The passing of long-time Queensland regional distributor QSoft was almost overlooked amidst the turmoil faced last month by its most recent owners, the Brocker Technology Group.
When Brocker announced it was pulling out of distribution last week and retrenched the majority of its Australian-based staff, QSoft also shuffled off this mortal coil leaving eight staff from its Brisbane headquarters out of a job.
A spokesperson from Brocker Technology Group's Auckland head office confirmed the closure, saying "[QSoft] was essentially the Queensland operation of Sealcorp . . . so once the decision was made to close Sealcorp, QSoft's fate was sealed".
The spokesperson claimed QSoft revenue was not calculated separately from the rest of Sealcorp's operations. "It was consolidated into the overall Australian results," the spokesperson said.
Brocker's acting CEO in Australia, Hal Lindstrom, said Qsoft retained its name because it had such a strong regional following in Queensland, but financially it always operated as a division of Brocker's Sealcorp arm.
"It was not separated from Sealcorp as a reporting mechanism," Lindstrom said. "The company had its own set of vendor partners and products, and an exclusive set of customers, but effectively it was just the Queensland arm of Sealcorp."
QSoft, originally a software-only regional distributor, was one of the fastest growing channel companies in the mid-90s before starting to get the death-wobbles after losing its Microsoft distribution contract in late 1997. A new (private) owner in early 1998 attempted to reinvent the business into a mainstream distribution company - doing hardware as well as software - but this failed to help revenues recover from the MS loss.
New Zealand distribution company Brocker Technology Group - under the banner of its Australian arm then called Sealcorp Holdings - moved in to pick up the crumbs in February 1999 and was operating the business since then.