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First Orion Corp. has a “hunger for innovation” not only with regards to the company’s technology, but also its working environment.
Sometimes getting a client to pick up the phone is a company’s biggest challenge, and First Orion works to directly address that problem with its branded calling technology and protection from scam, fraud and spoof calls.
This is First Orion’s second time as an Arkansas Business of the Year finalist, and the company continues to evolve, maintaining an average annual growth rate of 28% for the past three years.
Instead of an unknown number appearing on a call, First Orion can place a company’s name, but services don’t stop there, said Amy Blake, First Orion’s director of communications. Instead, the company is looking to be the one-stop shop for business communication to clients.
“We’ve started looking for opportunities in other points of communication technology, whether that is expanding into text at some point or creating software that helps us better identify spoofers,” Blake said. Right now, First Orion mostly serves enterprises, but Blake explained it plans to start up a self-service portal where businesses of all sizes can brand their calls. “This year is going to be a record year in the amount of technology that we are releasing.”
First Orion’s technology isn’t the only thing that’s growing. At the end of 2019, First Orion had 203 employees, and now the company has 401.
First Orion also started an apprenticeship program in which it trains local talent to keep people in Arkansas. “That has allowed us to expand our data science teams and our programming teams in a way that now we can really focus in on product and come up with new ideas,” Blake said.
The company is also proud to be Arkansas-based, allowing it to nurture technical talent and bring attention to the state.
“You don’t always associate Arkansas with tech, and I think it’s really cool we’ve been able to build something here that allows people to look at Arkansas in a different light,” Blake said. “If we continue to expand like this, you’ll see [more] rapid growth in the future for First Orion.”