Digia’s Qt business grew significantly during 2012. The business also developed structurally, as Digia acquired the open source code licensing, product development and the copyrights to the entire Qt software technology in August 2012 from Nokia. This was an addition to the commercial Qt operations it had previously bought from Nokia.
One of Digia’s strategic objectives is to grow as an international software house. Qt software technology is the spearhead of this internationalisation strategy. The Qt acquisition gave Digia an excellent opportunity to develop not only the technology but also the whole business and its wider ecosystem. Qt is a software developers’ tool that allows for efficient operating system-independent development of programs. The same source code can easily be ported to work for example in Windows, Mac or Linux desktop environments.
Recent developments in the device sector indicate that the role of mobile platforms will only continue to grow. This is why Digia has made efforts to ensure that the new Qt5 environment, launched in December 2012, will also support the Google Android and Apple iOS operating systems. This will take place in 2013. After these launches, Qt is considered to be a highly competitive software development environment for all the leading operating systems.
The Qt Commercial development environment is actively used by around 3,500 desktop and embedded software customers. These customers represent a wide variety of sectors, including consumer electronics, finance, aeronautics, energy, defence and the media. In terms of licence sales, the major markets are the United States, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan. Most of the revenue from Qt comes from licence sales, which started to grow during 2012.
The challenging international software market requires specialist competence and broad customer knowledge. To meet these challenges, during 2012 Digia added to its previous sales-oriented offices in Norway and the US a new office in Germany and reinforcing its Qt sales organisation in China and Russia. In addition to Digia’s own sales network, customer service is provided by distributors in chosen markets, including India, Russia, Poland and Japan.
Digia’s strong international network of offices and highly experienced international sales force are major factors in the fulfilment of future growth targets.
The international software business offers growth opportunities but also requires investments into the future. Digia Ventures is developing the next generation of software solutions. Ventures approaches the market with easily scalable cloud solutions directly over the Internet. Browser-based and mobile products are available location- and time-independently. Even the business models are innovative: in addition to a small fixed charge, customers only pay for what they use. In general, start-up costs are either very low or non-existent.
Digia will continue investing in this area in the future. As a return on its investment, Digia seeks growth at rates significantly above the market average, without forgetting profitability.