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Cincom Systems


Cincom Systems is a privately held, multinational, computer technology corporation founded in 1968 by Thomas M. Nies, Tom Richley and Claude Bogardus.

Cincom manufactures enterprise software, and provides information technology (IT) hosting services.

Cincom has 39 offices in 18 countries distributed over five continents.

According to its website. ., Cincom ranks among the top 5% of all software companies worldwide in terms of revenue.

Cincom Systems, Inc. was one of the first companies to sell software separately from hardware, helping to revolutionize the way computers and their components were sold, and helping to pioneer the software industry.

On August 20, 1984, President Ronald Reagan called Cincom and Tom Nies “the epitome of entrepreneurial spirit of American business.”

Cincom founder Thomas M. Nies is currently the longest actively serving CEO in the computer industry [2], and is featured alongside other pioneers of the industry such as Bill Gates (Microsoft), Larry Ellison (Oracle) and Steve Jobs (Apple), in the Smithsonian Institution's Computer History Collection.



  • Cincom was founded on September 29, 1968 by Thomas M. Nies, Tom Richley and Claude Bogardus with $600. A card table in Thomas Nies’ basement served as Cincom’s first office. Nies, Richley, and Bogardus filled marketing and sales, product development and research roles respectively.
  • With the addition of principals Doug Hughes (systems engineering), George Fanady (custom systems), Jan Litton (product installation) and Judy Foegle (administration), the company became a full service organization by March, 1969.
  • Although initially founded as United Computer Systems, the new company found its name being confused with other upstart computer companies. The company changed its name to Cincom – a contraction of the words Cincinnati and computer.
  • Cincom sells one product, a database management system named TOTAL.


  • Cincom introducfes several new products this decade including:
    • ENVIRON/1 (1f971), a control system for teleprocessing networks
    • SOCRATES (1972), a data retrieval system that allows clients to obtain quick, meaningful gsystems division.


  • Cincom further expands its operations internationally opening offices in Brazil (1980) and Hong Kong (198gBold text1).
  • Cincom introduces several new products this decade including:
    • EPOCH-FMS (1980), a directory-driven financial management system
    • Series 80 Data Control System (1980), an interactive online data dictionary
    • ULTRA (1983), an interactive database management system for Digital Equipment Corporation’s VAX hardware
    • PC CONTACT (1984), a fully integrated, single-step communications facility that interactively linked an IBM mainframe computer with the user’s IBM personal computer
    • MANAGE User Series (1984), an integrated, decision-support system that combined extensive personal computing capabilities with the power and control of the mainframe
    • SUPRA for SQL (structure query language) (1989)
    • CASE Environment (1989), a series of integrated components that assisted users who were facing cross-platform development demand from multiple areas within their computers
    • Comprehensive Planning & Control System (CPCS) (1989), a resource and project guidance system that centralized management of resources and activities
  • In 1980, TOTAL product sales reach $250 million.
  • In 1982, Cincom became the first software firm to receive the President’s “E” award for superior performance in increasing or promoting exports. In 1985, Cincom received the “E-Star” award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for continued export excellence.
  • In 1984, Dennis Yablonsky is named President. He serves three years. Thomas Nies resumes the role of President in 1987.
  • In 1986, SUPRA release 1.3 received the highest score (64%) ever of any relational database from Dr. E. F. Codd.
  • In 1988, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Cincom Systems is the first company in the United States to charter the Concorde for corporate purposes. It is the first time the high-speed jet made a private landing in Cincinnati.


  • The United States Defense Information System Agency (DISA) designates Cincom as its “vendor of choice” – the first time the U.S. government ever specified a single vendor’s products as the standard.
  • Cincom introduces several new products this decade including:
    • AD/Advantage (1991), an application development system that automated development and maintenance activities throughout all phases of the application life cycle
    • XpertRule (1993), a knowledge specification and generation system
    • TOTAL FrameWork (1995), a set of object-oriented frameworks, services and integrated development environments (IDEs) for the assembly and maintenance of Smalltalk, Java, C++ and Visual Basic business applications
    • Cincom Acquire (1995), an integrated selling system for companies that deliver complex products and services
    • AuroraDS (1995), an enterprise-wide solution that allowed organizations to automate document creation, production, output and management in a client/server environment
    • SPECTRA (1997), a system that provided customer administration and resource efficiency for telecommunications, utilities and service industries
    • gOOi (1997), a solution that turns traditional server-based applications into graphical integrated desktop (client) applications
    • Cincom Encompass (1998), a suite of integrated components for next-generation call centers
    • Cincom Smalltalk (1999), a suite that includes VisualWorks and the ObjectStudio Enterprise development environment
    • Cincom iC Solutions (1999), a technology that combines sales and marketing automation with knowledge-based support for product and service configuration
  • Cincom expands by opening offices in Mexico City, Mexico (1994); Milan, Italy (1996); and Shanghai, China (1998).
  • Cincom founder, Tom Nies, is honored by the Information Technology and Society division of the Smithsonian Institution as one of the founders of the computer industry.
  • In 1995, Cincom founder, Tom Nies, is recognized as the longest-serving active CEO in the entire computer industry (27 years).
  • In 1996, Cincom acquires the print division of Andersen Consulting in Lyon, France (1996); ObjectStudio’s German operations from VMark (1996); ChemData, a workstation storage and retrieval document management software company in Lyon, France (1997); and the VisualWorks product line from ObjectShare (1999).


  • Cincom acquires Grovewood Financial Management (2000), a UK-based independent financial advisor company and Synchrony Communications (2004), a company once operated by divine, Inc.
  • Cincom introduces several new products this decade including:
    • Cincom Knowledge Builder (2001), a business rules management system that streamlines sales and service processes by providing advice and guidance at the point of customer interaction
    • Cincom TIGER (2002), a tool to integrate all diverse data sources within an organization
    • ENVIRON (2003), an enabling technology that helps manufacturers integrate their business systems, improve their business processes and eliminate waste throughout their organizations
    • Cincom Synchrony (2004), a customer experience management system for multi-channel contact centers
    • Cincom Eloquence (2006), a document composition solution that provides business-line professionals with the ability to generate dynamic structured and free-form documents
  • Cincom expands into services in 2001 with OverC outsourced call center services and their application service provider offering CinAPPS.
  • Cincom expands by opening an office in New Delhi, India (2000).
  • On March 12, 2002, Cincom launched its award-winning e-magazine Expert Access.
  • In 2006, the company generated a revenue over $100 million


As of March 2007, Cincom delivers software and services in five areas:

Cincom solutions and services span the following industries:

  • Manufacturing
  • Financial Services
  • Insurance
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Government
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications
  • Non-Profit

References and Footnotes

  1. About Cincom
  2. Cincom's Corporate Website
  3. Software History
  4. Smithsonian Institution
  5. Cincom Systems’ History Museum located at its corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio

External links

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