Nixdorf - Pioneer of decentralized data processing

Nixdorf 820
Nixdorf 820

Nixdorf Computer AG (NCAG) - founded as Labor für Impulstechnik in 1952 - wrote business history in post-war Germany. When the German computer industry was just taking off, Heinz Nixdorf, the founder of NCAG, seized the opportunity to open up new markets in a new industry.

Unencumbered by the electromechanical tradition of established office machine makers, he ventured into the field of electronics, which was new at the time. At an early stage, he recognized the great market potential for office computers, which were smaller than the then predominant mainframes. In the mid-1960s, at the same time as other companies such as Kienzle and Philips, he introduced computers for business administration, which, thanks to their price/performance ratio, could be used in small and medium-sized enterprises.

In line with his user-oriented approach, Nixdorf provided demand-oriented software and computer training in addition to hardware. This all-in service secured his company a competitive lead, and ensured him great business success - particularly with small and medium-sized enterprises, which did not have their own data processing departments.

NCAG managed to maintain this lead with computers which, in the course of just a few years, matured into multi-user systems in networks of their own or linked to mainframes. As a result, NCAG headed the German market for midrange computers by the end of the 1970s, and advanced to become the fourth largest computer company in Europe.