Strategic partnership to help small businesses harness cloud technology
2nd December 2015
A strategic alliance between two forward-thinking South Yorkshire-based technology companies is helping to make the sky the limit for small organisations wanting to operate more effectively.
Sheffield-based tech specialist Arkom, which counts Lxfer Holdings PLC, Filtronic PLC, 600 Group PLC and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce amongst its client base has teamed up with Holbrook-based HA Hosting, which operates a bespoke data-centre in the city in a bid to help charities and small businesses harness powerful Microsoft-developed software. Microsoft Dynamics is a powerful cloud-based customer relationship management system which has over 3.9 million users worldwide and used by over 40,000 businesses. The powerful technology is fully customised by Arkom and tailored to help organisations track and monitor interactions with clients, as well has helping to manage new business leads and plan future marketing activity more effectively. For smaller businesses one of the greatest barriers to accessing the technology is the standard license fee arrangements, which usually requires a minimum of five licenses to be sold. The partnership arrangement between HA Hosting and Arkom means that smaller numbers and even single licenses can be sold, making the technology suitable for smaller businesses. Under the partnership arrangement, the fully customised CRM systems will be stored using HA Hosting's Data Centre, allowing information to be accessed from the office, home and via mobile devices and Alan Easter, Managing Director Arkom believes that SMEs could be well placed to benefit: -Most businesses understand the importance of developing close working relationships with their clients and CRM systems are an effective way of storing client information in one place. -Microsoft Dynamics has firmly established itself as the market leader when it comes to CRM technology, however, the number of licenses required as standard meant the platform was out of reach of many charities and smaller businesses. -We have worked with HA Hosting for a number of years, and when we began looking at implementing the system, we called on their expertise to help us secure new licensing arrangements with Microsoft. -The partnership is good news for smaller organisations as it means they can compete on a level playing field when it comes to managing their businesses effectively, as well as being able to access the powerful Microsoft technology. It also means SME's are not at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting new members of staff - as they will be able to use a system which is commonly used and so reduces the amount of training time needed. Rory Delahoyde, Managing Director, HA Hosting said: -The systems developed by Arkom use the powerful resources available through Microsoft Dynamics, but crucially all systems and procedures are tailored meet the specific needs of each organisation. For charities this may mean the system helps them to keep in touch with regular donors and for smaller businesses it can help to manage new business leads, monitor progress on particular projects and even track phone calls with customers. -Reducing the minimum number of licenses required from five to one, means that as companies grow, they are investing in a flexible system which will grow and evolve with the business, rather than being forced to implement piecemeal new systems and procedures as its needs change. -We have worked with Arkom on a number of different projects and the partnership means that companies and charities will be able to access cost-effective CRM technology, which is supported by a powerful cloud-based system, meaning that whether individuals are in the office, at home or on the move, they can keep access everything they need from the click of a button. Established in 1993 and based in Aizlewoods Mill, Arkom has developed a specialism in helping businesses and not-for-profit organisations to develop bespoke custom-built CRM systems and recognised that the cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics platform could not only help smaller businesses to operate more effectively, but could also save time and money as the organisations grow by avoiding moving to alternative platforms as the needs of the business evolve. HA Hosting was founded in February 2008 by experienced IT professionals Rory Delahoyde and Stuart Stones. The company provides a comprehensive range of hosting, support and data backup services, designed to provide SME businesses with access to an enterprise-level IT infrastructure. Since its formation, the company has specialised in providing specialist hosting services to small and medium sized businesses, offering a wide range of cloud-based systems, server co-location, as well as data backup.