The Group was founded by Igor Borovikov in 1993 and has grown from a local software reseller in Russia, with 10 employees, to a global IT solutions and services provider, with 5000 employees as at 2021. The Group strategy is following – geographical growth and expansion and growth product and services portfolio based at highest status relationship with key vendors.
Over the course of its nearly 30-year history, the Group has established a proven track record of successful development and continued growth much more faster then market. Group 10 years CAGR – 20% and IT market CAGR – 7%.
The Group has supplemented its organic growth with the acquisition of a number of IT value-added resellers and solution providers, as outlined below, with the Group’s first M&A transaction completing more than ten years ago. The Group established a dedicated M&A team in 2016, based in Moscow and London, which covers the entire deal cycle from target screening through to due diligence, deal structuring and integration. Since its establishment, the Group’s M&A team has reviewed over 100 potential targets and completed over 10 acquisitions. The Group pursues M&A opportunities to augment its primary organic growth strategies of capability development, geographic expansion and customer acquisition.
Some of highlights from the Group`s history include:
1993 – the Group have been founded in Moscow, Russia with clear focus at scientific software licensing (Wolfram Research, Mathsoft etc) and utilized direct mail approach as go – to – market strategy.
1993 – 1998 – expansion of software vendors portfolio beyond scientific software by addition of a key mainstream global vendors (Microsoft, Borland, Symantec, IBM etc).
1998 – the Group became leading software licencing partner at Russian market. The Group launches issuance of magazine-style printed software catalogue Softline Direct with circulation more then 150 000 printed copies per year and invests heavily in marketing campaigns. Softline signs formal partnership agreement with Microsoft LSP with focus at large customers.
1999-2000 – further vendors portfolio expansion to 500 vendors, the Group secures a position of clear market leader in Russia – one stop shop for any software products. The Group took a decision to expand outside Moscow in Russia in Former Soviet Union territory.
In 2001 – the Group opens first office outside Russia in Minsk, Belarus, Group founded the Softline Training and Education Center and open Technical support center for client.
2002 – the Group opens office in Ukraine and starts expansion to Russian regions by opening offices in Khabarovsk and Nizhny Novgorod.
In 2003, the Group launched AXOFT, a distribution line of business for serve clients through partner network. Group`s subsidiary becomes first Microsoft authorized partner in Belarus.
2004 – the Group established “Microsoft Solution & Competency Center” to develop services line of business and opens new countries – Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, while continuing expansion in Russian regions with opening offices in Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. Group launches Ecommerce business – ecommerce marketplace solution Allsoft which enabled software vendors of any size to execute fully automated transactions with B2C and SOHO customers, launch of All-in-One Ecommerce Solution to enable and outsource digital sales on software vendors websites by taking care of customer support, local language and currency, taxation and payment methods.
In 2005, the Group launched Softline Consulting Services and expanded into and Kyrgyzstan. Group begins to Audit accounts with Moore and Stephens as auditors. Group secures Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status.
2006 – the Group expands to Azerbaijan, Tajikistan. Group`s Annual Revenue almost reaches 100M USD.
In 2007, the Group became a leader of software licensing market in Russian and the CIS, expands into Georgia and Mongolia. Group took a decision to begin International expansion to emerging markets across the globe.
2008 – the Group launches business in Turkey, Vietnam, Venezuela, Armenia and Turkmenistan. Group`s annual revenue exceeds 350M USD.
In 2009, the Group launched “software as-a-service” (SaaS) store and executed first M&A – acquired ActiveCloud and Active Platform, a Belarussian cloud provider with strong market position and key IP for Cloud Service Brokerage.
2010 – the Group expanded to Argentina, Colombia, Romania, Moldova and launched the Softline Services department. Allsoft ecommerce reaches volume of more than 500 000 paid customer orders.
2011 – expansion to Malaysia and Peru, Group`s Annual Revenue exceeds 500 MUSD, Group is recognized as Microsoft`s Global Partner of the Year in Software Asset Management.
In 2012 Group enters to Cambodia, Laos, Costa Rica and Chile. Group being recognized as Microsoft Country Partner of the Year in Russia.
2013 – expansion to Brazil, Mexico. Group launches of e-store for B2B customers to streamline operations and deliver self-service capability for the customers.
2014 – the Group opens subsidiary in India. Softline becomes a member of a group of Global LSP partners of Microsoft. Group begins significant investment into Cloud and Services businesses and diversifying of product portfolio by scaling hardware business with top global vendors in Russia and CEE regions. Softline acquires Novacom in Belarus – one of the leading local System integrators. Softline is recognized in Russia as a Top-5 largest company on IT market by “RIA News” agency rating.
2015 – Group expands to Myanmar. Group achieves Premier status with Сisco in 9 countires and LSP status with Microsoft in 19 countries in CEE, LATAM and Asia. Group`s geographic footprint exceeds 30 countries and 80 cities.
In 2016, the Group raised equity from Da Vinci Capital, a leading independent Private Equity fund, and acquired Compusoftware (a leader in licensing and infrastructural services from Brazil), IT Guard. Group established Board of Directors. The Group also built the largest data centre in Eastern Europe, recognised as a Datacentre Project of the Year by Russian Data Center Awards 2016 and implemented its first internet of things (IoT) projects. In addition, the Group introduced new services in its portfolio, including workplace-as-a-service, hardware-as-a-service and managed services. Softline Georgia recognized Microsoft Country Partner of Year. Group expands to Thailand. 99% orders in Group`s ecommerce platform are provisioned within several minutes after payment.
In 2017, the Group achieved more than 1B USD revenue and raised equity from Zubr Capital, a Belarussian private equity fund. Group acquired Enaza (proprietary IP outsourced managed platform to enable Telco customers to sell software subscription), the Russian division of Insight Enterprise and Infosecurity, the first Russian company that has built a comprehensive framework for providing cybersecurity as a service. The Group also expanded into Philippines, Paraguay, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador. Group simultaneously recognized as Microsoft Country Partner of the Year 2017 in Chili, Cambodia and Kazakhstan. Softline E-commerce expanded into several countries in Western Europe, Latin America and Asia. First yeah when more than 50% of the Group`s Microsoft revenue generated outside of Russia.
In 2018, the Group acquired a minority stake in Crayon, a Norwegian IT advisory firm which provides software licensing, software asset management and consulting services. Group expands to Bolivia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. Group recieves credit rating from Standard and Poor’s and successfully places first Public Bonds offering. Softline recognized as Microsoft Country Partner of the Year 2018 in Cambodia for a second year in a row. Group launches Softline Digital Laboratory as specialized team to provide digital transformation services for enterprise clients leveraging cutting edge technologies (IoT, Big Data, ML, VR and others). Launch of Softline Digital Platform for automated billing and provisioning of Cloud Services (Microsoft Office 365, Azure etc), subscription software and other recurring service offerings. The Group`s ecommerce team received “Best Customer Experience team” from CX World Awards.
In 2019, the Group acquired High Technologies Center, a company specialising in custom software development, including design, development, quality assurance and software testing, ongoing maintenance and support, and requirement analytics. The Group acquired IP Cloudmaster (cloud service for managing of multi-cloud client`s infrastructure). Softline ecommerce platform transaction volume reached 17 mln orders in a lifetime and enabled automatic order execution for more than 200 vendors. The Group successfully placed second Public Bond issue. Group expands to Egypt, Czech Republic, Poland, South Korea, Shri Lanka and achieved global Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider (MSP) status (confirming Groups world-class expertise in delivering wide range of project based and managed services around Microsoft Azure platform, covering full Azure customer lifecycle across different workloads and scenarios). The Group launched Softline Premier Services offering, which is aimed at proactively improving the maturity, stability, performance and security of infrastructures that leverage Microsoft solutions. Softline Premier Services aims to guarantee stable risk-free performance and the highest possible return on investment in IT products, offering dedicated expert support and regular on-site support to customers throughout the year.
In 2020, the Group keeps focus on growth and transformation and opens new HQ in London, UK, successfully places two Public Bonds offerings, improves S&P credit rating and launches Softline Finance – financial service offering from Softline, allowing customers to receive installment payment plan for products and services acquired from the Group. Group successfully closes 3 M&A deals by acquiring Embee – one of the leading IT market players in India (have been recognized as Microsoft Country Partner of the Year 2018 in India), Aplana – Software Development outsourcing company in Russia with strong international project portfolio and Softline AG – IT consulting group headquatered in Germany with subsidiaries in Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and UK, focused on IT-Asset Management in the areas of Hardware and Software Asset Management, Information- & IT-Security, Cloud & Future Datacenter and Digital Workplace. Group`s annual revenue exceeded 1,8B USD.
In 2021, group keeps making progress towards goal of becoming leading Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity Service Provider with best emerging markets coverage WW:
Softline Ecommerce has 120+ employees and operate in 30+ countries and serve 10 000 orders per day, answer for customer support request of 1500 clients per day, support more than 25 different payment methods and more than 30 currencies and locations.
Enaza works with more 40 TelCo in different countries.
Group`s Custom Software Development team has more than 500 employees.
Group`s e-commerce solution described by IDC in a Vendor Spotlight 2021 report.
Achieved multiple Microsoft Advanced Specializations in Kubernetes on Azure, Linux and Open Source Database Migration to Azure, Windows Virtual Desktop.