Paschal Naylor IT services

Arkphire: Building a global IT heavyweight

September 7, 2020 No Comments

In business for 40 years, this Irish-headquartered IT procurement and IT solutions and services firm is now expanding its footprint in the private healthcare sector. 

Continuing its speedy growth trajectory of recent years, Irish-headquartered Arkphire recently signed a £50m seven-year IT transformation contract with a leading private hospital in the UK.

Under the agreement with The London Clinic, a full-service high-tech hospital operating across seven sites in central London, Arkphire will deliver IT outsourcing and enable the clinic in its’ digital transformation mission. The deal builds on an existing five-year relationship between Arkphire and the hospital.

Private healthcare in the UK is a focus area for Arkphire, which has leading brand names as  clients around the world. “Our work with The London Clinic has given us a strong platform to expand our reach in the healthcare sector,” says Arkphire CEO Paschal Naylor. “In terms of an infrastructure deal, it is significant in the marketplace.”

Arkphire is the largest and fastest-growing Irish-headquartered IT procurement and IT managed services business. Naylor says its ambition is to continue to scale internationally over the next decade. “We are in the business of enablement, we want to enable our clients to enable their staff to Work from Anywhere, securely and seamlessly.  We will continue to respond to the needs of the market with a strong and comprehensive IT services offering covering digital workspace, cybersecurity, cloud, networking and global IT procurement.”

The company’s portfolio of offerings includes integrated technology solutions that span desktops, networking, cybersecurity, cloud and data centre, enabling digital workspace and supporting businesses on their digital transformation journey.

An impressive heritage in IT

In a youthful sector, Arkphire has longevity on its side. Set up in 1979 as Memorex Telex, it was taken over in 1998 and again in 2006, before returning to Irish ownership in 2009 when Naylor and colleagues undertook a management buyout. The company rebranded as Arkphire in 2011.

“As the management team running the business, we were intimate with how it worked and close to suppliers and customers. We saw the opportunity and felt we could grow the business. We started with €15m turnover and some great customers, and even though it was during a recession, we grew from there.”

Naylor smiles as he adds the company has had the same primary bank account number and the same company number since its original iteration back in 1979.

Under Naylor, the business has thrived in an organic growth mode and has picked up many recurring customers and a significant referrals business. It has grown to an €160m business with more than 240 employees, up from a workforce of about 30 at the time of the management buyout. It serves customers across more than 90 countries.

Celebrated widely, valued by partners

Recognised as a Deloitte Fast 50 winner in Ireland in 2020 for the fourth year in a row, Arkphire  became a Fast 500 EMEA winner in 2017. It was also recognised by the Financial Times in 2018 as one of Europe’s fastest growing companies. Attracting significant venture capital investment in 2018, Arkphire was able to make a number of acquisitions to broaden and balance its business. It now has two distinct divisions: Arkphire Global IT Procurement and Arkphire IT Services.

Arkphire has partnerships with many of the world’s leading IT suppliers, including Apple, Cisco, Citrix, CheckPoint, Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Logitech, Poly and dozens of others. “We operate on the stakeholder principle,” said Naylor. “We follow the customer and always seek to deliver the best service we can possibly deliver.”

Enabling clients to cope during Covid

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, the company had to support all of its’ clients with huge IT and physical migration of employees from offices to home with little notice. It also advised on and sourced new IT infrastructure solutions, and has been providing remote IT support, appropriate cloud and IT security solutions, and emergency technical expertise when required.

It shifted its IT procurement business within days, pivoting from shipping smaller numbers of large orders to offices to large numbers of individual orders to clients’ employees who are working remotely.

Accessing Asia with Enterprise Ireland 

Arkphire now has a direct presence in Brazil, Israel, Japan, Singapore and the UK, with a very impressive international client list including Asana, Dropbox, HubSpot, Indeed, Flexport, Wework, Wrike  and many other “heavyweights of the digital economy”, as Naylor describes them.

As a well-established and growing international business, Arkphire was not in need of financial supports from Enterprise Ireland in the same way a less-developed or younger business might be. What it needed and got, however, was the deep market knowledge of the Enterprise Ireland teams on the ground in Asia.

“We got the most fantastic support in the marketplace,” says Naylor, reflecting on Arkphire’s move into Asia in recent years. “The Enterprise Ireland team in Singapore went above and beyond the call of duty, and likewise in Hong Kong and Japan. They supported us with on-the-ground market information and introductions to people and channels.

“They have also supported us in Brazil, where we are more in start-up mode, and included us on a trade delegation to India. These are things you can’t do on your own. The value of the support we have received has been unquantifiable.”

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