunger to grow has to be synchronised with attracting
the appropriate skilled and driven talent.
Aztek have employed an agile methodology for many years which has meant that there has been no real transition period through the pandemic and in the flick of a switch they were ready to go and able to support clients who weren’t able to make similarly seamless transitions, for whatever reason. All of which helped by Cornwall’s roll out of fibre connectivity.
Aztek is an outward thinking progressive company with comprehensive expertise in all things IT, telecommunication and media, with both a local and international clients and prides itself on its team and the relationships its clients.
www.aztek.co.uk | 01209 712816