Manugistics wins top tech awards
Apr. 19, 2002
C. Benjamin Ford * Staff Writer

The Tech Council of Maryland named Greg Owens, chairman and CEO of Manugistics Group Inc., executive of the year Thursday night at its annual dinner in Silver Spring.

The trade organization also named Owens' Rockville-based supply chain management software business company of the year.

Analysts have credited Owens with helping turn Manugistics around after it hit a rough period last year due to the combination of the fall in technology stocks and the acquisitions of Talus Solutions and STG Holdings.

"When I initially joined Manugistics in the spring of 1999, the value of the company's core technology, best practices and client experiences was clear to me," Owens said.

"While I'm delighted to be recognized for helping to shape the strategy of the company, it has been our company-wide execution that has truly enabled our recent success. So this wonderful award is rightfully shared with and dedicated to the entire Manugistics team, whose talent, hard work and focus I believe will continue to propel Manugistics to new heights."

Owens said he is proud of how the Manugistics team has pulled together "in one of the toughest business climates in history for the software industry." The company's revenues rose 16 percent in the last fiscal year to $310.1 million.

Montgomery County companies dominated the Tech Council's annual awards, taking six of the seven honors.

"I'm in shock," said Eric Adolphe, president and CEO of OPTIMUS Corp. in Silver Spring, who was named entrepreneur of the year. "I know some of the firms being considered, and I was in complete shock when told I won."

Adolphe has invented a communications system to ensure that pilots can maintain communications with air traffic control towers. His latest project is a medical computer system for ambulances that will help medics perform triage on patients and allow patients to be seen through a wireless camera by doctors in the emergency room. The system will even provide ambulance crews with the best route to take, updated traffic conditions, and the availability of space at nearby hospitals. The system will soon be deployed in 200 ambulances in the District of Columbia as a pilot project.

Visual Analytics Inc. of Clarksburg -- which makes a software system used by law enforcement and the military to analyze and link diverse clues such as credit card information and phone numbers -- was given the "Maryland Muscle" award for its software being used to fight the war on terrorism.

"Not only were we pleasantly surprised, but appreciative of the Tech Council," said Visual Analytics CFO Bruce Ferber. The company, founded in 1998, has been growing rapidly, and two of the company's top executives missed the awards dinner because they were in Thailand nailing down a new contract, Ferber said.

Other winners:

*IT Product of the Year: OPNET IT Guru, made by OPNET Technologies Inc. of Bethesda. The intelligent network management software is used to help businesses plan future investments in information technology infrastructure, analyzing operational information, network router configurations, real-time traffic flows and other data to help identify problems and needs.

*Bioscience Product of the Year: MultiBlot Kit for Protein Gels made by 20/20 GeneSystems Inc. of Rockville. The testing product is used to detect proteins in a sensitive, low-cost alternative to other proteomics technologies.

*Volunteer of the Year: Richard P. LeFleur, a partner of Grant Thornton LLP in Vienna, Va. * *