Reseller Softcat is hoping to grow revenue by at least a fifth to £480m in its current fiscal year, according to its managing director Colin Brown, who hinted he has the £500m barrier in his sights.
In its last financial year, which ended on 31 July, the VAR swelled turnover 30 per cent to £400m, a figure Brown wants to boost by a quarter this year.
Brown (pictured) joined the reseller last summer as its managing director, replacing Martin Hellawell, who shimmied into the chairman's position following predecessor Peter Kelly's decision to take a back seat at the firm he founded.
Earlier this month, Softcat announced the opening of its new London office, and Brown said that in the coming fiscal year, he plans to open a new South-West hub, which will likely be in Bristol, and will take the firm's headcount past the 700 mark (up from about 600 today).
Kelway recently opened a new hub in Manchester, where Softcat already has a presence but speaking to CRN today, Brown said he likes to keep an eye on the firm's competitors.
"The truthful answer is yes, we do see [Insight, Misco and Kelway] as competitors, but there is not an arch rivalry there," he said. "Kelway established a new Manchester base... we are keeping an eye on that. With Misco, we cannot help but have noticed a few things going on there and if we can take advantage of that, that would be great.
"It's healthy competition, we're all trying to grow the market."
In the coming year, Brown said he is looking to focus on growing the managed services and cloud business as well as its networking division, but also said its traditional hardware business is being driven by the soon-to-be-axed Windows XP support.
"The devices market – not just PCs – is picking up. The end of XP support will persuade people to upgrade there – [the PC market] is not dead yet," he said.
Brown added that the imminent launch of Windows 8.1 could also boost PC sales.
"I think it will fix some of the problems Windows 8 has had. Microsoft insiders will tell you the devices work so much better on 8.1 so it's much more like a full user experience, which will positively impact on sales."
Brown admitted he felt some pressure coming in to lead such a high-performing company.
"There was a bit of pressure, mainly to get integrated quickly," he said. "Softcat was doing really well and had just come off the back of a really great year, so it was less about making changes and more about how to grow the business.
"When you come in as a leader the temptation is to tweak things but it took all my powers of determination not to do that and to leave things alone."
Brown said life at Softcat can be faster paced than in his previous roles at Computacenter and Microsoft due to the firm completing lots of smaller deals instead of very long-term megadeals.
"When you deal with a smaller amount of larger customers... the rewards are huge but you work on deals for up to 18 months and it's more of a relief than a joy," he explained.
CRN pulls out the key information from Microsoft's Q4, which took the vendor above $100bn for the year
Investment will include an AI research centre in London
John Coulston outlines Rackspace's plans to partner with the channel in the UK
Chris Bunch of Microsoft partner Cloudreach gives his take on this year's Inspire conference