EBJ: Mr. Gawron, your company is recognized as the world’s leading specialist in software quality. What is the main idea behind SQS?
Mr. Gawron: SQS is an independent consultant focused on optimizing its customers’ business through high software quality. We are no product reseller or systems integrator. It is our independence and our strict focus on quality that distinguish us from the competition.
EBJ: How do you contribute to optimizing your customers’ business?
Mr. Gawron: Our services include functional and non-functional testing, automated testing, in-house testing tools, software quality management, managed services and training solutions, all of which are aimed at enhancing the quality of software and IT systems. Our strength is our strong focus on quality, and nothing else.
EBJ: When was SQS established?
Mr. Gawron: SQS was founded by Heinz Bons and Rudolf van Megen in Cologne in 1982. Since then, the company has developed from a pure-play testing provider into an independent consultancy and market leader in its field.
EBJ: What are your main markets?
Mr. Gawron: We have project experience and specialist knowledge across a wide range of industries, from automotive and logistics to retail and financial services. We see particular growth potential in the manufacturing sector where the trend towards outsourcing is only just beginning.
EBJ: Who are your customers?
Mr. Gawron: Our customers include half of the DAX 30, almost a third of the STOXX 50 and 20 FTSE 100 companies. Some of the largest clients are Allianz, UBS and VW.
EBJ: How many people do you employ and what is your market presence?
Mr. Gawron: SQS employs around 3,700 professionals in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa. We have a strong presence in Germany and the UK and have further offices in Australia, Austria, Egypt, Finland, France, India, Ireland, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and the USA. We provide our services on a global 24/7 basis.
EBJ: You have just bought Thinksoft, a competitor from India. What was the motive behind the acquisition?
Mr. Gawron: Thinksoft is the world’s fourth-largest software testing specialist. It was a strategic acquisition that will significantly strengthen our position in the fast evolving markets of South East Asia. Thinksoft will also support our development of the important US market.
EBJ: Is there a trend in the software quality sector?
Mr. Gawron: The market is increasingly moving towards outsourcing and managed services, at the expense of project assignments. As a result of the financial crisis, more and more companies are entrusting non-core activities, such as software quality management, to external providers to improve efficiency and save costs.
EBJ: What is the current share of managed services in your overall portfolio?
Mr. Gawron: Managed services currently account for about 45% and are continuing to grow. Next year, they will make up more than half.
EBJ: What is your goal for the near future?
Mr. Gawron: In financial terms, we are confident that we will be able to double sales to 500 million EUR by 2017. Product-wise, we shall be concentrating on further developing automated testing solutions. Though test automation can never completely replace manual testing. For this, IT is too complex and variable.