James (Jim) Mann describes his personal and educational background and his career in the computer services industry. As an IBM salesman in Wichita in the early 1960s, he was hired by the accounting firm Fox & Company to run a service bureau operation they had acquired. He developed a successful service business processing tax returns for accountants after developing the Dynatax software and, when the service bureau operations owned by Fox & Company were merged with three other companies, he was chosen to manage the resulting company, Dynafacts. Dynafacts was merged with United Data Centers in 1972; United Data Centers was then acquired by Tymshare in 1974. He briefly left the computer services industry after leaving Tymshare but returned to the industry as Chief Operating Officer of Bradford National Corporation in New York City until he was chosen by the venture capital team to head Sun Data Corporation, a service bureau which had been spun off by Sun Oil Company. Under his leadership, the company changed its name to SunGard, and via an aggressive growth-by-acquisition strategy, he grew it to become a multi-billion dollar company specializing in financial accounting software and disaster recovery services. He describes in detail his management philosophy of allowing the acquired companies to continue to operate independently as long as they contributed to the financial growth of the SunGard parent company.
Haigh, Thomas, Interviewer
Johnson, Luanne, Editor
Mann, James L. (Jim), Interviewee
Computer History Museum
Place of Publication
Jeffries & Co. 10th Floor, 520 Madison Avenue, New York
Mann, James; Accountants Computer Users Technical Exchange (ACUTE); Association of Data Processing Service Organizations (ADAPSO); Bradford National Corporation; Comdisco; Dynafacts; DynaTax; Eisenstat, Al; FastTax; Fox & Company; Goldstein, Bernie; Growth by acquisition; IBM sales training; Owens, John; Sun Data Corporation; SunGard; Tymshare; United Data Centers; Winn, Fran