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4 min

Ten years of Softtrader: a decade of growth

4 min

Softtrader has been around for many years. We helped numerous companies with saving costs on the purchase of Microsoft licenses. In this article we will tell you all about how we got to where we are.

The founding of Softtrader

In spring 2023 Softtrader will be in the business of helping save companies on their IT budget for ten years already. A good moment to look back on how it started to where we are now. Like some of the startups you might know Softtrader started as a one-man company who thought he saw an opportunity. When the European Court decided in 2012 that it is legal to sell perpetual Microsoft licenses Antio (CEO) decided to quit working in the hardware and make the step to the Software. Of course, a big benefit of this was that he could keep the close contacts he already had in the Hardware business since brokers come across a lot of unused OLP licenses.

Scaling up

In 2017 Softtrader started to grow exponentially. Companies were getting used to the idea that Pre-owned software is legal and saw that it is a big opportunity for them to save up to 70% of their buying costs. At this point, Softtrader changed from being a one-man company that sells to well-known contacts to a company that actively tries to reach other potential clients within particular resellers and other IT companies. Shortly after we moved to a new office in the best location in Nijmegen. Two people were hired for marketing and sales and Softtrader expanded rapidly throughout the Netherlands.

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Going international

After one and a half years of calling prospects and selling throughout the country, it was time to upscale again. Two interns were hired to help get some fresh ideas for the company and have some extra workforce to keep up with the growth, one of them still works at Softtrader up to this day. Softtrader also took the step of going international. The first country Softtrader was focusing on was Spain. A young Spaniard who lived in the Netherlands was hired to test our luck across the border. A step that very soon proved to be the right one.

At the start of 2020 just before the Covid breakout, Softtrader decided to go further than just the Netherlands and Spain. In chronological order, Softtrader also entered the French and German markets. At this point, Softtrader had eight employees who were getting to know the market, helping clients, and above all advising them for their clients.

The new office

Because of the working places available at the old office, Softtrader moved to a bigger place in the center of the same city where it all started, Nijmegen. Not only that, in France and Spain Softtrader also hired some office space so communication between each other would improve, but also to improve the quality of help we could provide to clients and interested companies. This was all in the beginning of 2021, a little over one and a half years later, Softtrader can also be found in Italy and Portugal and we have 15 enthusiastic people who are constantly in contact with a lot of regular clients to see what we can do with their current project.

What does Softtrader stand for nowadays?

To try to explain best what Softtrader believes in, we asked Derek to write down some of his experiences. Derek started as an intern and now, 3 years later he still works at Softtrader as a sales manager. Derek says the following: To be honest I think Softtrader is a company capable of helping many companies. Our client base is very diverse, computer shops that sell Office licenses, end users that have an IT division, some startups that don’t have much to spend yet, and most of all the resellers. In my years at Softtrader I helped hundreds of companies with questions regarding Microsoft licensing, and most of them eventually with saving costs on Microsoft licenses. A pleasant experience for me, and the client.

In 2019 when I started as an intern our job was to make sure Softtrader could be found by resellers and IT companies by writing helpful blogs. Software licenses can be a complicated matter for some reason. You have all kinds of rules and not everything is compatible so I believe you already have some credits with (potential) clients if you can help them. A license is of course a homogeneous product. Whether you buy it from us, the software shop around the corner, or directly from Microsoft, it shouldn’t make a difference. But who doesn’t like to save money, especially with a homogeneous product?

The service is something that in my opinion is even more important than the good prices. If a company gets exactly what they need they automatically save money, for example: Just last month a relatively young company was upgrading its software environment, and because they were running four virtual machines a competitor advised them to buy and install a Datacenter license which seemed logical. The company didn’t have the money for this. They reached out to us to compare Datacenter prices but after talking for a while we figured out that licensing all their cores twice with a Standard Server license was also possible since they weren’t planning on using more virtual machines any time soon. This saved them not only +- 45% on the license itself but also 50% because they could also use a license that fit their needs and budget better. For me, this is what helps us all. Of course, we also like to be able to pay our employees, grow and be able to do some company activities but if you advise everyone the right way companies will come back to you for advice and another project so, in the end, the long-term relationship you get from it will help both the companies now and in the future.

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