The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0012

Release: Embargo until 4 p.m. Friday, June 25, 1999

Oakdale Systems, Inc. dedicates new facility on UI Oakdale Research Park

CORALVILLE, Iowa – Oakdale Systems, Inc. joined with the University of Iowa Oakdale Research Park and more than 100 community, business, and university leaders today (Friday, June 25) to dedicate a new 7,500-square-foot corporate facility on the UI research park. It was another milestone marker for Oakdale Systems' rapid progress in the software development business.

Speakers at the dedication program included University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman, Coralville Mayor Jim Fausett, UI Research Park Director Bruce Wheaton, and Michael Miller, president and CEO of Oakdale Systems.

Oakdale Systems, a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider, markets and develops custom software for a wide variety of applications, including e-commerce, databases, inventory, finance, and back office. Oakdale Systems' customers include universities, small businesses, and large corporations.

After the program, the Oakdale Systems staff conducted tours of the new facility and demonstrated the company's various proprietary and custom software products including e-commerce, web-based purchasing systems developed with the UI DNA Core Facility, health care personnel tracking systems, and route accounting applications.

Designed by the Novak Design Group architectural firm of Cedar Rapids, the $850,000 building is on a 4.47-acre lot under long-term lease from the University of Iowa Research Park Corporation. The site at 2300 Oakdale Boulevard along the eastern park boundary includes space for additional Oakdale Systems buildings in the future.

The new facility has long been a dream of Oakdale Systems founder and president Michael Miller, who started the company in October 1995 with five employees at the Technology Innovation Center (TIC), the UI business incubator. Its growing number of employees prompted the move from the TIC to the Oakdale Research Park. The company employs 30 people, including software programmers and engineers, web designers, and applications experts, and network specialists. The company expects employment to exceed 100 over the next five years.

"This building represents a new era of growth for Oakdale Systems," said Miller. "We're working with some Fortune 50 companies now, and we're expanding to serve more customers across the nation."

General contractor Merit Construction Company of Cedar Rapids began construction on the building in October 1998. Mercantile Bank of Iowa City and Iowa Business Growth Company of Cedar Rapids provided financing.

"We salute Mike Miller and his colleagues at Oakdale Systems for their 'graduation' from the TIC to this splendid new facility," said Bruce Wheaton, director of the UI Oakdale Research Park. "We've enjoyed a productive working relationship with Oakdale Systems, and look forward to continued growth."

Oakdale Systems has developed software and provided services for both small local firms and large corporations across the nation. It has developed applications including complete electronic commerce sites; custom database applications; route accounting for delivery trucks; and point-of-sale, back office, and home office software for convenience stores.

The building was designed around the need for Oakdale Systems employees to collaborate on team projects. As they are assigned to work on different projects, they can easily move their file and computer cabinets on wheels.

Miller says several state and local agencies have helped nurture Oakdale Systems and sustain its growth. In addition to the support from the TIC and the UI, the Iowa Department of Economic Development supplied a $100,000 Community Economic Betterment Account award in the form of forgivable and zero-interest loans to Oakdale Systems. The City of Coralville provided an additional $50,000 in tax increment financing. Oakdale Systems is also participating in the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program under a contract with Kirkwood Community College.

"We can't say enough good things about the support that we have received from the state, the city of Coralville, Kirkwood Community College, the business community, and especially the UI Technology Innovation Center," Miller said. "The Oakdale Research Park is a prime location in one of the largest development areas in Iowa."

A native of Ida Grove, Miller earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and a master's degree in Asian studies from the UI. He worked at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and did computer work for the Walgreen and Kellogg companies.

Miller founded Oakdale Systems with the idea of providing computer services to companies in eastern Iowa, but it also has several clients across the country and beyond. He aggressively recruits former Iowans, UI graduates, and students completing accelerated Kirkwood Community College training.

"We are committed to people who are committed to being in this state and want people who have an attachment to their communities, Miller said. "Our goal is to become more involved in identifying the best people to bring into our company. Good people attract more good people and we believe providing an opportunity to grow is just as important as a salary."

The UI Oakdale Research Park was established in 1989 to encourage sustained research relationships between the UI and industry. The Park offers leased building sites and space to corporations engaged in research and development and related production and marketing activities.

Oakdale Systems is the 12th "graduate" of the TIC business incubator and the eighth company to expand on the Research Park. Firms already on the park include LMS CADSI, Neural Applications Corp., UroSurge, Inc., The Stanley Group, Ascend Technologies, Inc., Systems Alternatives, Inc., and Police Law Institute. University "magnet" laboratories on the park are Oakdale Medical Research, the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, and the National Advanced Driving Simulator. A fourth magnet laboratory, the Center for Advanced Drug Development, is also at Oakdale.

For more information, contact Daniel L. Van Nyhuis at Oakdale Systems, Inc., (319) 665-2020 EXT 112 or Tom Bauer at the Oakdale Research Park, (319) 335-4067.