Charles Babbage Institute: The Computing Industry in Minnesota > A-B
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Minnesota Computing Companies


Lawson Software (established in 1975)

Lawson Software, founded in 1975 by Bill and Richard Lawson and John Cerullo, initially provided custom mainframe software for Burroughs and IBM installations. From its inception, Lawson Software has continually recognized and anticipated significant new computing trends and e-business strategies. The company broadened its platform support, adding products for the IBM System/38 in 1981, fully embraced open systems technology in 1985, IBM AS/400 in 1988, UNIX in 1990 and Microsoft Windows NT in 1998.

Lawson Software provides Web-addressable, role-based Self-Evident Applications® (SEAs), transaction engines and e-business extensions to power financial, human resources, procurement, distribution and enterprise relationship management solutions. The company built its business by providing innovative software solutions to complex organizations worldwide. For more than a quarter of a century, Lawson has delivered leading-edge business management solutions that offer unsurpassed performance, reliability and cost-efficiency. Lawson focuses on Fortune 2000 organizations, delivering 360 degree e-business solutions to service industries such as healthcare, retail, professional services, public sector, financial services and telecommunications.

Lawson's customer list includes such diversified organizations as University of North Carolina Medical Center, Valley Baptist Medical Center, Fort James Corp., Polo Ralph Lauren Inc., IHOP Corp., Artistic Greetings Inc., American Floral Services Inc., York International, Retired Persons Services, Hills Department Stores Inc., Warner Brothers, Bridgestone/Firestone, Memorial Healthcare System, American Hospital Association, Allina Health Systems, Rural Cellular and Lloyds Bank.

Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, at 380 St. Peter Street, Lawson Software serves its worldwide base of more than 3000 customers through direct sales, support and affiliate locations on every continent. The privately held company recorded revenues of more than $313 million in fiscal year 2000, and has a staff of 2,000 worldwide.

Evidence of the success of Lawson's corporate mission is its loyal customer base with a 96 percent retention rate. In fact, Lawson's first customer remains a Lawson customer, almost 25 years and three hardware platforms later. Lawson is working with a growing list of application service providers (LawsonTone™ program partners) to deliver Lawson applications to end users via the Internet. Lawson provides the technology leadership, the best of breed applications engines and a fully scaleable environment for LawsonTone partners to deliver customizable "Powered by Lawson" e-solutions to their targeted industry or market segment.

Lawson Software Founders

    • Richard Lawson, Chief Executive Officer
    • illiam Lawson, Chairman of the Board
    • John Cerullo, Co-founder and Chief Technologist
Lawson Software Key Officers (2000)
    • Jay Coughlan, President & Chief Operating Officer
    • Robert Barbieri, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
    • James DeSocio, Executive Vice President, Field Operations
    • Dean Hager, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Marketing
    • William Lawson Jr., Executive Vice President, Advanced Technologies
    • Eric Morgan, Executive Vice President, Digital Markets
    • Richard Patton, Executive Vice President, Research & Development
Board of Directors (2000)
    • Richard Lawson, Chief Executive Officer, Lawson Software
    • William Lawson, Chairman of the Board, Lawson Software
    • John Cerullo, Co-founder and Chief Technologist, Lawson Software
    • Jay Coughlan, President & Chief Operating Officer
    • William Welnhofer, Attorney, Starmann, Starshak, Welnhofer & Co.
    • Geoffrey Moore, President, The Chasm Group

Lawson Software company web-site, October 2000
"Software 100." Software Magazine (1995)

Lee Data (established 1979) 

See:  Apertus Technologies

Loviel Computer Corporation (established 1988)

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Magnetic Controls (established 1958)

Medintell Systems Corporation (established in 1993; ceased 1995)

From April 1995 until the business was acquired by ValueRx in December 1995, Mr. Roberg served as President and Chief Executive of Medintell Systems Corporation, a pharmaceutical information management company.  During the 1997 third quarter, Sunquest acquired Medintell Systems Corporation's PreciseCare inpatient pharmacy software system, which was subsequently renamed FlexiMed. 

Sunquest Coporation annual report, 1997

Metafile Information Systems, Inc. (established in 1979)

Metafile Information Systems, Inc. is a privately held software development and systems integration company, founded in 1979. Headquartered at 2900 43rd St. NW, Rochester, Minnesota, the company has direct and associated sales offices across the nation as well as in Europe, South America and the Middle East. 

Metafile introduced its first software product, METAFILE, in 1981, to provide solutions to organizations through applications that merge data and text information. Through the continuing introduction and improvement of applications such as METAVIEW, MetaViewer, MSpool, MetaTools, MetaTalk, Metaview FOLDERS and Results/PLUS, the company has reached and sustained a leadership position in the industry.

Metafile Information Systems, Inc. has won several awards, including:

    •  Minnesota Software Association, Best New Business Program (1989)
    • Minnesota Business Journal Entrepreneur of the Year award (1985)
    • AIIM Best of Show Award (1996)
    • Showcase Product Excellence Award Finalist (1998)

Metafile Information Systems, Inc., company web-site, October 2000

Micro Knowledge (established 1993?)

Midwest Circuits, Inc. (established 1957)

Midwest Data Systems (established 1971)

Minneapolis Scientific Controls Corporation (established 1961)

Minnesota Datametrics Corporation (established 1982)

Located in Shoreview, Minnesota, this company serves the scientific research and engineering communities with advanced software and instruments for the visualization and analysis of data using UNIX workstations and PCs. The company was founded in 1982 and markets world-wide with customers in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Japan, Australia and other points in Asia and Oceania. 

ImageVolumes is used by researchers and engineers to visualize and quantify 3-D volumetric data. Input can be digitized images, 3-D scalar fields or 2-D contour data. An image processor, with filtering and region-of-interest operations, and a 3-D graphics editor are included. Surface polygon and voxel modelss can be displayed using materials, transparency and lighting capabilities of the 4-D workstations. Special tools are provided for reducing numbers of polygons in surface models; calculation of distance fields and intersections of 3-D models; analysis of 3-D branching structures; and characterization of the numbers, sizes, shapes and orientations of 3-D objects.

Minnesota Datametrics Corporation company web-site, October 2000

Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (established 1973)

MECC products were absorbed by The Learning Company, which in turn became The Learning Company School Division, part of Mattel Interactive, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc.

Minnesota Electronics Corporation (established circa 1952; ceased 1954)

Mirror Technologies, Inc. (established 1985)

MQS Software (established 1996)

Multi-Tech Systems, Inc. (established 1970)

Multi-Tech Systems, Inc. is a global manufacturer of remote access, Internet and telephony products. Multi-Tech invents, designs and builds complete end-to-end communication solutions for small to mid-size businesses and ISPs.  With Headquarters located at 2205 Woodale Drive, Mounds View, Minnesota, Multi-Tech has a 170,000 square foot facility with state-of-the-art equipment.  Multi-Tech builds and ships on average 95,000 units per month with the capacity to ship a total of 170,000 units per month. 

August 21, 2000, that The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. (SCO) has certified selected Multi-Tech WAN server cards as the first such devices to receive SCO’s highest certification level. As SCO certified, the Multi-Tech models have guaranteed compatibility with the SCO Open Server 5.0.5 operating system. Multi-Tech’s line of MultiModemISI server cards with SCO certification include the ISI5634PCI series of four-and eight-modem PCI-bus cards, and the ISIHP series of combination BRI ISDN/analog modem cards in two and four BRI ISDN configurations.

Multi-Tech Systems, Inc. has won several awards, including:

    • Teleconnect Editor's Choice, 1999
    • Teleconnect Product of the year, 1999
    • Internet Week Best of the Best, December 1999

Multi-Tech Systems, Inc. company web site, October 2000

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National Computer Systems, Inc. (established 1962; ceased 2000)

NCS is a global information service company providing software, services, systems and Internet-based technologies for data collection, complex data management and interpretation. NCS is the largest commercial processor of student assessment tests for kindergarten to 12th grade education in the United States, scoring some 40 million tests a year. It is involved at all stages of the process, from test design to delivery, processing and reporting results.  NCS is also the largest single provider of student curriculum, instructional and financial management software to schools. These tools help teachers and administrators to keep attendance records, grades, test scores and to manage state curriculum requirements. NCS also provides many services to the United States Department of Education in support of their student loan programs.

1983 NCS acquired 16% of Gemunis Computer Systems, a developer of IBM Personal Computer-based software for business management.

NetStar (established 1990; ceased 1996)

In August 1996, Ascend Communications acquired NetStar to provide a complete networking solution for the Internet, on-line service and carrier infrastructures.  NetStar became Ascend's High-Performance Networking Division. In June 1999, Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, New Jersey, completed the merger with Ascend Communications and created the InterNetworking Systems unit.

Lucent Technologies’ Ascend's High-Performance Networking Division web site, October 2000
Lucent Technologies’ Ascend web site, October 2000
Lucent Technologies company web site, October 2000

Network Communications Corporation (established in 1981)
Network Communications was founded in 1981 to design, manufacture and market network analysis as well as monitoring instruments for companies with data communications and telecommunications networks.  Network Communications' family of hardware and software-based Network Probe® products are used across a broad range of physical connection technologies and communications protocols to serve LANs and WANs. Network Communications products are sold through authorized distributors and representatives in approximately 60 countries.  Their headquarters are located at 7601 Washington Ave South, Edina, Minnesota. 

Network Communications Corporation company web site, October 2000

Network Systems (established in 1974; ceased 1995)
Network Systems was acquired by Storage Technology Corporation in Spring 1995. It became the StorageTek Network System Group and is headquartered in Louisville, Colorado.

New Century Communications (established in 1991)

Northgate Computer Corporation (established 1987)

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Open Systems, Inc. (established 1976)

Open Systems, Inc. located at 1157 Valley Park Drive, Suite 105, Shakopee, Minnesota, provides accounting software for business applications. Their current applications include: System Manager, General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable,Inventory, Sales Order, Purchase Order, Bank Reconciliation, Payroll, Direct Deposit, Job Cost, Project Costing, Bill of Materials/Kitting, Fixed Assets and Advanced Financial Analyst. 

TRAVERSE Accounting Software has been named an "All Star Software Solution" by CPA Technology Report and a "Top Ten High-End Accounting Solution" by CPA Software News. TRAVERSE supports MS SQL Server 7.0 and MS Jet (Office 2000) databases. 

OPEN SYSTEMS Accounting Software (OSAS) runs on a variety of operating systems including single-user, network and client/server versions. OSAS v6.1 operates on Windows, Novell, UNIX, Linux, Sun Solaris, UnixWare and AIX systems, and can be installed on most popular networks.

Open Systems, Inc. also has offices in Indianapolis (USA); Brunei; Cambodia; China; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Korea; Laos; Malaysia; Myanmar; Philippines; Singapore; Taiwan; Thailand; and Vietnam.

2000 To mark the ten-year anniversary of Michael Bertini's ownership of Open Systems, Inc., his VAR channel presented him with a surprise plaque and a "recommitment statement." In business for over 25 years, Open Systems, Inc., was acquired by Bertini in 1990. As one of the only remaining privately held companies in the mid-market accounting software industry today, the VAR channel wanted to honor his dedication by recommitting to their relationship with him.

Source:  Open Systems, Inc. company web site, October 2000

Orbit Interactive Communications
Possibly has become a subsidiary of American Guidance Service (AGS), located at 4201 Woodland Road, Circle Pines, Minnesota.  AGS is a leading publisher of assessments, textbooks and instructional materials for students with a wide ability range.

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PC Express (established 1982; ceased 1995)

PC Express was a 13-year old regional computer manufacturer which in 1988 offered five-year warranties on IBM-compatible PCs. In 1992 PC Express was purchased by Venturian Corporation of Hopkins, Minnesota, for 2.5 million, but the company never turned a profit after that year. PC Express closed its doors on July 31, 1995. 

Untitled article. Business Section, Minneapolis Star Tribune (August 1, 1995).

PC Tailors (established 1985)

PEMSTAR Inc. (established 1994)


PEMSTAR Inc. is located in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic and the IBM Development and Manufacturing site for the AS/400. Their mission is to provide full service World-Class Contract Manufacturing of precision electromechanical assemblies, micro-component assemblies, flex circuit assemblies and complete engineering services.

PEMSTAR uses the latest manufacturing technology and equipment to provide assembly and test services for a wide range of industries including computer systems, disk/tape drives, medical instruments, telecommunications, printers, instruments and automation.  PEMSTAR provides a LAN-based Information System using Personal Computers to provide SPC on the manufacturing floor, AUTOCAD for engineering services and customer project management. The LAN-based system includes an AS/400 for complete materials management support. Alliances with manufacturing partners in Europe, Mexico and Asia provide world-wide capability as required by today's customers.

PEMSTAR, Inc., brochure, 1995. Computer Product Literature Collection (CBI 12). Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Precision Fabricated Products Inc. (established 1956; ceased 1961)
Precision Fabricated Products, Inc. was incorporated on October 9, 1956, and changed its name to Printed Circuits, Inc. in August 1961. 
See: Printed Circuits, Inc.
Printed Circuits, Inc. (established 1961)
Formerly knowns as Precision Fabricated Products, Inc., the company changed its name to Printed Circuits, Inc. in August 1961. The company produced printed wire electrical circuits for use in electronic and electrical control products. In 1960, Honeywell and Univac accounted for 50 per cent and 30 percent, respectively, of the company's business. The plant and offices were located at 2532 25th Avenue South, Minneapolis. A new Golden Valley building was planned to become operational in 1961. 

Printed Circuits, Inc., management

  • Karl Krueger, President and Treasurer
  • Kenneth L. Tannehill, Vice President
  • Charles Carlsen, Secretary
Upper Midwest Investor (November 1961) 36-37.
Printware, Inc. (established 1985)
Printware, Inc. located at 1270 Eagan Industrial Road, St. Paul, Minnesota, is a leader in computer-to-plate systems, a technology that automates printing by creating printing plates directly from computer data. Computer-to-plate systems replace the traditional platemaking process of typesetting, paste-up, camera work, and processing film. 

Printware was formed in 1985 with technology from 3M and became publicly traded in 1996 (Nasdaq: PRTW). The company transformed printing with the world's first true Platesetter in 1988, and has shipped over 500 platesetters. 

Printware has four Platesetter models: the PlateStream for versatile commodity silver-halide plates, the 1440 ZNX for electrostatic paper plates (the lowest-cost digital plates); the 1440 APF for rugged, daylight safe metal plates; and the 1440 EZ for either paper or metal plates.

Printware has received the prestigious InterTech Technology Award for Innovative Excellence from the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF). This award is reserved for new products judged to have major industry impact.

Printware, Inc. company web-site, October 2000

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Quorum Litigation Services (established 1991)
Established in 1966 as an internal department of Control Data, Quorum was acquired by Lanier in 1997.

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Rapid Computer Company (established ca. 1905)
Little is known about the Rapid Computer Company except for a letter from Carl E. Van Cleve to Governor John A. Johnson which protested a law against game hunting in spring. The letterhead bills the company as "Manufacturers of Computing Devices" and indicated that the company was located in the Andrus Building in Minneapolis. On the letterhead is a picture of some type of analog calculator that utilized a stylus. While predating digital computers by 45 years, the Rapid Computer Company appears to be Minnesota's first computer manufacturer.

File #645--Valentine-Vawter, 1905-1909. Governor Johnson Records. Minnesota State Archives. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Remington Rand Univac (established in 1952; ceased 1955)

Remington Rand Univac

Remington Rand Univac System

Remington Rand was formed in 1927 by combining Remington Typewriter
Company, Rand Kardex Bureau, Inc., the Dalton Adding Machine Company, the Safe Cabinet Company, and the Powers Accounting Machine Corporation. In 1955 Sperry Gyroscope Company acquired Remington Rand. 

See also: Unisys and  Sperry Univac

Rorke Data (established 1985; ceased 2000)
Founded in 1985, Rorke Data was a privately-held Minnesota-based international corporation headquartered in Eden Prarie, Minnesota with its
European headquarters in Emmen, Netherlands. 

Rorke Data focused on customers who manage large, data-intensive, digital file environments. They offer a broad range of hardware and software solutions which emphasize system and solution integration. 

February 2000 Rorke Data became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bell Microproducts, Inc., based in San Jose, California.

Rorke Data company web site, October 2000

RSI Systems, Inc. (established 1993)
Founded in 1993, RSI is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of both self-contained high-performance video conferencing engines and complete systems. These products offer life-like video and audio signal quality with simplicity of operation and exceptional reliability. RSI currently is certified and sells products in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and South Africa.  Its world headquarters are located at 5555 W. 78th St., Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Video Flyer PLUS is a fully self-contained high performance system that takes up less space than a small notebook computer and can connect directly to any size or brand TV, LCD projector, flatscreen, display system, or to any properly configured laptop or personal computer. In addition to video, all RSI systems are capable of full data collaboration, file sharing, and NetMeeting (tm). As for software support, RSI's family of Video Flyer systems is available for sale worldwide from authorized factory trained resellers or its OEM partners.

RSI Systems, Inc., company web site, October 2000

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