Three firms set up new offices in UI Research Park

Three firms set up new offices in UI Research Park

CHAMPAIGN – While Yahoo Inc. ponders its future, three new companies have taken up quarters in the University of Illinois Research Park in Champaign.

– Danville-based Time-O-Matic, which sells LED signs under the Watchfire Signs name, has opened a software engineering center in the Technology Development and Fabrication Center at 2111 S. Oak St.

– San Francisco-based Riverbed Technology has moved its Urbana office to the second floor of the iCyt building at 2100 S. Oak St.

– Ploughman Analytics has opened a small office in the Information Technology Center building at 2021 S. First St., the same building occupied by Yahoo.

Time-O-Matic, a longtime Danville company, moved into its 2,500-square-foot space in Champaign about two weeks ago. Company President David Wood said the campus location should be good for recruiting interns and employees.

"Recruiting and getting the engineering talent we need is challenging," Wood said. "We were looking at interns and the things the research park offers."

The more the company looked at locating in the research park, the more the idea made sense, he said.

Until now, Time-O-Matic has had all its operations in Danville.

"The idea of being at more than one address is new to us, but we think it will work perfectly," Wood said.

Time-O-Matic's software engineering office writes programs for the company's LED (light-emitting diode) signs and digital billboards. It also supplies the application that customers use to program the signs.

The Champaign office has four full-time employees and four student interns and wants to hire two more software engineers by the end of the year, said Carl Roth, the software engineering manager.

Roth said the Champaign office will allow Time-O-Matic to tap the UI for internships year-round, rather than just during the summer or during winter break.

Riverbed Technology, which has been located in the County Plaza building at 102 E. Main St., U, has taken about 8,000 square feet in the research park, said Laura Frerichs, vice president of business development and marketing for Fox Development Corp.

"The research park was the best fit for what we were looking for," said Charles Klingler, Riverbed's global project manager for facilities.

Klinger said he expects the local office to grow to 60 people over the next three to four years.

Riverbed, which is publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange, provides wide-area data service solutions. The company says its technology improves the performance of applications over wide area networks, allowing them to be done five, 50, even 100 times faster.

Founded in 2002, the firm had annual revenues of $236.4 million in 2007 and had more than 3,000 customers worldwide.

Ploughman and Associates has three employees, and its work involves geographic information systems, operations research, business intelligence and data warehousing, and knowledge management, said company president Charles Linville. The firm focuses on clients in the agriculture and energy sectors, he said.

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