24 April 2015, Written by Jenna Rathbone


A GOLD Coast CEO has edged out corporate heavyweights Alan Joyce and David Thodey to take out the title of Executive of the Year in the 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.

The CEOs of Qantas and Telstra respectively were beaten by Danny Maher, the CEO of Opmantek (ASSOB:OMK), a company operating in the field of network management software.

Maher will be presented with the prized award on June 5 during a gala event in Shanghai, China.

Maher says it is great to be recognised for the "hard yards" he and his business partners have taken over many years.

"The Stevie awards are the Oscars of the business world, they are regarded as the premier business awards, so it was a great achievement," he says.

Joyce won the silver Executive of the Year award while Thodey took out bronze.  Maher says it was both surprising and humbling to win the gold in front of two prominent CEOs.

"We are operating out of the Gold Coast but we probably have higher business growth, we have faster share price growth, we have faster customer acquisitions and we are probably the fastest growing business software company in the world," he says.

"It is great to get that recognition and I am very happy to win the award but it is straight back into getting more contracts."

Opmantek was established in 2011 by the founders of NMIS (Network Management Information System) and publishes and licenses NMIS as free open source software.

Through NMIS, Opmantek specialises in developing and delivering software add-ons, services and support agreements that assist in quickly identifying system faults within open source technology.

"Opmantek is a highly innovative business model, which is now proven to be successful and it will change the way other software companies globally do business," says Maher.

"The Stevie award is recognition of the creation and deployment of that business model."

Since inception, the business has grown from 20,000 organisations using its products to more than 60,000.  In addition, every six minutes Opmantek gains a new customer from somewhere in the world and has grown from a team of two to 40.

"It has been a fast and exciting ride but we have had to be pretty quick on our feet to cope with the growth so far," says Maher.

Opmantek's biggest highlight has been the signing of an agreement with Mexico's leading telecommunications company, Telmex.

The business has also signed a number of large accounts in the US with a third of its users based in America.

The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards are an international business awards competition that are open to all organisations in the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region.

What is the business mantra of the Executive of the Year?

"I have two," says Maher. "The first - the sharing of knowledge makes knowledge greater.  We have to be innovative in everything we do, including the way we share our knowledge and I think we have been real trailblazers in that regard. The only way to operate a highly scalable business model is to have an open knowledge factory that others can contribute to.

"The second thing is that innovation mustn't only be within our products but in the way we operate out business.  We have an innovative business model and there are a lot of innovative tools at the back end that enable us to manage a very high level of demand with a small number of people."

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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