VARBusiness 500 Awards Honor Top Solution Providers

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Jim Simpson, president and CEO of MSI Systems Integrators, and Harvey Najim, president and CEO of Sirius Computer Solutions, headlined an all-star roster of channel superstars at the annual VARBusiness 500 Awards in New York City Tuesday night.

Harvey Najim, president and CEO of Sirius Computer Solutions, won the VARBusiness 500 Lifetime Achievement Award.

The VARBusiness 500 Awards honor the cream of the crop among the annual VARBusiness 500 listing. From revenue generation to vertical-market expertise and Executive of the Year, these 17 highly anticipated awards were presented in front of a packed ballroom of more than 500 industry insiders. The solution-provider winners saw amazing growth and revenue increases, making them stand out above the rest for this year's honors.

Simpson earned this year's VARBusiness 500 Executive of the Year Award, in recognition of his work in expanding his company, increasing revenue and improving profitability. Under Simpson's leadership, Omaha-based MSI grew 28 percent last year on revenue of more than $209 million. Since Simpson became president in 2001, MSI has consistently posted strong growth and expanded its base beyond the Midwest. MSI is No. 153 on this year's list.

Special recognition was also paid to Najim, this year's recipient of the VARBusiness 500 Lifetime Achievement Award. Najim, who founded Sirius in 1980 after 13 years of service at IBM, was recognized for building a $578 million company, developing industry-leading solutions, superior teaming with its vendors and contributing to the betterment of the channel community. Sirius is No. 78 on this year's ranking.

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The VARBusiness 500 Company of the Year Award recognized a company that has grown steadily in its 10-year lifetime, from five employees and $5 million in sales to a whopping $436 million company that this year broke into the top 100 at No. 9. ProSys Information System is a company that has steadily grown to become a major fixture on the VARBusiness 500 list.

VARBusiness recognized other solution providers for their revenue growth and profitability, beginning with the Top Revenue Generators. In the $20 million to $49 million range, Groupware Technology CEO Mike Thompson accepted the award for his company, which saw more than 1,600 percent growth in 2005, placing the company at No. 431 on this year's VARBusiness 500 list. For companies in the $50 million to $199 million range, the award for revenue growth went to Boulder-based Incentra Solutions, which grew from just $13 million in 2004 to a healthy $50 million in 2005, debuting on this year's list at No. 347.

Moving up to the $200 million to $499 million range, this year's Top Revenue Generator was awarded to Innovativ, a company that saw its revenue climb 67 percent in 2005 to $263 million, and came in at No. 132 on this year's list. And for the biggest of the big, the Top Revenue Generator in the $500 million-plus category went to ePlus Technology. EPlus grew its revenue 93 percent in 2005, establishing the company solidly in the top 100 at No. 87 on this year's VARBusiness 500.

NEXT: Which companies were honored for climbing the most spots on the VARBusiness 500 list, outstanding vertical specialization, the coveted Editor's Choice Award and more.

The Ascension Award, which recognizes a company that has climbed the most spots on the VARBusiness 500 list, went to Click Commerce. The company leapt 131 spots, growing an impressive 128 percent over the previous year to come in at No. 312 on this year's list. But Click Commerce didn't stop there; the company also took home the award for Highest Profit Growth with an astounding 33 percent increase in profitability, a great deal higher than the average VARBusiness 500 profit growth of 7 percent.

Vertical specialization is something many VARBusiness 500 companies depend on for success. This year we gave out three vertical market awards in the areas of Financial Services, Manufacturing and Health Care. For Excellence in the Financial Services Market, Lighthouse Computer Services took top honors. The company, No. 212 on this year's list, sees more than 30 percent of its business in the accounting/banking and financial services market, and grew a solid 110 percent in 2005, in part because of its financial focus.

As a company that services more than 4,000 customers in 60 countries, Tectura won for Excellence in the Manufacturing Market. Tectura, No. 160, delivers ERP, CRM and business-software solutions to primarily manufacturers and saw its revenue jump 124 percent last year. The final honor for vertical focus was awarded to 3T Systems for Excellence in the Health Care Market. 3T Systems' solutions focus on helping physicians, clinics, hospitals and health-care organizations improve the patient experience. The company posted revenue of $23 million in 2005, up an impressive 92 percent over the previous year. It ranks No. 485 on this year's VARBusiness 500 list.

While hardware and services may be the bread and butter of the VARBusiness 500, software is still an important source of revenue for many companies on this year's list. This year we recognized SoftChoice, No. 71, as the Software VAR of the Year, a company that grew nearly 34 percent in 2005.

The VARBusiness 500 is a ranking that companies strive to be on each year; new companies are vital to the health and success of the list. To that end, at this year's event we took the opportunity to recognize three growing companies that are new to the VARBusiness 500—growing from too-small-to-be-listed last year to successfully being listed this year. The Newcomer Awards went to IPLogic, Carahsoft Technologies and Mobius Partners Enterprise Solutions.

The coveted Editor's Choice Award is presented to a company that has been a standout organization during the past year by adopting new business models, embracing new technologies, penetrating new markets and defining best practices. This year's award went to MTM Technologies, a company that provides the gamut of IT services from design and implementation to managed services and support. MTM Technologies realized a 94 percent growth in revenue in 2005 to come in at No. 226 on this year's VARBusiness 500 list and catch the eyes of our editors for its meteoric rise.