CERN Alumni: An International Experience, High Quality Work and Long-Term Vision

Cédric Pompeï. Founder and CEO of Argusa, a Business Intelligence Consultancy company has several CERN Alumni working in his team and is currently recruiting. We recently met, virtually, to talk about his business, what motivated him to launch it and the reasons why he is keen to recruit from within the CERN Alumni Talent Pool.

Rachel: Cédric, could you tell us more about your company?

Cédric: Argusa was founded in May 2018, with the goal to help companies better manage and understand their data. We started with two technological partners, Tableau and Exasol, which enabled us to support our customers on their data journeys successfully. Today we have six technological partners in total, and we resell and integrate solutions that help our customers to be more efficient. We call it Augmented Efficiency in Data Management.

Rachel: You founded Argusa, what was the motivation behind setting up your own company?

Cédric: This decision to create Argusa did not come out of the blue. To give you some additional background about myself, I have worked within consulting companies on analytics and data management projects for almost 20 years. I have also worked as a CIO for almost 3 years.

I had already participated in the creation of a company 18 years ago and always wanted to do it again. My goal was to leverage all my previous experiences (good and bad) to create a company that provides a very high quality of expertise to its customers and a challenging but respectful working atmosphere for its employees. I consider Argusa a team rather than a company. And our keywords, when contributing to the success of our customers’ projects, are Excellence, Simplicity and Conviviality.  

Rachel: You mention that you had already been involved in setting up a company 18 years ago. Was this experience any easier this time?

Cédric: It was not easy at the beginning, but we succeed in gaining the trust of our customers thanks to the quality of the team and the support of our partners. We work both with very big customers (> 1billion of turnover) or very small companies that need to manage their data assets better. We do not specialize in any specific domain as the data-challenges are similar everywhere so our clients range from manufacturing to retail, banking and the public sector. We propose training, coaching and solution implementation to our clients. We also help our clients in the definition of their data roadmap and digital transformation journey. 

Rachel: I understand that your team is composed of CERN Alumni, can you describe why such a profile is so well adapted to working at Argusa?

Cédric: Argusa is currently composed of four PhDs in Physics, who have previously worked at CERN. I started collaborating with the first team member and was impressed by her capacity to understand problems and propose smart and reliable solutions quickly. I was also impressed by her ability to handle new topics, learn and digest them in a very short timeframe.

I then hired more colleagues from a physics and CERN background and I think they are well adapted to working in a consulting environment at Argusa because of two reasons. One is that they have learned to study and process a lot of information in a short amount of time. The second is that they have delivered high quality projects and defended their choices in front of their peers and seniors scientists on a daily basis. This means that they can perform well under pressure and can work in an agile mode.

Rachel: If I understand correctly, CERN Alumni have the capacity to learn fast and manage the accompanying pressure; do you think this is a shift in what they experience at CERN?

Cédric: Consulting this can be a big change of pace for a new collaborator coming from CERN. Therefore, to smooth this transition, we have two processes in place within Argusa. The first is that for each new team member, there is a training period of 1 to 2 months during which they obtain their certifications on the various solutions we propose. We provide all the documentation, videos, training sessions and other learning material necessary to get certified. The second is that we guide and support our new team members during their first project for a customer. This is all part of the training and consulting education we provide within Argusa.

Rachel: So you really take the time to invest in and support your new team members. Can you describe what types of skills you look for when you recruit?

Cédric: When looking for a new team member, we look for a mix of hard and soft skills. Candidates have to be committed, proactive, transparent, independent, team players, willing to learn, and focused on high quality and on-time delivery. The ability to communicate and interact with customers, partners, team members is also very important.

Rachel: I understand that you are entirely satisfied with those alumni you have recruited. How does their experience benefit the company?

Cédric: The quality of the people composing team Argusa today has exceeded my expectations and it is a daily pleasure working in such an environment. I have the feeling that, with this team, we can address any challenge. We really benefit from a mix of experience, knowledge, culture, background and commitment to find a solution and succeed. Such an environment is rare and it also explains why we are very careful when it comes to the selection of new team members.

In summary, we can easily conclude from our current experience, that CERN alumni are good candidates to join us; and for many reasons. If I had to highlight one, I would say that their experience of working in an international environment with a focus on high quality work, along with a vision of the big picture is a real asset that fits with the DNA of Argusa.

Rachel: Cédric, it has been a real pleasure talking with you, before we say good-bye, I understand that you are currently recruiting, is that right? 
Cédric: Yes, we are recruiting a BI Consultant and the position has been published on the CERN Alumni platform. If you recognize yourself in the description and would like to participate in this exciting adventure, please do apply via the alumni platform.


Author: Rachel Bray

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