Founded in Brisbane in 1979 by David Merson and four partners with just $45,000 seed capital, Mincom became the world leader in mining industry software.
From the outset, Mincom experienced extraordinary growth of, on average, 30% each year for over 20 years. Profits generated along the way were continually reinvested thereby ensuring that no further capital injection was required until turnover reached $100 million 8 years later. Underpinning the success of these early years were the rapid emergence of improved computing capacity, the mining and energy boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s together with David Merson’s concept of shared computing services. Brisbane also provided an ideal base for the Mincom business.
It housed the offices of many leading miners including BHP, Comalco and Utah Development Company. As well, Brisbane produced a steady stream of excellent IT graduates who were attracted by Mincom’s scale, increasingly global reach and productive work environment where a culture of creativity and shared rewards prevailed. It became an employee owned company and continuous innovation flowed as a result.
Among its most successful products was the MIMS (Mincom Information Management Systems) later named Ellipse which was regarded as the best open enterprise software in the world. Initially developed for the bauxite mine at Weipa, Mincom used the research and development as the basis for launching a global product. This development strategy became a hallmark of the Mincom operating model. At the time of its sale in 2007 to Francisco Partners, Mincom had become one of the leading enterprise asset management companies in the world.
It had extended its reach from mining to utilities, transport, government and, importantly, defence, serving customers in more than 40 countries and employing 1300 people. Mincom became Australia’s largest software developer and exporter resulting in it winning the Queensland Premiers Export Award and the Australian National Export Award in 2006 against all competition. David Merson’s visionary leadership, a pioneering approach to business development and innovation laid the platform for the company’s global success. Beyond that, it paved the way for Queensland’s growth and reputation as an IT hub.
Both the people and products it developed continue to make major impacts in the industry today. It is a remarkable example of Queensland entrepreneurship where, from a modest start, it became Australia’s leading and one of the world’s leading enterprise asset management companies, all the while retaining its headquarters in Queensland. In 2011, Mincom was acquired by ABB, the global power and automation technology group, to broaden its software portfolio and establish the group as a global leader in enterprise asset management solutions