Arrow Financials – An Australian Technology Success Story

Arrow Research Corp. was established in Melbourne in 1989, two years after Communicat commenced its business.   Communicat quickly recognised the elegance, simplicity and power of the Arrow system and we began recommending, selling and supporting the system for medium-sized organisations.

The main focus of Arrow Research Corp. from the start was to provide software that was designed to suit the Australian and New Zealand market.   In addition to the Australia-NZ market Arrow has also achieved success in the Asia-Pacific region and Northern Europe (especially in the UK).

Arrow Financials started out as a finance system for small-medium sized businesses however as the power of Arrow software evolved and increased, during the 1990s many larger businesses came to appreciate the simple and elegant design of the software.   Over the years Arrow Research have developed their software with increasing power and functionality to satisfy requests from larger businesses.

Arrow Financials software developed to meet client requests for:

  • Powerful functionality and capability to meet complex requirements;
  • Processing power to cater for high-volume processing with large amounts of data, using the power of the Microsoft SQL database engine.

The reputation of Arrow Financials through the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century continued to grow, therefore leading to increasing success in the marketplace.  Arrow’s popularity increased predominantly through word of mouth as users recommended the software to their friends and colleagues.  Within ten years after launching Arrow Financials in 1989 the software brand was so successful that it had become one of the highest selling business ERP systems for medium-sized organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

By 2004 and after 15 years the power of the Arrow Software package had progressed from a simple small-business system to a powerful system that could cater for the needs of larger business organisations.

At the same time, the Directors of Arrow recognised that a new approach was needed. The power of the Arrow system was limited by the underlying technology foundation that had its origins in 1989 technology.  In 2001 Arrow added Microsoft SQL database functionality (replacing the previous Dataflex and Btrieve database engines), however there were other aspects of Arrow technology that would need major upgrades to meet technology standards in the decades after 2010.

It would have been relatively easy for Arrow Research to extend the life of Arrow Financials and take a low-cost short-term strategy, i.e.  apply a “facelift” to the Arrow Financials package, refresh the user interface and improve the underlying program code, field sizes and table structures.  However Arrow Management recognised that what was really needed was to go right back to the drawing board and start again, to take advantages of more modern technology that was available by 2004.

In 2004 the Directors of Arrow Research decided to “bet the company” on a major strategic and technological step forward.

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