Founded in Essex in 1992 Arc Systems is a privately owned provider of IT support, managed IT backup, cloud services and Internet connectivity to over 300 clients, predominately SMEs. ISO 9001 certified, Arc is committed to delivering the highest quality of standards and industry best practice and prides itself on its high customer retention. “We work closely with customers to ensure their IT expectations are delivered,” says Steve Holloway, Associate Director.
Traditionally a provider of on-premise IT solutions, Arc has now expanded by increasingly offering cloud and hosted IT services to its client base. This has led to changes in its business and financial model in order to be able to offer these monthly subscription based services to these customers in contrast to its traditional up-front payment model.
“Today even small businesses need an IT infrastructure that’s bang up to date but many can’t afford the investment up front. Without a solid financing option we would be restricted as to how much business we could do,” says Steve.
“To buy a new server or network costing thousands of pounds is a very big outlay for many of our customers, so we looked to partner with finance providers to put the cost into level monthly payments that customers could afford. We were using various finance providers but struggled with their responsiveness, the competitiveness of their rates and flexibility over choice of finance options.”
Arc’s transformation into cloud services presented new challenges too. It needed to change its own financial model in order to develop and fund its cloud offerings and allow its customers to pay for the service on a monthly subscription basis.
“This was a whole new ball game – to evolve as a business we were faced with the cost of funding IT infrastructure and support that our clients would pay us for incrementally. This wasn’t something we could fund ourselves, certainly not without cash flow issues.”
Initially Syscap was personally recommended to Arc as a finance option for its customers. Impressed by Syscap’s responsiveness and helpfulness, Arc quickly ramped up the use of its IT finance solutions and Syscap is now its preferred finance provider in this area. But it was when Arc moved to a cloud model that Syscap’s solutions really came into their own.
“We talked to a number of providers but were primarily concerned with which would be the most responsive and flexible,” says Steve Holloway. “Syscap’s Asset Finance and Support Funder solutions were really impressive because they allowed us to have an open line of credit in order to set up and launch subscription based cloud services as clients required them, without the need for individual customer credit agreements. This made it much easier to adapt our model and become a viable cloud provider quickly without asking customers to jump through hoops.”
One of the most important elements of the solution for Arc was Support Funder, Syscap’s product for financing support and maintenance services for cloud providers alongside traditional asset costs such as hardware, software and infrastructure. “Setting up support and maintenance services as part of a cloud offering is another major cost but only Syscap stands out in the market with a dedicated and tailored product for this need,” Steve Holloway continued.
From a past where Arc had to spend time dealing with different finance providers for its clients’ needs, it now engages with Syscap as its preferred partner for IT finance solutions, with the reassurance of getting the right one each time. Additionally, Support Funder has enabled Arc to set up and grow a future proofed cloud service.
“Syscap’s finance solutions are now our de facto choice – both for funding our own cloud services and our customers’ on-premise solutions,” says Steve Holloway.
Syscap has enabled Arc to grow and diversify as a business, overcoming customer financing issues and its own cash flow risks. On top of this its service is always highly responsive and professional.
Steve Holloway concludes: “When you’re trying to close a deal, time is of the essence and obtaining credit can slow down the process or halt it altogether. We don’t get this with Syscap because setting up credit, even in difficult circumstances, is always quick and painless, helping us to ensure that we process deals quickly and our customers are happy.
“Unlike some other providers Syscap is also very good at speaking to our customers directly when required to understand why their business needs finance and what their objectives are. This always helps to ensure that the customer is getting the right finance product and will be satisfied with the terms agreed and level of service. They’re the experts, so it pays to have them supporting the process every step of the way”.
“Looking ahead Syscap supports us as a business in two distinct ways. We intend to keep offering on-premise solutions and for this we need effective financing to maximise the number of customers we can sell to. But secondly we see cloud services as our big area of growth and expect many more customers to go this way. With Syscap on board we’re ready to take on and deliver to our customers’ requirements whatever they may be.”