Upgrading for the Future on All Fronts:
Argent Associates, Inc.

by Lindy Regan

It seemed like only yesterday that Raritan Center B2B first visited the unstoppable force that is Beatriz “Betty” Manetta, founder, President and CEO of Argent Associates, Inc. Why do an update so soon, we wondered for the half-second it took to remember with whom we were dealing. Three years in Betty Manetta time? There was no telling how many new doors she and her enterprising team would have flung open before opportunity even had a chance to knock, or what horizons they might have their sights fixed on next. It would be fun—and inspiring—to find out, which we did during a rare sit-down with Betty and Argent COO and CTO, Ray Moya.

As you may recall, both Betty and Ray, left long careers at separate telecommunications giants to invest their expertise in a company small, smart, and nimble enough to respond quickly and comprehensively to the varied, and often unmet, needs of customers in that sector and others they have since come to serve. The overarching development since we last checked in is that Argent now has four divisions: Argent Logistics, ProArgent, G-Argent, and Argent Business Solutions. Each was structured around one of Argent’s foundational core competencies—supply chain solutions, systems integration, technology life-cycle management, and product development—to accommodate recent and ongoing growth. They can operate independently or cooperatively on a customer’s behalf.

When asked how it all fits together, Betty broke it down to basics: “Think about technology, telecommunications as an example. As companies are deploying a network, you’ve got to bring in all the equipment, track it along the way, stage it, assemble it, tag and kit everything so that when you ship it to the installation site you don’t have engineers wondering where this part or that is. That’s the logistics piece which also includes warehousing; I can do warehousing for anybody.

“Now, on site you need engineering, design services, site surveys, installation; you need somebody to test and optimize the system. That’s the technical, professional piece—ProArgent.” That unit, under Ray’s leadership, is heavily engaged these days in helping commercial building owners transition ahead of the curve to the wireless infrastructure that will soon be the new standard.

Ray explains: “We provide a wireless network solution for the building, which is cheaper, to begin with. Then we overlay all the internal communications services and system security a business might need. The building owner can now go to a potential tenant and say ‘when you come to my building all you need is creative people.’ The flexibility is built in; it doesn’t matter if it’s one floor or ten.” An organization can move in and set up shop with unprecedented efficiency using all wireless equipment—no more desktop phones, behemoth computers, or cables dictating where and how the work gets done.

So, what’s a business to do with all that obsolete technology when they go wireless, or switch from telecomm to fiber optic equipment? Betty continues: “Before all that new equipment comes in, you’ve got to get rid of the old stuff, and do it responsibly. That’s where G-Argent comes in—the unit devoted to green practices and sustainability.” G-Argent provides removal, e-waste disposal, recycling, refurbishment, and resale services. In the case of recycling, G-Argent will share with a customer the proceeds from any precious metals stripped from their discarded equipment, and even store the metals until they can be sold at a higher market price.

“The final component is Argent Business Solutions,” says Betty, “which is a combination of cloud-based software services that can be overlaid onto that network, and now some hardware products, too.”

 

 

Argent engineers here and in the company’s Plano, Texas headquarters collaborated to develop the Enterprise Converged Workstation, or ECW 2.0, which is essentially a portable, instantly operational PBX.

“It’s cell based,” explains Ray, “so there’s no need to connect through telecom; you just need a wireless network.  It’s ideal for first responders—fire or police departments that have to set up a command center in an emergency or disaster situation; for construction sites; or for small businesses that are just moving into an office and don’t have any connections yet. You just pop one of those in and you’re up and running.”

Argent’s commitment to preparing others for the future does not stop with its customers. In fact, it starts “at home” with the diverse group of young people employed throughout the company’s seven outposts across the US.  “We’re always reinventing ourselves and creating streams of revenue, and helping our employees to morph into new areas. We have an open door policy that values their input and perspective as millennials. Their drive and their passion coupled with the benefit of our knowledge and experience really gives them the opportunity to excel. That’s what I think Ray and I really love the most, is seeing them develop things, make things, do well. I think that’s our job, creating that Workforce 2020.”

Betty Manetta, President & CEO & Ray Moya, COO & CTO


Since its founding seventeen years ago as a woman-owned, Hispanic-owned business, Argent has been laying the groundwork for the future of American enterprise, too—an environment that better reflects and represents the power of the whole population in the 21st century. Contracting with a so-called minority business such as Argent can often be a make-or-break advantage for a company, especially when seeking to do business with municipalities. Yet there are more essential, long-term benefits to be derived from working with or for a woman-owned business, Betty is upfront in pointing out: “We don’t take a lot of the risks a lot of the male companies do. And we also create an environment where we look to collaborate, partner and learn from each other. We don’t always have to be on top; we help each other to the top. I’m always mentoring start-up women-owned businesses; because when you give back it all works out. We’re all one cohesive universe.”

Where do you go after a statement like that? If you’re Betty Manetta, on to the next thing.

 

Business Name:
 
Argent Associates, Inc.
Principals:
 
Betty Manetta, President & CEO; Ray Moya, COO & CTO
Business Type:
 
System Integration, Supply Chain & Lifecycle Management Solutions
Customer Base:
 
Fortune 500 (telecommunications, pharmaceutical, & other enterprise companies; government
Territory:
 
Nationwide
Years in Business:
 
17
At Raritan Center
 
12
Number of Employees: 35
National Headquarters: Plano, TX
Address:
 
149 Fieldcrest Avenue, Edison, NJ 08837
Phone:
732.512.9009
Fax:
732.512.9549
Email: bmanetta@argentassociates.com
Website: www.argentassociates.com
Distinguishing Characteristic: Woman-and minority-owned business committed to the highest standards of conduct and to fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Interview Date: February 2015
Photography By: Insight Photography

 

 
  *