Top 40 UK IT distributors you need to know: Part Two

Doug Woodburn
clock • 38 min read

The UK's top 40 IT distributors generated nearly £13bn revenues in their latest years, CRN research has found. Here we count down those ranked 25th to 11th...

"As a scale-up company we will grow significantly again"

13. QBS Technology Group

Revenues: £109m (+42%)

UK headcount: 75

Specialism: SaaS, software

Key vendors: DocuSign, TeamViewer, SolarWinds, Sharegate, Jetbrains

HQ: London

This software specialist has grown rapidly through acquisition to become a £125m-revenue runrate powerhouse.

Differentiating itself through its own platform, QBS' recent conquests include Zedsphere and AlphaGen in the UK, as well as German Compuwave and French Seiner Informatique. Group revenues for its year to 31 March 2021 hit £109m - up from £77m in 2020 an £64m in 2019 - QBS told us, with the bulk of sales still drawn from the UK.

Q&A with group CEO Dave Stevinson

What specialism is your firm known for, and what sets you apart from your peers?

We are totally dedicated to emerging software publishers. All our product is shipped electronically via our software delivery platform. So we will keep on developing the platform and adding functionality.

Which emerging vendors are you betting big on this year?

As a distributor dedicated to emerging software publishers - it is what we do. It would be terribly wrong to have favourites.

Have you made any significant vendor signings in the last 12 months?

Guilty - Solarwinds, Smartbear and Unitrends are three.

What's the biggest misconception about distribution?

Simply the naïve concept that it adds cost - when in reality it creates value.

How would you summarise the health of the distribution sector in 2021?

In a word - "contrasting". Naturally there are fewer of us in the club and the big are getting much bigger - the rest of us are specialising.

Do you expect to grow in 2021?

Absolutely - as a scale-up company we will grow significantly again. The quality of that growth is improving too.

How do you see the role of distribution changing in the 2020s?

The role will not change significantly in the next decade - all changes will be incremental improvements.

Which UK competitor do you respect the most, and why?

Our biggest competitor is "Publisher Direct" - and our mission is to bring that business through the channel via our software delivery platform to optimise the software delivery process.

Tell us one thing most people won't know about your company?

What QBS actually stands for!

Which distie has just launched its own brand of sustainable products? Find out on the next page...

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