How a business first, tech-enabled approach allowed to meet global demand faster than ever before

With increasing global demand for their online marketing planning tool, turned to ARQ’s custom designed, tech powered solutions to take them from slow to go.


A sales and marketing agency offering outsourced B2B marketing, training, and planning, has been helping businesses around the world to align their sales and marketing and build actionable go-to-market plans for over 20 years.

To help build the plans that shaped these clients’ sales and marketing strategy and activities, Founder and CEO Hugh Macfarlane led development of an online planning software called Funnel Plan

The tool helps planners – either or accredited Funnel Coaches – lead their exec team through the planning stages and allowing everyone to contribute. With over 4000 plans now built and over 70 Funnel Coaches accredited, Funnel Plan has become central to many businesses’ successful sales and marketing operations globally.

Initially hosted on Azure, Funnel Plan's performance was struggling to meet demand. Hugh highlighted three main challenges:

With more updates to the software in the pipeline and a growing global userbase, Hugh decided Amazon Web Services (AWS) would be a better fit and more powerful hosting platform for Funnel Plan’s needs. He knew he needed more than a ‘lift and shift’; if they were going to migrate to a new hosting provider, they needed a highly skilled partner to help them do it.

Finding a partner who could tick all the boxes

It was a business-critical project, and one wanted to do right the first time. More than being able to carry out a migration, was looking for a provider who would also understand:

  • the unique needs and usability of Funnel Plan and what was trying to achieve
  • the design and architecture of a scalable solution (zero users to 100 active users and back down to zero again in a 10-minute window)
  • enterprise applications and customer experience
  • systems management
  • application modernisation

“We wanted a cleverly-engineered solution that wasn’t too expensive but was highly available, secure, and could scale radically when we needed it to.” 

– Hugh Macfarlane, CEO & Founder, 

Project Background had first been introduced to ARQ when working with AWS and ARQ on ARQ’s own sales and marketing planning. This meant that ARQ already understood’s business and had experienced the scaling, security and availability issues of Funnel Plan firsthand.

It also meant knew that ARQ ticked a lot of their boxes. Not only did they have strong experience in applications and architecture, but their ‘business first, tech-enabled’ approach was exactly what was looking for.

“ARQ focused on really getting to know our needs, and we were seeking a change before designing a solution.” Hugh Macfarlane

Add to this their superior understanding of providing great online experiences, and Hugh knew ARQ was well suited to their needs.


The migration process

The migration occurred over three phases, which allowed ARQ and to test the process rigorously before going live.

Phase 1:

Before even contemplating a solution, the ARQ team undertook an incredibly detailed needs analysis. Even though they already had a basic understanding of’s business, they wanted to better understand the key issues, why was facing them, and what that meant to the business.

Phase 2:

After the needs analysis, ARQ moved onto strategizing to find the correct architecture. There was a lot of planning, followed by rounds of reviews and tweaks to improve their work and ensure the architecture fit perfectly. This process took around three weeks.

Phase 3:

When it came time for implementation, ARQ started with a full migration of the staging platform so it could be used live and tested. Then they migrated the application server using a snapshot (or copy) of the database and tested that. Once all tests were completed successfully, the final live migration was done over the weekend.

“The actual migration only took three days. There was lots of preparation, then an extremely rapid execution” – Hugh Macfarlane

The improvement was immediate

Reduced load time and improved plan-creation speed

Since migrating to AWS, has experienced a nine-fold reduction in page load time for Funnel Plan’s high-volume pages. The two main outputs of Funnel Plan (a one-page marketing plan and a plan PowerPoint presentation) are now also operating ten times faster than previously.

Increased capacity

12 months ago, was running about one planning workshop a month. In 2020, they increased this to approximately six workshops a month – some of them running simultaneously in different parts of the world. Since their migration to AWS, super-fast response times have been reported by all their participants – including a recent workshop with 25 people, all using Funnel Plan at the same time.

Ease of online delivery

Like many other businesses, had to switch to a predominantly online delivery of the planning workshops in 2020. The new rapid scale and high availability – not to mention the security improvements – mean that they can continue to support their global clients in a virtual setting.

It just works

Hugh and now have the peace of mind that the servers will automatically work, and support the software wherever and whenever it is being used. They don’t have to double-check anything, or be concerned that access will be compromised in the middle of a workshop – it all just works.

“Since migration, we’ve seen nothing. And that’s exactly what we should see” Hugh Macfarlane


What’s next for and ARQ?

Overall, Hugh and were incredibly impressed with the migration outcome, which came just at the right time for the business. And they had no doubts about their choice of partner.

“The ARQ team executed what was promised, and there was a lot of collaboration and flexibility that made them very easy to work with.” Hugh Macfarlane

So impressed with the calibre of the team, plans to continue to work alongside ARQ for future improvements. Now that they’re faster, more scalable, more available and more secure, plans to improve the user experience within the application, as well as carry out application modernization with ARQ’s help.

During this time, they plan to have ARQ take over systems management, so the team can focus on building the application, rather than running the systems in the background.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our work with ARQ, and their contribution to our ongoing improvements.” Hugh Macfarlane

Looking for a technology partner that can take you to bigger, better and faster heights? Let’s talk.

About is a small agency by global standards (around 20), but we’ve got a big spirit – and even bigger skills. From our base in Australia, we’ve helped businesses all around the world achieve great sales and marketing, from start to finish.

Whether you want to align your teams, build a great go-to-market plan, get some help with your execution, achieve business growth, or upskill yourself and your team, we can help.

About ARQ

ARQ is an AWS Premier Partner that makes great things happen for our customers. We are humble and don’t talk about what we do, we would rather talk about what our customers have achieved or even better let them tell the world. But we want to make sure we are the best so we are also an active AWS Managed Services Provider, holder of both the AWS Mobile Competency and the AWS data and Analytics competency – AWS raise the bar and we rise to meet it each year.  Our capabilities and practice encompass everything in the cloud, advanced data, analytics, AI & ML and digital experiences across all channels. We are the true end to end partner, for companies of all sizes that need the best and value experience and expertise. We partner with half of the top 20 ASX and over 100 other Australian companies to help them get the best from their own cloud adoption journey.