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Arrow partners with POPX to automate operations and integrate acquisitions 

Arrow partners with POPX to automate operations and integrate acquisitions 

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Arrow Business Communications is a UK company which offers end-to-end technology solutions to enable connection and collaboration with colleagues and customers. The company has grown significantly through multiple acquisitions, and it needed to ensure all acquired businesses consolidated into a single standard. Arrow chose POPX’s MSP Platform, powered by ServiceNow, to share the risk and responsibility of the project. Jason Briscoe, Chief Operating Officer at Arrow, told Intelligent more about the partnership.

Arrow Business Communications, one of the UK’s leading independent providers of collaboration, connectivity, cybersecurity and cloud and infrastructure managed services, has partnered with POPX to implement its fully Managed Service Provider (MSP) Platform to transform operations, service and business management functions.

For Arrow to continue its growth trajectory and focus on customer experience, a strategic decision was made to invest in the latest service management technology aimed at enhancing both employee and customer experiences. Following an intense period of growth through acquisition, the business imperative pivoted to ensure all operations in the acquired businesses consolidated into a single standard.

The initiative labelled One Customer Experience. One Platform will give Arrow the capability to quickly integrate acquired businesses on to a future-proofed service management solution. After narrowing down the technology choice to ServiceNow, Arrow selected POPX as the ideal option to de-risk its investment with a fully managed service. POPX will provide specialists to run the platform on behalf of Arrow.

Jason Briscoe, Chief Operating Officer at Arrow, said: “Too much work in our industry is delivered by committed people using manual, isolated processes and aged tooling. All this leads to frustration, ineffective delivery, inflated overheads, greater risk and an inability to manage cost and quality, all at the expense of customer satisfaction.

“As we acquire new businesses, and to help realise the maximum value from those investments, we will integrate them on to the very best service management platform available. In this way, we aim to turn the operations of every part of our growing business into scalable value-creation machines.”

The POPX MSP Platform is designed to accelerate and de-risk Digital Transformation for Smart MSPs by enabling them to onboard ServiceNow faster, with greater transparency on cost, timescales and added value. The MSP Platform allows tech service providers to consolidate applications, integrate internal and supplier systems and deliver service automation for key processes. The fully managed service from POPX includes all integrations, development and enhancements, upgrades and maintenance, as well as training and the day-to-day support of running a complex technology.

Richard Burke, CEO at Arrow commented: “Service value and customer experience runs through our DNA and that’s why we wanted to enhance our service proposition to truly deliver on our promises today but ensure we have a platform that scales for tomorrow. With POPX, we can integrate previous and future acquisitions on to one system, resulting in efficient operations that deliver an outstanding customer experience.”

Jason Briscoe spoke to Intelligent further about why Arrow chose POPX and how it is helping the company grow.

1.Why did you choose POPX?

The way we look at transformation at Arrow is with a strategic vision for the future that encapsulates all our people, processes and the underlying systems and tooling that support them. It is an investment into every aspect of our organisation and is manifested in continuous improvements in everything we do; from the career development we offer our staff, the services we offer our customers, as well as the way we serve and support them.

The idea I had in my head was a long-term managed services partner, that would share the risk and responsibility of the project and then work with us over the years to continuously optimise our operations and create value. People in the industry were talking about POPX because it has a very different approach that addresses many of the issues I’d experienced in the past and wanted to avoid. When I spoke to the team at POPX it was clear to me they understood our business and our needs, and they very quickly ticked the boxes of what I was looking for. Their ability to de-risk our investment and the all-inclusive fixed price made the final decision an easy one and sealed the deal.

  1. Why do you think too much work in the industry is “delivered by committed people using manual, isolated processes and aged tooling?”

It’s not unusual for MSPs to focus first and foremost on the needs of the customer, and each department will then invest in point solutions to solve specific internal issues. When growing a business, this is probably the right thing to do. However, this has its limitations and there will always come a point in the growth of an MSP where the internal systems and processes become so fragmented and chaotic that it struggles to keep up and scale with the changing demands of the business. This negatively impacts the cost to serve and, if left unchecked, will ultimately reduce both the quality of service and profitability.

  1. How quickly do you expect the integration to happen?

We have pushed aggressive timescales to get things done with minimum delay and expect to complete the final integrations during Q2 of 2023. There is little chance we could have achieved this without working with a partner like POPX, which can accelerate the process by combining its MSP-ready Platform with the sector expertise of its team.

  1. How will it enable you to scale?

It’s not about scaling at any cost, but rather about scaling while better controlling our costs. To do this we must put the right processes in place and the right tools in the hands of our employees. By improving the employee experience with advanced service management techniques, we directly improve the customer experience, as it is one single value chain that connects everything. Again, service automation takes a leading role, allowing us to work accurately and efficiently. In this way, we can serve our clients quicker and better with minimal manual intervention, which mitigates errors that require rework.

  1. How much has Arrow grown in recent years and how has it grown so extensively?

Arrow has grown significantly through multiple acquisitions over a short number of years, but we also have healthy organic growth. We are in the advanced stages of integrating them together into one organisation with a common operational standard. We have been fortunate to be associated with private equity firms that have seen the opportunity in our business model and invested in it.

  1. What are your hopes for Arrow for the future and how will POPX help?

With thousands of customers, it is impossible to serve every individual need via telephone and email. For this reason, our hopes for the future centre around the enhanced digital engagement of our customers. This comes through many different channels, such as through service automation, our new self-service customer portal, the use of bots, the use of an extensive knowledgebase, improved personalisation and any other form of enablement we can leverage to better serve a growing and ever-demanding customer base with complex needs.

  1. How will POPX affect the day-to-day running of the company?

Thanks to POPX, we have the appropriate access to all the additional resources we need but don’t necessarily want to hire. Because we work seamlessly as one team, POPX has broadened our capability and capacity to do more. I’m lucky to be working with a brilliant team at Arrow, but what we have with POPX is a bit like having access to a supercharger that tunes and refines the power of an already excellent engine. This is a collaborative partnership in the true sense and because we complement each other, the extended team operates at a higher level. The team at POPX understands and shares our goals, and we work as trusted partners to realise the precisely articulated strategic vision that acts as our North star, without which none of this would be possible.

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