Computacenter was founded in the UK in 1981 by Philip Hulme and Peter Ogden. In 1990, it opened Europe's largest PC outlet; in 1991, it was listed by The Independent newspaper as one of the fastest growing independent companies in the UK and, by 1994, it had grown to become the largest privately owned IT company in the UK. Computacenter was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1998. In 2006 the company extended its service facilities to include a new International Service Centre in Barcelona, Spain, and a customer help desk and remote management facility in Cape Town, South Africa.
The following year the company won BT’s inaugural Supplier Innovation Award for its work on virtualising and consolidating a number of their UK datacentres, helping BT reduce the carbon footprint of its Windows datacentre estate by 85%.
Computacenter is a major employer, with over 4,000 staff in the UK and around 10,000 across Europe. Because of the company’s managed services/outsourcing business, many of these people work on customers’ sites. Computacenter employs technical consultants, project managers, field engineers, sales admin and account managers and Service Desk staff.
Computacenter is an Investor in People and in addition to its normal recruitment process, the company has an entry scheme for people it considers to have the most sales potential. Under this ‘Sales Associate Programme’, candidates are given an intensive 18 months training under the direct sponsorship of the company’s CEO. It says the successful candidates’ earnings could exceed £70,000 in their first year as an Account Manager.
Principal business partner and title sponsor of the Professional Rugby Players' Association's ("PRA") Rugby Players' Awards Dinner, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
Founding sponsor of the Computacenter Cathcart Spring Proms, which is a classical "Variety Performance" of diverse works played by musicians, choristers, soloists and groups in the Royal Albert Hall.
Sponsor of the "Best Use of Technology" category in the British Legal Awards, 2007.
Computacenter’s charity partners are Willow Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support and The Children’s Trust. The company supports and organises fundraising events such as dress down days, charity races and sponsored staff expeditions, which have included an expedition to Everest base camp. Computacenter donated £87,000 to charity in 2008
Corporate Social Responsibility
Computacenter is a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index series, which measures the performance of companies that meet globally recognised corporate responsibility standards; it has retained its membership for 5 years.
During 2007, the Computacenter group committed itself to the 10 core principles of United Nations Global Compact, which illustrates the company's adoption of sustainable and socially responsible policies, especially in relation to human rights, labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption.
The company also works with its customers to help them meet their 'sustainable IT' objectives. In November 2007 Computacenter won BT’s inaugural Supplier Innovation Award for its work on virtualising and consolidating a number of their UK datacentres, helping BT reduce the carbon footprint of its Windows datacentre estate by 85%. Computacenter says its cost-neutral service to Marks & Spencer has also helped M&S meet its WEEE requirements and its 'Plan A' environmental objectives, sending zero IT waste from M&S head office to landfill in 2008.
The German branch of Computacenter is partner of the White IT, an alliance for children .