Aeon IT Solutions: Light Years Ahead – Tim Lee
Aeon IT Solutions capitalises on outsourced offices in the UK, Portugal and India but gets direction from a strong homeland HQ. CEO Tim Lee explains how his decades of experience in IT led him to create end-to-end solutions with a powerful customer service response.
Tim Lee has been a strong advocate of IT solutions for two decades and his company is about to embark on a new wave of activity to fit the industry's future. With offices in India, Portugal and the UK, Lee has driven costs down for his customers to provide a competitive service, but his roots - and Aeon's headquarters - remain firmly in the US where the majority of his customers are based.
Aeon incorporates a modern globalised business model but its mission is traditional: to build IT solutions through partnership with customers. The company has its roots in the personal approach - it was established in 2006 when Lee helped a friend develop a back-office solution for a business. Over the last five years Lee has maintained his philosophy but his capabilities have far exceeded the neighbourly projects he started out with.
As well as opening a new office in the UK, Aeon is about to add mobile application development to its menu, and a new creative team based in India will begin to offer video and graphics to Aeon's customers. More international offices are also on the cards.
The company is still sifting through the results of a survey it undertook before taking the business to the next level. Lee says: "We know from experience that we work well as an IT partner - a company the client can rely on - because we offer them services that complement them."
Partnership is an idea often bandied about by IT providers but, in Lee's case, it's no empty promise. Partnership to him means pricing discounts for long-term work, or training a team to specifically handle a client's IT problems. "We're more like an extension of their business," he explains, "like their very own IT department, rather than an external service that they need to call in."
Advocates of IT
Aeon's responsiveness is an attribute that comes through Lee's long IT career. "I have always been a strong advocate of improving and increasing the use of IT," he says. "I worked for an international company back in the mid-nineties and I know that everything's an evolution, the whole IT sector. We're producing things now that we couldn't have dreamed of 15 years ago.
"Different industries gave us different perspectives. Take transportation, for instance. Airlines have certain requirements in their solutions, but you can take those solutions to move into event management. Skills such as scheduling and logistics can be developed with the event management solution, and re-applied to the airline's solution."
Lee wants Aeon to act as one of its customer's departments when that customer buys an Aeon application. Just as departments work with one another within a company, Aeon collaborates and communicates with its clients as if it's part of the same corporation.
"The more you can do, the more valuable you are," Lee continues. "More companies are realising the value of integration - for instance, when a social network offers movie rentals. Even Google started as a search engine, now they are a web behemoth.
Offering hosting solutions to its customers is part of the firm's wider sustainability plan, which also includes buying energy-efficiency hardware. Aeon is also about to expand its CSR plan by launching a web application for education, for kindergarten through to college. It will be linked to a non-profit that will be set up to help financially needy students and their families.
So much relies on information technology now that using solutions ineffectively, or ignoring the issue altogether, is simply not an option; for hesitant and technophobic companies, partnership must be the way forward.
"Technology is maturing to a point where it's becoming indispensable," Lee concludes, "and not everyone has realised it's more than that - it's also invaluable."