asknet Solutions AG: Providing leading e-commerce solutions for academic institutions and the software industry for 25 years

October 09, 2020

2020 marks the 25th anniversary of asknet Solutions AG, one of the most experienced and innovative companies for merchant of record payment solutions and software distribution for academic institutions.

October 09, 2020, Karlsruhe – asknet Solutions AG, a leading procurement, e-commerce and payment specialist with a dominant position in the German-speaking academic market, is celebrating its 25th company anniversary. The company was founded in 1995 as a spin-off of the world-renowned Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). It quickly developed into a leading IT company in the early days of the internet economy. By 2003, it already had 50 online shops under management. One year later, the company launched internationally with offices opening in the US and Japan. In 2006, asknet AG went public on the Frankfurt stock exchange, which further boosted its visibility and expansion. In the years after the IPO, the company accelerated its presence in the software and academic business world, becoming one of the leading ecommerce merchants for the software industry. Meanwhile, asknet’s academic solutions and services became the leading software procurement platform for German-speaking countries.

Many years after the spin-off, the KIT remains one of asknet’s longest-standing customers. Rolf Mayer, Member of the KIT Scientific Computing & Simulation Team and responsible for the Steinbuch Centre for Computing software shop, says: “asknet listens with interest and understanding to special requests, this leads to effective and practical solutions.”

Throughout its history, asknet has repeatedly proven to be an early adopter of leading-edge technology. First and foremost, asknet has always built solutions based on cloud technologies. In 2007, asknet published its first mobile cart and in 2010 its first in-app cart, years before these technologies became the industry standard. As a result, the company was able to establish long-term customer relationships with leading global companies.

“asknet has been our trust-worthy partner for many years. In this fast-paced world with constantly changing business dynamics and consumer demand, I am glad asknet is our ecommerce solution provider, especially in the transition to a subscription-based business model,” says Vincent Lin, Vice President of the longstanding client CyberLink Corp. and further adds: “Happy 25th Anniversary! Looking forward to an even stronger partnership down the road!”

Other important long-standing clients in the e-commerce services business unit are IObit and GMAC. Pamela Brown, Director Product Management of GMAC states: “We stick with you guys year after year because your ecommerce solution is a truly complete solution that enables us to do business globally.”

Among the most important business partnerships over the years has been the cooperation with IBM. In 2015, asknet concluded a framework agreement for merging IBM software with asknet’s own services, tailored to the needs of German and Swiss academic customers. These packages combine IBM key products such as the well-known and highly demanded statistical software SPSS with asknet value features, such as automated customer management, software distribution, community support and billing. In 2020, thanks to the very successful cooperation, the partnership was renewed and significantly extended.

Johanna Tijerina, Data and AI Ecosystem Leader of IBM said: “asknet's e-procurement model with its value-add services covers the specific requirements of our customers in the academic market very well, making IBM software easily available to universities and their students for research and teaching in Germany and Switzerland. We value our longstanding partnership and appreciate the dynamic working style and teamwork with the asknet team. Together, we are working on broadening the IBM footprint in the research & education market in these countries.”

When taking a closer look at the latest developments in the software industry, cloud-based subscription models have become increasingly important in the academic world as well. The prime focus falls naturally on everyday applications such as the Microsoft Office 365 suite. Thanks to its long-standing relationship with Microsoft, asknet was able to start rolling out Microsoft Office 365 licenses in 2018 via its university and student portals, including customer support.

Another important collaboration exists with Adobe Inc. Since 2019, the Karlsruhe-based company is an Elite Partner of Adobe’s Education Program, reselling Adobe products and offering special services helping German academic customers to manage their Adobe licenses.

One of the most important current projects is the DELL Hosted Shopping Application, in which asknet provides a secure, legally compliant procurement platform that reduces complexity for manufacturers, resellers and customers alike. The application will start in November 2020.

Dirk Werner, Regional Sales Director of DELL: “In the tendering process, asknet understood our customer's requirements best. Due to the combination of expertise, customer focus, and reliability, we would always choose asknet again. They convinced us with their outstanding expertise, especially in the area of research and education in Germany. But asknet has also proven its competence in international projects.”

“Today, we are one of the most experienced players in our markets and offer high-quality solutions and services with a dedicated team. Building on our long-standing customer relationships, we are now focusing on expanding our activities in the edtech solutions area,” says Christian Herkel, CEO of asknet Solutions AG. “After eventful years, we now want to enter a new chapter in the company's history with a focused strategy and strong partners.”

Aston Fallen, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of asknet Solutions AG: “On behalf of our company, I would like to thank all of our current and former employees, partners and customers who have accompanied us on this exciting 25-year journey. We are looking forward to the many successful projects we want to jointly master in the coming years.”

About asknet Solutions AG
asknet Solutions AG is a leading procurement, e-commerce and payment specialist. The company offers software procurement and sales services for European academic institutions, students and alumni. The procurement portals offered by asknet are used by more than 80% of German colleges and universities. The headquarter of asknet Solutions AG is Karlsruhe. The company is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN: DE000A2E3707).

Magda Gajny