Company: Cincom Systems, Cincinnati, Ohio
Company Description: Found in 1968, Cincom builds, sells, and supports software for data access and integration, process automation, manufacturing business solutions, and business communications. Cincom has over 850 employees in more than 30 offices worldwide. Led by the longest- serving CEO in the computer industry, Cincom has experienced it most profitable success in the last three years.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Executive
Nomination Title: Thomas M. Nies, Founder, CEO and President
1. Tell the story about what this nominee achieved in the past year (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Tom Nies started his software company, Cincom Systems, in 1968 with $600, a
card table, and an entrepreneurial dream that blossomed into a $100 million plus
global organization, now serving thousands of clients on six continents.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan cited Nies and Cincom as “the epitome of the
entrepreneurial spirit of American business.”
Twenty years later, in 2004, that entrepreneurial spirit still flourishes as
Nies was recently selected as a regional Technology Winner of the Ernst & Young
Entrepreneur of the Year® program and inducted into their Entrepreneur Hall of
As the longest-serving CEO in the computer industry, Nies still faces challenges.
He purposely chooses to remain a private organization in an IPO-hungry industry.
As a result, he doesn’t have the infusion of cash of many of his competitors (yet
he still manages his company with no debt).
The Results of Tom’s Leadership?
Over the last three years, Nies has led Cincom through some of the most
challenging economic conditions, especially in the post-bubble technology
industry. Nies’ leadership and commitment to delivering high value, low risk, and
rapid ROI at low customer cost has led Cincom to impressive, record-setting
financial results for 2002, 2003, and 2004.
In 2003, Cincom experienced:
A 47 percent increase in new sales
A 106.8 percent Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)
A record profit - more than double 2002's former record-profit year
Cincom's fiscal year 2004 financial performance was its second most profitable
year ever in its 36-year history. (2003 was the most profitable.). Other highlights
2002-2004 were the three most profitable consecutive years in Cincom's 36-year
More than $3 billion in revenue generated from a meager $600 start-up
Cincom has generated over $100 million dollars in revenue for 19 straight years, a
record that is only matched by Microsoft in the software industry.
Because of the leadership and pioneering work of Cincom and Tom Nies, he is
recognized in the Smithsonian institute alongside the likes of Bill Gates and Larry
Relishing in his role as entrepreneur, Tom is now sharing the lessons he’s learned
as an entrepreneur to college students who are aspiring to run their own
We realize this submission may be atypical, given the industry track record of Mr.
Nies. However, this CEO has quietly delivered uncompromising results to
customers and employees for over 36 years - a feat no less deserving than Best
2. List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
Tom Nies Website
Cincom Founder Tom Nies Inducted Into Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame
American Executive Magazine article on Cincom’s strategy
Ventures: Tom Nies discusses how he transformed Cincom from a $600 start-up
to a $3 billion organization
Impossible Dream Becomes Reality: Nies’ Story
Cincom and CEO, Tom Nies, Win 2004 Technology Entrepreneur of the Year
Cincom Founder Hopes to Help Young Entrepreneurs Get Started
Cincom Announces 19th Straight Year of Over US$100 Million in Revenue
Cincom Named Hot Company for 2004
3. Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about this nominee:
When Tom Nies founded Cincom Systems, he didn't realize that he was also
founding the then-radical idea of selling computer software as a product - rather
than giving it away with the hardware. In those early days, Nies was one of the
first to promote the concept of a database management system. Today there are
thousands of database products, but when Cincom introduced TOTAL(R), it was a
Under Nies' guidance, Cincom organized the first national system software user
conference, became the first U.S. software firm to establish international offices,
and pioneered a variety of emerging new software technologies.