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SEPTEMBER 2016 businessandfinance.com
SEPTEMBER 2016 VOL. 53 NO. 5 Publisher
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04 2 Company of the Month: July Voxpro 4 Company of the Month: August Mainstream Renewable Power 6 Business Person of the Month: July Larry Murrin, CEO, Dawn Foods 8 Business Person of the Month: August Albert Manifold, CEO, CRH 10 On the move Executive appointments 13 View from the Boardroom Alan Duffy, CEO, HSBC Bank Ireland
40 FDI of the Month: July Lidl 43 FDI of the Month: August Comtrade
17 Asia View China, its currency, and slow reform 20 Brexit A result that raises more questions than answers 22 Safe Harbour Data protection: the legal implications 25 Digital migration Changes in consumer behaviour
38 Risk governance Outsourcing and contracts 44 CEO Q&A Cathal Lane, managing partner, Tomkins 46 Start-ups Niamh Bushnell talks tech 48 60 Seconds Richard O’Dwyer, Hiscox 51 Print v Digital Ink makes a comeback
54 54 Entrepreneurs Academy Joanne Hession on starting up 57 Tech 100 The best of Ireland’s tech scene
27 Globalisation Nobel prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz writes
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90 14 14 Ones to watch Emerging enterprises 35 Fast Company: July Foodcloud 37 Fast Company: August Rubicoin
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90 Travel Asturias, Spain 94 Gadgets Tech update 96 Food for thought Ireland’s food scene 98 Goodwood Festival of Speed
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NEWS COMPANY OF THE MONTH, JULY 2016 Pictured (L-R): Dan Kiely, Linda Green-Kiely, Aidan O’Shea and Louise Phelan
ABOUT THE CO-FOUNDERS
Voxpro With news of US expansion and investment of $4m in a new centre of excellence, Voxpro’s unrelenting growth continues throughout 2016.
stablished by co-founders, Dan and Linda Green-Kiely 20 years ago, Voxpro operates successfully from three purpose-built facilities in Cork, as well as offices in Dublin, San Francisco and Folsom. Voxpro’s recent announcement of the creation of more than 500 jobs by 2020 at the new centre in Athens, Georgia is testament to the hard work of cofounders Dan Kiely and Linda GreenKiely and the team in Ireland. The company manages a range of business services on behalf of its partners, such as multilingual customer experience and technical support, trust and safety activity, social media management and harnessing product insights. Speaking about the US expansion, CEO and Voxpro co-founder Dan Kiely commented: “North America is a critical part of our global expansion and we are excited to be a leading Irish company bringing jobs to the US. We’re delighted to be partnering with governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia Department of Economic Development on our latest expansion as we continue to scale internationally.” He continued: “Our success is built on delivering beautiful customer experience and it’s our people and our culture that provide that point of difference.”
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Georgia governor Nathan Deal also welcomed the news: “Georgia offers a wealth of resources for an innovative company like Voxpro to grow its business. Georgia’s top-ranked business climate and highly skilled workforce is critical to attracting international business. We established a strong relationship with Voxpro leadership in Ireland and look forward to the company’s continued investment in Georgia.”
EXTRAORDINARY TEAM Late last year, the technical support company announced 400 new jobs in Cork, increasing employee numbers to over 1,400. In March of this year, the company announced a further 450 jobs at its new centre of excellence in emerging Californian tech hub Folsom, where 200 people are already the Voxpro roster. According to Kiely: “At Voxpro we believe that it’s not sufficient to provide world-class products or services – that’s a given. To be considered a global leader, it’s necessary to deliver a unique offering with extremely high levels of personal service. Our success has been built on delivering beautiful customer experience (BCX) in partnership with our clients and through the talent and determination
Dan Kiely is a very successful entrepreneur and business graduate who began his career in sales and marketing, working in the national specialist press. In 1995, he purchased Pageboy Communications with Linda Green and over the next decade they jointly developed the business into call centre services, leading to a rebrand to Voxpro Communications. In May 2011 Dan was appointed to the Board of the CCMA and in May 2012 became chairman of the CCMA Skillnet Outsourcing Steering Committee. Dan is also a director of the global Critical Messaging Association (CMA), formerly known as European Mobile Messaging Association (EMMA). Linda Green-Kiely has extensive experience working within the public, hospitality and media sectors. She spent the early years of career managing a syndicate of three pubs, before moving to a sales management role in the specialist press. She accepted a role in the Department of Foreign Affairs, working in the Passport Office for a number of years prior to the purchase of Pageboy Communications. She now works to develop Voxpro and foster a business culture that embraces new technology and expert personnel.
of our team of extraordinary people. In that regard, we’ve been hugely impressed with the talent and passion of our new Folsom team members.” Founded 20 years ago, Voxpro offers a range of services such as customer support, technical support, multilingual, sales and order management and outsourcing for clients. The company’s customers include Google, Airbnb, Nest, Etsy, Stripe, Red Bubble and Weebly. Earlier this year the company also added PayPal EMEA vice president Louise Phelan to its board of directors, as well as Voxpro managing director Aidan O’Shea. Voxpro also made the news when it was named one of Ireland’s best managed companies in the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards programme in March – its fourth successive victory. n 2
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NEWS COMPANY OF THE MONTH, AUGUST 2016 Pictured: Eddie O’Connor, CEO, Mainstream Renewable Power
ABOUT THE CEO
Mainstream Renewable Power New investment and a series of Chilean contracts make this a time of growth for Eddie O’Connor’s energy company.
irtricity is, by now, a very familiar name on Ireland’s energy scene. But when it was sold to SSE and E.ON in 2008, founder Eddie O’Connor went on to create another success story: Mainstream Renewable Power. Along with Fintan Whelan, O’Connor and his team have delivered around 800MW of renewable energy projects, with 8,000MW or so in development. Along the way, they’ve handled projects for the South African government and Swedish furniture giant Ikea, and expansion has encompassed eight countries, five continents and a staff roster of over 140. Those statistics are poised to increase, with the announcement of two key deals this summer. In July, the company closed its $117.5m investment deal with a Rockefeller Brothers Fund-led consortium of investors. Added to $60m of Mainstream’s own investment, the funds are earmarked to grow the Lekela Power platform, Mainstream’s joint venture with private equity firm Actis. It aims to construct over 1.3GW of capacity in Africa by 2018. “The teaming up of the world’s leading independent renewable power developer with a foundation started by members of the family that effectively founded the global oil industry is a significant moment 4
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in the world’s transition to a new power system based on clean energy,” explained O’Connor. “Providing electricity for the people of Africa requires huge investments and is an opportunity to rekindle growth and help the world economy overcome secular stagnation. We hope this will be the first investment of many from impact investors in this sector.” An additional four windfarms in South Africa, a windfarm and two solar facilities in Egypt, and windfarms for Senegal and Chile are now on the cards. “Developing Africa’s power infrastructure, giving millions of people access to power and enabling the continent’s economic growth is one of the greatest challenges of our time,” said O’Connor. “Renewable energy is the quickest and most cost effective solution to achieve this and Mainstream is dedicated to being the leading vehicle in delivering this on the ground.”
WINDY AND CHILE A few weeks after the deal closed, Mainstream Renewable Power announced another huge project: it has won seven Chilean government contracts to build almost 1GW of windfarms. Total value: $1.65bn. The facilities are to come onstream in 2021.
Dr Eddie O’Connor made his name as founder of Airtricity, building the company up to the point where it was sold a decade later for €1.8bn. He founded Mainstream that same year. O’Connor was previously the innovative CEO of Bord na Móna, beginning the company’s move towards wind power. An engineer and entrepreneur, he has received a string of business and academic plaudits throughout his career; earlier this year he was appointed the Global Wind Energy Council’s global ambassador.
Mainstream first set up in Chile in 2009, and already has a 2GW portfolio, as well as several projects already in the pipeline. “Today’s win underpins Mainstream’s standing as the leading independent renewable energy company in highgrowth emerging energy markets,” said O’Connor. “We had the industry foresight to take early positions in Chile and South Africa and we are rolling out similar plans across Africa, Central America and Asia. We look forward to developing these projects to the highest standard to deliver competitive priced energy into the Chilean system from 2021. I will be meeting with the CEOs of the main wind turbine manufacturers in the coming months to discuss the next generation of turbines required for these projects. “In our young life as a company we have developed and won contracts for projects in the North Sea, Chile, South Africa, Egypt, Senegal, Ghana and the US. Our success is based on a set of values which marry entrepreneurial spirit with respect for local custom.” With 12,000GWh of capacity tendered for, the project was significantly oversubscribed: Mainstream was one of 84 campanies that tendered a total of 85,000GWh in infrastructure – another testament to the growth of an Irish, and global, success story. n 4
BUSINESS PERSON OF THE MONTH, JULY 2016 Pictured: Larry Murrin, CEO, Dawn Foods
Larry Murrin, CEO, Dawn Foods Larry Murrin has been a leading voice in highlighting the measures the Irish Government needs to take to ensure that agri-jobs are protected post-Brexit.
n the wake of the recent Brexit vote, Dawn Foods CEO Larry Murrin has been vocal about the impact it will have on Irish agribusiness. Murrin is concerned that the entire food sector should work together to manage what is going to be a very long period of uncertainty over the next two or three years. “Inside and outside the farm gate in this country there are more than 200,000 incomes and jobs to be protected in what is the country’s most important indigenous industry,” commented Murrin. He continued: “We’ve got to work together, all stakeholders led by the Government, to protect our position. This really needs to be an all-hands-to-the-pump solution, but the Government needs to lead this.” Naas-based Dawn Farms, one of Europe’s leading cooked meat ingredients producers, is a supplier of meat to some of the world’s largest food companies. The vast majority of the company’s produce is exported: some 85% of Dawn Farms’ output is exported to over 40 countries in the UK, continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Dawn Farms Foods was founded in 1985, with Dawn Meats becoming the main shareholder in the company. Murrin expanded into Cherrywood in
Dublin before moving to Naas, where the company now has two plants. The company made a huge breakthrough in 1991 when Pizza Hut chose Dawn Farms as one of five local suppliers for meat toppings. The company has since expanded, opening a facility at Northampton in England, where it employs 250 people in addition to 600 staff in Ireland. Today, Dawn Farms’ plant in Naas is the largest producer of dried sausage for pizza and sandwiches in Europe. Murrin believes that an emphasis on developing long-term relationships with customers has been key to the company’s continued success. “We are a business-tobusiness operation. Our success has been based on having long-term relationships with our customers and working together to anticipate and meet the key trends in the competitive markets they serve,” he says. Research and innovation have always been at the heart of the company’s approach, and it says it is committed to maintaining this winning formula.
FOCUS ON SAFETY Enterprise Ireland and University College Dublin recently launched a new innovation partnership to enhance food quality and safety. Dawn Farms is heavily involved
• In 1976 Murrin opened Crumbs, a small coffee shop. • A second café was opened in 1979, and began preparing cooked meats. • In the early 1980s the manufacturing business had moved to a larger kitchen in Windmill Lane. • He then met three businessmen – Peter and John Queally, and Dan Browne of Dawn Meats – who backed Murrin’s business. • Dawn Farms Foods set up in 1985. • In 1991 Pizza Hut chose Dawn Farms as its sole supplier. • Murrin took over as president of employers’ lobby group Ibec in 2014.
in the €1.7m programme aimed at developing a new predictive software toolbox to enhance food quality and safety approaches, nationally and with global reach, using environmental intelligence data. During a two-year period, researchers at UCD will track the environments in a number of food manufacturing plants in Ireland belonging to the industry partners. This will be a faster and more sustainable way of preventing bacteria – that can spoil food or pose a human health risk – from entering the food supply chain.
GREEN SCHEMES Dawn Farms is also a founder member of the Origin Green programme, the first nationwide sustainability programme of its kind in the world, run by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board. Dawn Farms was the first company in the Origin Green programme to develop a truly holistic approach to sustainability by incorporating targets and measures across key sustainability pillars. Environmentally, the company is a zero-waste-to-landfill site, a target achieved one year ahead of schedule in 2014, and it has also achieved notable reductions in relative energy usage, water usage and carbon emissions. n
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BUSINESS PERSON OF THE MONTH, AUGUST 2016 Pictured: Albert Manifold, CEO, CRH
Albert Manifold, CEO, CRH Strong results and significant acquisitions amount to positive news for CRH and its chief executive.
ate August saw global building materials giant CRH release its interim results for 2016. The figures were headlined by a 35% increase in reported sales to €12.7bn and a doubling of EBITDA to €1.12bn. Proforma sales were up 8%: 3% in Europe, 13% in the Americas and 4% in Asia, while the proforma EBITDA was up 20% overall: 20% in Europe, 39% in the Americas and 7% in Asia. Proforma EBITDA rose by nearly one point to 9% compared with H1 2015. Overall it amounts to growth, and Manifold was pleased with the results. "We have had a very satisfactory first half, with good performance from our heritage businesses and contributions from 2015 acquisitions delivering significant profit growth for CRH,” he said. “As always, we have maintained a strong focus on cash management, and with de-leveraging ahead of plan, I am pleased to report that we expect year-end debt metrics to be at, or below, normalised levels. “Against this backdrop, the Board has decided to increase the interim dividend by 1.6% to 18.8c per share. With continued positive momentum in the Americas and the modest impact of early-stage economic recovery in 8
Europe, and assuming normal weather conditions for the remainder of the season, we expect further progress in the second half with full year reported EBITDA in excess of €3bn." The company highlighted its “positive momentum” in the Americas, where there were “favourable weather patterns”, and two major acquisitions from late 2015 showed their influence for the first time. “In Europe, where our key markets are in the early stages of recovery, underlying results were marginally ahead,” CRH said. In the first half of 2016, CRH divested four operations, raising €140m. It spent €150m on a series of acquisitions in Europe, the USA , Canada and Australia. Overall, the group expects the second half of the year to be broadly in line with the first, though it did point to Brexit as an uncertain factor. It increased its dividend by 1.6% to 18.6c.
ON THE MOVE The group currently operates in 3,000 locations across 31 countries worldwide. With 89,000 employees, it manufactures 450 million tonnes of materials and is listed in Dublin, London and New York. It is now the
•M anifold joined CRH as finance director of the group’s Europe Materials Division in 1998 after a career in private equity. •H e became group chief operating officer in January 2009 and joined the board, before becoming group CEO in January 2014. •A qualified accountant, he has an MBA and MBS.
largest building materials company in North America. Manifold, an accountant by trade, joined the group in 1998 after a career in private equity. Appointed finance director for the group’s Europe Materials unit, he drove expansion in eastern Europe before promotions to group development director (2004) and managing director of CRH Europe Materials (2007), when he took the lead in the group’s entry into Asia: its Chinese and Indian operations were built up under his watch. He joined the board in 2009 when he was appointed chief operating officer as the company weathered the construction industry collapse and financial crisis, and rose to the CEO’s office in 2014 following the retirement of Myles Lee. His biggest deal to date came last year, with the acquisition of a whopping €6.5bn of Lafarge and Holcim’s assets, sold in order to satisfy regulators during their merger process. The deal saw 15,000 new employees transfer to CRH, which doubled its cement production volumes. With the company’s vital statistics – and its dividend – growing, the indications are that CRH under Albert Manifold is on the move again. n
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On the move Business & Finance highlights some of the top executive appointments and promotions.
Sales and Marketing director Viatel
HASAN MUTLU General manager Turkish Airlines
4Damien McCann has been appointed
4Hasan Mutlu has been appointed as the general Manager of Turkish Airlines Dublin. With over 20 years’ experience in Turkish Airlines, his long and successful career included posts as Station and Sales Manager in Beirut, Lebanon, and as general manager in Lagos, Nigeria; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and Tokyo Japan consecutively between the years 2004 to 2013. He established Turkish Airlines’ Lagos office, which commenced operations in 2006, and converted it into an efficient and profitable destination before he went on to become general manager of Almaty in 2007 and Tokyo in 2011. Mutlu is married and has one daughter. n
director of Sales and Marketing for Viatel, an Irish-owned corporate telecoms company that specialises in data connectivity, voice, data centre and managed network solutions. He will lead a team of telecoms and data centre solutions experts based in Ireland. McCann joined the Viatel Group in 2006 and has rapidly ascended through the ranks to head up the corporate and enterprise operations in Ireland. “At Viatel we focus on delivering the best telecoms solutions in the market coupled with dedicated client care and exceptional technical support,” said McCann. “We have experienced superb growth year on year and I look forward to continuing on this trajectory.” n
CATHERINE TOOLAN Managing director Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall
4Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall has announced the appointment of Catherine Toolan as managing director. The new appointment comes at an opportune time with the recent opening of Belfast Waterfront’s new conference facility in April this year. The £29.5m investment from Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund, through the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland, is designed to position Belfast as a destination of choice for business tourism. n
At a glance LOUISE MCKEOWN
4National director, HBAN
DAVID STAFFORD 4Chairman,
business sales director, Magnet
MICHAEL MURPHY 4Chairman, Irish Venture Capital Association
4Head of Growth, TransferMate
4CEO, Dublin City University Educational Trust
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Source: Business & Finance magazine, 2016 Tech 100 index, September 2016. © 2016. Pramerica, the Pramerica logo, and the Rock symbol are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Prudential Financial, Inc. is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential plc, a company incorporated in the United Kingdom.
A VIEW FROM THE BOARDROOM
Leader of the pack
SBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations, serving more than 45 million customers worldwide. For more than 30 years, the business has continued to grow in Ireland and 450 people are now employed to provide a wide range of services to clients. Last May, the appointment of Alan Duffy as the new CEO for Ireland was announced. Duffy is responsible for HSBC’s corporate banking, securities services and insurance businesses in Ireland. He joined HSBC Ireland in July 2006 to help establish its corporate banking business and has maintained his role as head of Corporate Banking as part of his new remit as country CEO.
POSITIVE CULTURE Duffy’s focus as CEO is continuing to build HSBC’s credentials and to also attract further investment in Ireland through the Securities Services business. He believes in investing in people for the long-term. “It is about shaping the future not just about managing tasks on a day-to-day basis,” says the country CEO. “I also believe that the higher you rise in an organisation, the more people will watch everything you say and do. Therefore, role modelling good behaviour is a vital leadership skill.” When asked about how important the team at HSBC Ireland is to the success of the company, Duffy is staunch in his appraisal. “The team is critical. When I think of team I do not differentiate between ‘front office’ and ‘back office’. You are either serving the client or serving the teams that serve the client and therefore it is vital to ensure that our whole team delivers a positive customer experience locally and in global locations where our clients are building their businesses. We continually promote a positive ‘speak up’ culture within our organisation so
regulators to impose and banks to adopt much higher standards of doing business. HSBC have been quick to react. “New technologies are already impacting the retail banking sector with the fintech space rapidly accelerating. We have invested significantly in our compliance function and we have publicly committed to globally adopting the highest level of compliance standards within the industry,” comments Duffy. “We are large investors in fintech and have recently announced some exciting developments within our trade finance business deploying block-chain technology.” Alan Duffy, CEO and head of Banking at HSBC Bank Ireland
Alan Duffy discusses his leadership technique and how the HSBC CEO defines success.
we can promote best practice and learn from errors.” As CEO, Duffy uses a more holistic approach to motivate his team. He states: “I am a big believer in furthering education as a motivating tool, not only in learning the more technical aspects of the job, but also training in vital skills such as building and fostering internal and external networks, interpersonal skills, developing empathy and listening.”
A CHANGING INDUSTRY The financial services industry has faced stern challenges over recent years. The general trust that the financial services industry once enjoyed and took for granted no longer exists. The financial crisis and revelations of poor behaviour by many financial institutions globally has driven
TARGETS IN FOCUS But how does Alan Duffy define success? And what drives him to succeed? He comments: “From a leadership perspective, I define success as fostering an environment that enables people to really fulfil their potential and grow. Personally, it is about never losing sight of the bigger picture and the absolute priority of family and friends.” STREAMLINING Looking to the future, Duffy wants to ensure that HSBC remains a financing partner of choice for its clients locally and internationally. “We are privileged to have many of Ireland’s leading internationally active companies as our clients in addition to large multinational firms who have chosen Ireland as a great place to do business,” the CEO states. “Whilst growth is important, it is equally important to get the right balance between growing the business and focusing on streamlining to continually deliver efficiencies and also to protect our business and clients from the ever present threat of financial crime,” concludes Duffy. n September 2016 Business & Finance
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NEWS Ones to
WATCH COMPILED BY Colin White
The kids are alright
What is it? Cognikids is an Irish baby brand dedicated to supporting the natural developmental stages of babies through its unique range of fun and functional products. These multi award-winning products are totally unique and help to give baby the best start in life. Cognikids’ first product to market was Crawl, an easy-grip crawl suit. This is a baby grow with a unique grip technology on the knees and feet that provides traction for babies trying to crawl on slippery wooden and tile floors. This year Grip was launched, a baby bottlegripper. Grip is compatible with the majority of baby bottles and is designed to help babies develop the skills necessary for independent feeding. This year also saw the launch of Sooth, a sensory teething bib. It eases the effects of teething and the three different textures support healthy sensory development. 14
Who’s behind it? The business was founded in 2013 by Ollwyn Moran. Having seen first-hand the need for modern developmental baby products, she identified this huge gap within the baby market.
How is it funded? Cognikids was originally funded by Ollwyn and her family. In 2013, Cognikids won the Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition. It was also chosen to secure funding, mentoring and support from the DCU Ryan Academy Propeller Programme. Most recently it has also received funding and support from Enterprise Ireland.
Future plans? This year will see the addition of two new products to the range, which will be launched at the Kind + Jugend trade show in Germany next month. The company is also finalising with two large retailers in Ireland and the UK.
2. White & Green
The organic revolution
What is it? White & Green is Ireland’s first fully certified organic and fair trade cotton bedding brand. The start-up seeks to revolutionise the archaic global bedding trade in several important ways. It is fair trade-certified. From farm to factory, White & Green’s supply chain is transparent and workers are paid a fair wage. The company also pays a subsidy towards poverty alleviation in local communities, including funding towards the education of all their workers’ children.
This extensive travelling led Rebecca to question the growing global wealth inequality. Drawing upon her extensive experience in the world of fashion and beauty, supermodel Danielle Winckworth found a passion for design. She now heads up quality and product development at White & Green.
How is it funded? To date, the company is self-funded. The local enterprise board at DúnLaoghaire-Rathdown has been a source of support and advice on its journey so far.
Who’s behind it? White & Green is a family business. Sari Winckworth is an interior designer with years in the industry and clients across Europe. Rebecca Winckworth finished her degree in business at Trinity College and took a few years to tour the world as soloist with shows including Celtic Woman, Anúna and Celtic Nights.
Future plans? The founders see White & Green as a vehicle to create an ethical consumption movement across Ireland and further afield. This means expanding the product range to other organic and fair trade products, as well as launching White & Green in Europe, North America and South East Asia.
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A different perspective
What is it? CoinaPhoto is a new disruptive social stock photography platform and marketplace where photographers and people most passionate about photography come to share and sell their work. With a rapidly growing community of over 37,000 shutterbugs from around the world and growing at over 50% every quarter, CoinaPhoto is making a difference by connecting, nurturing and sustaining new and upcoming photography talent. The CoinaPhoto community is truly global, ranging from small towns to big cities. The company was launched in late 2014 in Dubai, UAE, and set up its Dublin office in Q1 of this year.
Who is behind it? The business is 100% owned by Shahab Fraz Mirza, an avid traveller, investor and entrepreneur with 20 years of corporate experience. Shahab’s prior work life spans across three continents (Asia, Africa
and Australia) in leading organisations including Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever and Pepsi Co. Additionally, Shahab manages his privately held investments in real estate, equity markets and fixed income bonds across developed economies and emerging markets.
How is it funded? Coinaphoto Ireland is funded entirely by Shahab Fraz Mirza. The Dublin office was set up in Q1 2016 with an investment commitment of €500,000.
Future plans? The company plans to expand in Asia towards the end of 2017 with an office in Singapore. A new buyer interface reaches out to SMEs including media/creative agencies, publishing houses, brands and creative individuals – working on collaborations that result in original and locally sourced content customised to meet CoinaPhoto’s partners’ needs.
4. Yangaroo Music
Play that funky music
What is it? Yangaroo Music is the fastest, safest and most effective way to deliver singles and albums for broadcast and review consideration to all Irish media. It is a new technology company that delivers music to media. Yangaroo is a professional digital delivery platform that enables targeted, quantifiable delivery to decision-makers in radio, television and press.
Who’s behind it? CEO Sinéad Troy has over 25 years’ experience in the music industry, internationally and in Ireland. Owned by the Irish Association of Songwriter, Composers and Authors (IASCA) with a not-for-profit mandate, the aim is to help independent labels and artists deliver professionally in Ireland and around the world. The IASCA’s remit is to lift the profile of Irish music at home and abroad.
How is it funded? Financial support has been received from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and the Gaeltacht Affairs and internally from IASCA, and the company is currently engaged in talks with future partners and investors passionate about exporting Irish music.
Future plans? The goal is the global distribution of Irish music at a professional level. The tangible result would be delivering music to the wider music industry (e.g., festival bookers, venues, agents, managers, publishers and record labels) at the level they expect (i.e. no more CDs in the post). n 15
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GLOBAL ECONOMY INSIGHT DATA PROTECTION MARKETS & ECONOMICS
COMMENT & ANALYSIS
China’s reform conundrum is hurting business, writes Mark Godfrey.
ho’d want to be a banker at one of China’s state-owned banks these days? The likes of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) are often touted as the world’s biggest lenders (based on assets, not profits) but the past year has been stressful. Anti-corruption inspections – still ongoing under the Xi Jinping presidency – and calls from local officials directing credit for local pet projects are all in a day’s work for executives at ICBC and other banks over the past year. Yet at the same time they’re expected to be getting ready for the twin liberalisation of the banking market and the liberalisation of Chinese currency controls, which will bring interest rate reform and the end of guaranteed profits for state owned banks. China’s banking sector is gradually being exposed to competition and companies who need to raise money are getting other options like internet platforms and a promised opening up of the corporate bond market. But over-extended banks are holding highly inflated assets and in the event of a sharper economic slowdown there will be an inevitable spiralling of bad debt. This should be seen in the context of the country’s enormous corporate debt – the IMF puts Chinese corporate debt at 145% of GDP – which understandably makes investors fearful of investing, putting pressure on the yuan as money exits China. The fact that private sector investment grew by only 2.3% in the first half of the year shows that businesses in China are worried about economic prospects. Businesses remain understandably cagey about the real direction of the Chinese economy, particularly since in 2015 GDP growth slowed to a 25-year low while the stock market fell 50% in value. Data for the second quarter of 2016 showed that China’s economy is stabilising, but some of that pickup is attributable to government lending and stimulus, which isn’t sustainable given broader debt problems in China’s banking and corporate sector.
The country’s enormous corporate debt makes investors fearful of investing
Hence, for the past two years – and while fighting corruption among its ranks – China’s Communist Party keeps vowing serious ‘supply-side’ economic reform that would see the private sector liberated by the opening up of financial services and utilities price reform. This requires the defenestration of the hitherto highly influential state-owned enterprises and will mean the closing of lots of zombie companies in sectors like steel and manufacturing that have long survived on government supports and soft loans. The prospect of mass layoffs – and the inevitable social and political problems – has always tempered the reform ambitions of China’s one-party state. However, government (which is after all the regulator as well as the key player/owner in some of the most profitable sectors controlled by stateowned firms) is unwilling or unable to ultimately deliver on promised market reforms, including numerous pledges to open up swathes of the economy controlled by state enterprises like ICBC, China Mobile and China Petroleum/Sinopec. Private competition in banking alongside the liberalisation of interest rates and concomitant liberalisation of currency controls (which China has promised to complete by 2020) could mean that private business, which tends to be more September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMENT & ANALYSIS profitable and less capital-intensive, will surge ahead – creating a whole new burst of economic growth for China. But loss of privilege at state companies – and loss of jobs with the closure of zombie, unprofitable units – is tempering the reform ambitions of the party cadres, at least in the short term. In the longer run, however, the cadres’ feet may be held to the fire because of China’s debt situation. Overall debt across the economy stands at 200250% according to various informed estimates and that is causing worries and wobbles among the global investment community about the fate of China’s economy. That in turn is feeding into downward pressure on the country’s currency. Beijing has spent around €500bn of its currency reserves defending the yuan since last summer’s badly planned intervention by the People’s Bank of China to reform the country’s method for setting the value of the currency. In this scenario Beijing hasn’t got the luxury of deferring a fix for the structural issues in the economy and some massive redundancies may be imminent, which will have a hard impact on wage growth and consumer sentiment – if the private sector isn’t able to replace those jobs removed with the closure of zombie state-owned companies.
LACK OF STABILITY All of this will decide the fate of the RMB, which China has vowed to defend in order to prevent outflows of cash by nervous businesses and the middle class. Most investment bankers are betting on a major devaluation of the yuan/RMB. Questions over the stability of China’s economy have prompted pressure on the country’s currency, with government expending nearly €600bn in currency reserves to defend its value over the past year. The spectre of a sizeable devaluation remains, with government introducing a slew of policies in recent months to coax corporates to bring cash back from abroad in exchange for RMB. Incredibly, the RMB in the early 1980s was pegged at 2.46 to the dollar, rising at one point to 1.50 to the dollar but then dropping sharply by 1994 to 8.62 as China sought to boost its export competitiveness. It was revalued in 2005 to 8.11, but now stands at 6.5. Its central bank manages the RMB’s appreciation or depreciation as it sees fit but limits its fluctuations to within 2% of the dollar. China ultimately wants to be able to settle international transactions in its own currency, which is still only convertible on the current account for trade, not on the capital account, which is for investment and banking flows. If and when the gates are fully opened there will be even more stress for state-owned bankers. n
China’s debt stands at 200250% and that is causing worries and wobbles among the global investment community
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Business & Finance September 2016
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2 Technology Innovation
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6 Multinational Corporation 7 Academic Achievement 8 Talent Development
COMMENT & ANALYSIS GLOBAL ECONOMY INSIGHT
In reality, the Brexit referendum result brings more questions than answers, writes Aidan Donnelly.
The long goodbye
ell they’ve only gone and done it! As morning broke on Friday June 24th, so too did the reality of the news that the UK had voted to leave the European Union. Unsurprisingly, the market reaction was swift and brutal. The value of sterling plunged against most major currencies, in some cases reaching levels not seen since the mid-1980s. When equity markets opened the initial response was equally savage but, as the morning progressed, investors became more discerning and a gap emerged between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. But the idea that the referendum outcome means the end of the issue could not be further from reality: the result brings more questions than answers. From an investor’s perspective the referendum result has implications in several spheres ranging from politics to economics, and, of course financial markets. In some ways the political fallout from the result did not come as much of a surprise. David Cameron immediately announced his intention to step down as prime minister but cleverly delayed the date of departure until October to allow time for reflection and discussion by the key players. As the days went by what became more apparent was that many in the exit camp never thought they would actually win the referendum, and therefore had no plan of action for life in a Brexit world. What had been thought of as a protest vote – designed to give the government a bloody nose and justify some changes in the relationship with Europe – had succeeded in creating a void with no clear picture of what lay ahead. One after another we saw the ‘Out’ actors like Farage and Johnson exit stage left as the chorus of ‘what’s next?’ was met with deafening silence.
YES, PRIME MINISTER Even the three-month hiatus period for a new prime minister didn’t last, as events worthy of a script in any episode of House of Cards culminated in the appointment of a successor to David Cameron. After a gap of nearly 16 years, we saw Britain confirm its second female prime minister with the appointment of Theresa May to Number 10. While the 20
Aidan Donnelly, head of Equities, Davy Private Capital
Brexit does indeed mean Brexit and the long journey to exiting the EU is under way
sudden move and the content of her official speech left many thinking that the post-Brexit policy agenda would soon be set, her new-look Cabinet raised more than one eyebrow! The appointment of Brexit campaigners David Davis and Boris Johnson to secretary and foreign secretary positions respectively should remove any doubt that Brexit does indeed mean Brexit and the long journey to exiting the EU is under way. Although it will never be said publicly, there is the sense that Theresa May is saying: “Boys, you got us in this pickle, now you can sort it out. Here’s enough rope, so either corral everyone in or hang your own political careers – the choice is yours!” Of course, these men will not be operating alone and the role of the new UK chancellor, Philip Hammond, and the Bank of England (BoE) governor, Mark Carney, will be crucial. The new chancellor has said that he wants to work closely with the BoE and others in preparing the autumn statement and a plan of action for the economy.
IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID! One trend that has developed in the wake of the referendum result has been the rush to downgrade economic forecasts, not just for the UK but also for Europe and the world overall. Now it might just be the cynic in me, but I find
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it very interesting that forecasts for 2016 and 2017 are being reduced – and yet we still have no idea of when Article 50 will be triggered by the UK, what the outcome of the subsequent trade negotiations between the EU and UK will be, and to what extent they will impact upon the relative growth rates of various economies – not to mention what else could happen globally in the intervening period. We have already seen some company managements point to the Brexit result as the reason why their profits so far this year are less than expected. But I guess that if it becomes the excuse du jour for every piece of bad news coming from the UK, at least it will make a change from the usual excuse of a wet summer – when in doubt, roll the Brexit out!
When you look at an index like the FTSE 100, it is obvious that it bears no resemblance to the UK economy, given the large proportion of international companies in industries like energy, mining, pharmaceuticals, and food/ beverages. With the majority of their sales going outside the UK, the significant weakness of sterling will mean a big boost to their profitability and a tailwind for their share prices – a silver lining to the grey cloud! That’s not to say there haven’t been some losers as well. The companies with greater exposure to the UK economy, like domestic banks, retailers, and construction companies, have seen price falls. Given their relative size difference in the index, the winners have outweighed the losers in recent weeks. So although at an overall index level it might look as if little has happened, the devil is in the detail. A bit like a swan gliding across a pond: on the surface all looks calm, but underneath he is paddling like mad.
MR MARKET’S OPINION? Within days of the result, one asset market definitely in focus was UK commercial property, with the announcement by seven of the leading funds that they were suspending redemptions from their funds for six months. The move reminds us of the various ways in which Brexit can impact markets and make people fearful of more stress to come. Property is an illiquid asset, and this move shows what can happen to illiquid assets when the fundamentals/facts change. In terms of size, various media articles have suggested that these seven funds cover more than £15bn of assets out of the total size of the retail UK commercial property market of around £25bn. Ultimately, the actions of these funds probably made sense given the nature of the asset, but it added to the unease of investors whose frayed nerves had them seeing danger lurk in every shadow. DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL Looking at the stock market reaction could leave you scratching your head. Many people have asked me whether Brexit is such bad news for the UK, and why has the market done better than other areas since the referendum? The answer is down to the nature of the companies in the index.
ARE WE THERE YET? When it comes to Brexit, it’s fair to say that we are really only at the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end. Many decisions and much negotiation lie ahead for all parties involved and while this will create uncertainty for investors and volatility in markets, it won’t be the only headache to be dealt with. The Italian constitutional referendum (October ‘16), the US presidential election (November ‘16), the risk of further terrorist attacks, and even general elections in Germany and France in 2017 are all potential banana skins for markets. Neil Sedaka had it right when he sang ‘Breaking up is hard to do’! n
We are really only at the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end
About the author: Aidan Donnelly is head of Equities at Davy Private Clients. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal views of the author and not necessarily those of Davy. Follow him on Twitter @aidandonnelly1. J&E Davy, trading as Davy, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
September 2016 Business & Finance
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES SPOTLIGHT
ntil recently, data protection rarely came up around the boardroom table, let alone in dinner conversation. But that’s changed. Data breaches are now big news. The hacking of Sony Pictures nearly caused an international incident when the US pointed the finger at North Korea. The bitcoin ransoming of information on users of the Ashley Madison service piqued the public’s interest. Edward Snowden and Maximillian Schrems, self-proclaimed privacy advocates, have played their parts as catalysts for an evolution in how personal data rights are perceived and how the use of such data is regulated. And nowhere has that change been felt more than in the area of personal data transfers from Europe to the US. Data protection law prohibits the transfer of personal data to the US unless a condition legitimising the transfer is satisfied. So if the European Commission determines that a jurisdiction ensures an adequate level of protection for the use of personal data, either through its domestic laws or international commitments, a condition is met. Seems simple enough. The Safe Harbour framework was based on such a determination. It allowed the transfer of personal data to the US if the recipient signed up to the Safe Harbour principles, a set of commitments around the use of data, and self-certified compliance. Safe Harbour, however, came under close scrutiny following the Snowden revelations of mass surveillance by US authorities in 2013. The Commission re-examined it and sought for US authorities to address shortcomings it identified. The European Parliament took a harder stance and called for the immediate suspension of Safe Harbour on the basis that it did not adequately protect EU citizens and their data. Meanwhile, Maximillian Schrems, a Facebook user, complained to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner that in light of the Snowden revelations, the laws and practice of the US did not sufficiently protect personal data coming from the EU and that transfers of his data to the US should stop. A court action ensued, which ultimately resulted in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) striking down Safe Harbour late last year. A key point underpinning the CJEU decision was
that Safe Harbour permitted a derogation from the principles it laid down whereby the use of data was necessary to meet national security, public interest or law enforcement requirements. This turned out to be Safe Harbour’s Achilles’ heel, because it meant that data transferred to the US using Safe Harbour could subsequently be collected and used by US security and law enforcement agencies free from the Safe Harbour principles. While the agencies were subject to US laws regarding the use of data, the CJEU ruled that the Commission had not, as part of its decision approving Safe Harbour, determined that those laws provided an adequate level of protection for EU citizens and their data.
Anne-Marie Bohan and Andreas Carney consider Safe Harbour, Privacy Shield and what’s next for transAtlantic data flows.
Anne-Marie Bohan and Andreas Carney, partners, Matheson
PRIVACY SHIELD In July this year the Commission and the US Department of Commerce agreed Privacy Shield, a new framework for EU – US data transfers. It seeks to address Safe Harbour’s shortcomings, among them the issues of mass collection of data by US authorities and the lack of a right of redress for EU citizens under US laws. Regarding the collection of data flowing from Europe by US authorities, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has given commitments regarding data collection and is at pains to point out very specific pre-conditions apply for data access. But it may not be all plain sailing for Privacy Shield. The Commission can – if it believes that the framework no longer provides an adequate level of protection – suspend the framework itself. The legitimacy of Privacy Shield, like its predecessor, may be challenged. If that were to happen, it would be a matter for the CJEU to decide whether it stands up to legal scrutiny. The next chapter on data transfers is already playing out in the Irish courts. The Commissioner is seeking a ruling from the CJEU on whether, following the Schrems decision, the transfer of data to the US on an alternative basis – namely the model clauses – is permissible. One interested party to those proceedings estimated that if the existing channels for data flows from Europe to the US are ruled invalid, that could cause losses to the European economy of €143bn. It seems unthinkable, therefore, that data flows between the EU and US will just stop. But it may ultimately require a change of law in the US to satisfy the sceptics. n
Business & Finance September 2016
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COMMENT & ANALYSIS MARKETS & ECONOMICS
Life assurance in a digital world
he need for life assurance has not changed. It remains vitally important to ensure that you provide for the financial future of both you and your dependants. Whether this is ensuring that you have the funds to benefit from the retirement you deserve, or income provision through an income protection plan should you be unable to work due to illness or injury, or providing cover for your family should you die, investing time in planning financial security is a must. However, what is changing dramatically is the influence of the digital world on consumer behaviours in all walks of life, including life assurance. Of particular interest for anyone in the business of sales and customer services are the immense changes that have occurred in the purchasing habits of consumers. The influence that new digital technology and innovations have on how we live our lives cannot be underestimated, and there is an increasing demand to be able to do all things “online” or through a digital channel. Not only is there now far more product choice, but how consumers research and make a selection has changed. For financial services products, although many still rely on the recommendations of family and friends and advice from a financial broker, the majority of people will also do preparatory research aided by technology before making a decision. In addition, there is a higher expectation of access to added-value postpurchase services. This change in consumer behaviour must be recognised by all businesses as a key challenge, and acted upon in order for them to remain relevant. However, unlike a new start-up that can decide that digital is its only or primary channel, there is a transition period in many more traditional industries – similar to ourselves in the life assurance sector – whereby both digital and non-digital methods of operating and providing services to our customers should be offered. Insurance companies, like many other industries, must respond by providing services in line with changing customer expectations. It is widely acknowledged that customer expectations are rising. Anytime-anywhere service is a standard requirement in the current
age. Customers want to be spoken to in simple, jargon-free language, on their own terms, and expect fast resolutions to their queries or issues. Increasingly, customers wish to be remembered and not to have to repeat, call back, wait on hold or be transferred. Friends First has responded to this changing and dynamic environment in a number of different ways.
Lisa Feely explains how digital migration has changed consumer behaviour in all walks of life – and how Friends First has reacted.
Lisa Feely, chief operations officer, Friends First
RESPONDING TO THE CHALLENGE As part of a wider digital development programme we have looked at a number of areas in relation to our customers and how we can better meet their expectations and needs. A basic requirement is for an immediate and instant access to information online through our consumer, financial broker and end-customer websites. This starts with a plain-English approach to company and product information on our websites for pre-sale research on account and policy information online. Consumers are used to being connected 24/7 and we need to make sure that they can carry out their business at whatever time suits them from their device of choice. Our responsive websites include customer guides and videos along with testimonials, tools and calculators all aimed at benefiting the customer by providing knowledge of our product benefits for them. Our Online Customer Service centre provides a self-service environment for a range of queries and policy amendments. We are adding new features and options all the time and are now also active on social media, including Twitter, where you can hear all our news. However, we also know that some of our customers simply do not want this. They are comfortable with the status quo and do not want change. Therefore we have also retained traditional methods of communication including simple human contact over the telephone. For those who do want to talk online, we have webchat on offer too. By taking this structured approach to the challenges presented by the digital age we feel we can enhance our customers’ experience and bring it to a new level – adding value for the customer, without negating the important role and advice of the financial broker. n September 2016 Business & Finance
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ASK THE EXPERT CYBERCRIME TECH RECRUITMENT CEO Q&A START-UP SCENE 60 SECONDS PRINT VS DIGITAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
INTERVIEWS & FEATURES
Globalisation and its new discontents A process that was meant to to make everyone wealthy has not done so – and a decade and a half after his initial warnings, Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz assesses the damage.
ifteen years ago I wrote a little book, entitled Globalisation and its Discontents, describing growing opposition in the developing world to globalising reforms. It seemed a mystery: people in developing countries had been told that globalisation would increase overall wellbeing. So why had so many people become so hostile to it? Now, globalisation’s opponents in the emerging markets and developing countries have been joined by tens of millions in the advanced countries. Opinion polls, including a careful study by Stanley Greenberg and his associates for the Roosevelt Institute, show that trade is among the major sources of discontent for a large share of Americans. Similar views are apparent in Europe. How can something that our political leaders – and many an economist – said would make everyone better off be so reviled? One answer occasionally heard from the neoliberal economists who advocated for these policies is that people are better off. They just don’t know it. Their discontent is a matter for psychiatrists, not economists. But income data suggest that it is the neoliberals who may benefit from therapy. Large segments of the population in advanced countries have not been doing well: in the US, the bottom 90% has endured income stagnation for a third of a century. Median income for full-time male workers is actually lower in real (inflation-adjusted) terms than it was 42 years ago. At the bottom, real wages are comparable to their level 60 years ago.
Joseph E. Stiglitz, professor, Columbia University and chief economist, the Roosevelt Institute
Large segments of the population in advanced countries have not been doing well
The effects of the economic pain and dislocation that many Americans are experiencing are even showing up in health statistics. For example, the economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton, this year’s Nobel laureate, have shown that life expectancy among segments of white Americans is declining. Things are a little better in Europe – but only a little better. Branko Milanovic’s new book Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalisation provides some vital insights, looking at the big winners and losers in terms of income over the two decades from 1988 to 2008. Among the big winners were the global 1%, the world’s plutocrats, but also the middle class in newly emerging economies. Among the big losers – those who gained little or nothing – were those at the bottom, and the middle and working classes in the advanced countries. Globalisation is not the only reason, but it is one of the reasons. Under the assumption of perfect markets (which underlies most neoliberal economic analyses), free trade equalises the wages of unskilled workers around the world. Trade in goods is a substitute for the movement of people. Importing goods from China – goods that require a lot of unskilled workers to produce – reduces the demand for unskilled workers in Europe and the US. This force is so strong that if there were no transportation costs, and if the US and Europe had no other source of competitive advantage such as in technology, eventually it would be as if Chinese workers continued to migrate to the US and Europe until wage differences had been eliminated entirely. Not surprisingly, the neoliberals never advertised this consequence of trade liberalisation, as they claimed – one could say lied – that all would benefit.
TRUST ERODED The failure of globalisation to deliver on the promises of mainstream politicians has surely undermined trust and confidence in the ‘establishment’. And governments’ offers of generous bailouts for the banks that had brought on the 2008 financial crisis, while leaving September 2016 Business & Finance
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES ordinary citizens largely to fend for themselves, reinforced the view that this failure was not merely a matter of economic misjudgments. In the US, congressional Republicans even opposed assistance to those who were directly hurt by globalisation. More generally, neoliberals, apparently worried about adverse incentive effects, have opposed welfare measures that would have protected the losers. But they can’t have it both ways: if globalisation is to benefit most members of society, strong social-protection measures must be in place. The Scandinavians figured this out long ago; it was part of the social contract that maintained an open society – open to globalisation and changes in technology. Neoliberals elsewhere have not – and now, in elections in the US and Europe, they are having their comeuppance. Globalisation is, of course, only one part of what is going on; technological innovation is another part. But all of this openness and disruption were supposed to make us richer, and the advanced countries could have introduced policies to ensure that the gains were widely shared. Instead, they pushed for policies that restructured markets in ways that increased inequality and undermined overall economic performance; growth actually slowed as the
rules of the game were rewritten to advance the interests of banks and corporations – the rich and powerful – at the expense of everyone else. Workers’ bargaining power was weakened; in the US, at least, competition laws didn’t keep up with the times and existing laws were inadequately enforced. Now the rules of the game need to be changed again – and this must include measures to tame globalisation. The two new large agreements that President Barack Obama has been pushing – the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the US and 11 Pacific Rim countries, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the US – are moves in the wrong direction. The main message of Globalisation and its Discontents was that the problem was not globalisation, but how the process was being managed. Unfortunately, the management didn’t change. Some 15 years later, the new discontents have brought that message home to the advanced economies. n
The rules of the game were rewritten to advance the interests of banks and corporations
About the author: Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, is university professor at Columbia University and chief economist at the Roosevelt Institute. His most recent book is Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy.
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES ASK THE EXPERT
The dilemma of digitisation
he drive toward digitisation continues to gain steam. Now more than ever, digitisation offers businesses of all sizes opportunities to be more efficient and competitive in a technologydriven world. Many entrepreneurs are still learning about their options in the digital realm. Indeed, without a formal IT education (or at least several years of self-guided tech study) the world of web-based business services can be a challenge to navigate. However, with dedication and access to the right resources, smart entrepreneurs can start the digitization process smoothly. Like many new developments in the digital world, the term ‘web services’ isn’t exactly well defined. In fact, there are at least a dozen definitions accepted by a variety of wellregarded tech sources. Some of the most popular explanations claim that web services include: There are plenty of terms that novice web users likely aren’t familiar with. For example, XML messaging is essentially the sending and receiving of data fields between software applications, and modular applications include software that is divided into functional units that can couple to form larger applications. There are hundreds of pages of information regarding web services architecture – including components like WSDL, UDDI, REST, and SOAP – but the typical business user rarely needs to understand such complexities. More important is to understand where you can find the services your business needs.
THE POTENTIAL PROVIDERS Because the meaning of web services is so broad, there are hundreds of business solutions that fall under the umbrella, including trendy softwareas-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) options. Businesses can find web services that simplify intra-office communications, like Yammer, or that digitise receptionist duties, like GenBook. There are thousands of potential providers of web services, and it can be a significant chore to sift through them and determine which services are valuable and which are not. Generally, businesses might find the most benefit in web services providers that offer
Content coordinator Jackie Roberson discusses the various digitisation opportunities available for entrepreneurs and the benefits of moving to webbased services.
... web services facilitate contact between businesses and consumers as well as among employees
dozens of services bundled together, like Amazon Web Services (AWS). Depending upon the tier chosen, businesses can use AWS for cloud storage, data analysis, mobile services, digital security, application development and hosting, and much. It makes financial sense to pay a single provider for a bevy of features rather than to seek out dozens of providers for equivalent services. If your business is just beginning the move to digitisation and you opt to go with AWS, it’s best to have your IT team select at least one employee (or several, depending on the size of your company) to undergo AWS training or hire someone already experienced. Having at least one employee who thoroughly understands the process will ease your office’s transition into the digital world.
THE BIG BENEFITS The question remains: Why digitise? If a business has survived for decades without web services, what is to be gained by moving everything online? The most obvious answer is that using web services keeps businesses on an even playing field with their competition. The vast majority of businesses have digitised at least one of their processes, and many have moved completely to the web. Across industries, there are examples of analogue industries losing business to new, digital upstarts: yellow cabs and Uber; hotels and Airbnb; traditional retail and e-commerce. Though digitisation might not be the only solution, it is proving to be a viable way for established businesses to continue turning profits. In short, web services facilitate contact between businesses and consumers as well as among employees. They improve collaboration, which boosts productivity and innovation, allowing businesses to make better products and gain happier clients. Basically, digitisation is a new way to more effectively accomplish an old task, communication, while offering a number of unexpected features, to boot. Though most experts expect web services to change continuously in the coming years, it is smart for businesses to begin adopting web services now. The more users know about this revolutionary business strategy, the better they can implement it in their own enterprises, and the more they can benefit in the long run. n September 2016 Business & Finance
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES
ver recent years there has been a seismic shift in the way that businesses treat product development. As a society, we are more concerned about the novelty and functionality of a product than its quality and safety. Whether consumers or manufacturers have driven this is up for debate, but the reality is that in a bid to get the latest invention into the hands of consumers, corners have been cut and quality compromised. Another fact is that the rise of technology and the demand for ever-more innovative solutions are the fuels that have powered this change in attitudes. The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way we interact with the world.
NON-STOP CONNECTIVITY Whether we’re at work, at home, or even in our cars, we are constantly connected to the internet. To illustrate just how integral IoT has become, let’s look at some quick stats: • According to a 2015 Gartner report, 6.4 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use by the end of this year. • Furthermore, they estimate that IoT will support total services spending of $235bn in 2016, up 22% on 2015. • Meanwhile, a TNS study reveals that the average millennial with internet access now spends 3.1 hours a day actively engaged on their mobile device. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as any great surprise. After all, there is very little that can’t be done through some application or another on our smartphones. Whether it’s personal banking, turning on the lights and heating before you get home, or hunting Pokémon, the app and Android stores have you covered.
VIVA LA REVOLUCIÓN This IoT revolution has paved the way for countless market disruptors across almost every industry. No one would ever have imagined that something as simple as hailing a taxi would become such a tech-heavy business. But Uber and Hailo have completely revolutionised this space. Likewise, for fast food we have Just Eat and HungryHouse, while financial services are struggling to keep up with tech natives such as CurrencyFair and Mint. As a result, businesses and consumers have come to expect a more tailored service at their fingertips. This expectation is pushing both traditional businesses and these disruptors to innovate at an alarming pace, adding new 32
With suspicious minds Tech innovation shouldn’t come at the cost of security, believes Colin Larkin.
Colin Larkin, CEO/founder, Moqom
Corners have been cut and quality compromised
features and streamlining their offerings to enhance user experience. But this speed to market comes at a cost, and the price being paid here is security. It has practically become a cultural norm to overlook and perhaps even intentionally ignore comprehensively testing the safety and security of software and applications. After all, why would you want to waste time scrutinising an app in the lab when it could be making money online?
A GOLDEN ERA Sadly, this blasé attitude to security and a lack of policing in technology have been recognised by cybercriminals and cyberterrorists as an area to be exploited. In recent years there has been a significant rise in cybercrime. In April, a PwC report (covered by Business & Finance) revealed that it now accounts for a staggering 44% of economic crime in Ireland. Moreover, of those companies affected by cybercrime, nearly one in five incurred losses of between €92,000 and €4.6m. The Internet of Things, where everyday items are connected to the internet, along with a growing reliance of businesses and consumers on cloud-based technology, all act as potential
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chinks in our cybersecurity. Hackers have been emboldened to attack companies of all sizes, from local SMEs to multinational behemoths. And they’re after more than just financial information, targeting consumer data and intellectual property information – the loss of which can devastate a company. In the past month alone, there have been high-profile attacks on An Garda Síochána, Hong Kong Bitcoin and Oracle subsidiary Micros. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that four out of five of Ireland’s leading retail banks are exposed to a SIM swap attack, whereby hackers gain access to consumer accounts through their mobile banking applications, and 900 million Android devices are prone to a new QuadRooter risk.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS Despite all this, I genuinely believe we can have our cake and eat it. We should be able to innovate without compromising the security of our software. It will mean shifting priorities, which in the short term shareholders will likely be unhappy about. But in the long term it will benefit everyone. To do this we need a multi-tier approach in which government, corporates and consumers all play their part and take responsibility for ensuring the safety of their tech. In the UK and US, positive action is already being taken. Their governments have pledged £240m and $19bn respectively per year for enhancing cybersecurity and protecting critical infrastructure. At home we are miles behind. The IDA has done a sterling job in positioning Ireland as a European tech hub. All of the top 10 global ICT companies and the top 10 ‘born on the internet’ companies possess significant operations in Ireland. THE REAL DANGERS The digital economy now employs in excess of 100,000 people here, and accounts for approximately 5% of total GDP. Yet all we have is an aspirational strategy, but nothing truly concrete with which to tackle the threats of cybercrime and terrorism. The real danger is that we could lose it all to the likes of the UK and US, who have put the appropriate regimes in place. Following the UK’s example, Ireland must invest in and develop a pro-active cybersecurity strategy that clearly outlines how the threat of cybercrime will be addressed at government, commercial and consumer levels, setting deadlines for the implementation of specific actions.
Some of these actions might include: • The establishment of a dedicated body to govern the tech industry and protect critical infrastructure. The announcement of the National Cyber Security Centre has the potential to deliver this. However, government must ensure that it goes beyond simply complying with EU legislation and gives the necessary resources and powers to the body to improve standards of security in technology. • S etting up a dedicated cybercrime unit to disrupt and deter serious cybercrime at a regional, national and international level. • Creating a set of security standards that all software products must meet before they can be sold to the market. This will be key in breaking the culture of ‘act now, apologise later’ that currently exists. • Where breaches occur, enforcing greater penalties for those organisations that knowingly did not take the necessary precautions to protect their data and their customers. At present, the fines for such violations equate to a soft slap on the wrist, often less than the cost of a comprehensive security system and data protection protocol. • D eveloping certifications that address specific data protection and cybersecurity issues. As with manual handling training, educating employees who interact with technology at any level in an organisation should be obligatory. • E ducating younger generations on the importance of cybersecurity. In the UK, cybersecurity is part of the curriculum for GCSE students, the equivalent of what is Ireland’s Junior Certificate. Equipping our children with a knowledge and awareness of the importance of protecting their privacy is essential. • Collaborating more with other international cybersecurity taskforces to share information and identify potential threats before they have a chance to do any harm.
Ireland must invest in and develop a pro-active cybersecurity strategy
CORRECT IMPLEMENTATION As with all other crime, it’s unlikely we’ll ever be able to completely stomp out cybercrime. Organised criminals will always find new ways to break in and steal from their victims. However, intentionally pushing a product to market or implementing IT systems without carrying out appropriate security checks is akin to leaving the keys in the ignition of your car and writing ‘steal me’ on the windscreen. n September 2016 Business & Finance
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Grenke - Full Page - 210x275.pdf
FAST COMPANY IN ASSOCIATION WITH EIR
he problem of food waste has garnered a lot of attention in recent times, from the introduction of new legislation in France to the UN stating that reducing food waste by 25% could feed all the world’s malnourished people. FoodCloud – previously featured in Business & Finance’s Ones to Watch – is a not-for-profit social enterprise that connects businesses that have too much food with charities that have too little. It is a social enterprise creating a solution that puts businesses in contact with charities in their local community through a technology platform. FoodCloud allows stores to upload details of their surplus food and send a text message to a local charity to inform them. The charity then gets it to people who need it.
CHARITABLE ORIGINS The company was founded in 2013 by Aoibheann O’Brien and Iseult Ward, two young female social entrepreneurs. In February 2012 they attended an Enactus event, immediately bonded over their love for food and distaste for waste, and knew they had to do something to reduce food waste. FoodCloud’s Food Rescue Project arranges for its 150 volunteers to collect food from shops and businesses and deliver it directly to charities. Hundreds of charities collect food donations directly from local supermarkets on a daily basis. FoodCloud has expanded to a network of more than 500 retail stores and 1,100 charities, redistributing 1,481 tonnes of food. SUSTAINABILITY FoodCloud’s revenue is based on charging retailers an annual service fee per store along with an initial set-up fee. FoodCloud offers businesses an
FoodCloud co-founders Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien
Growth at the not-for-profit organisation gathers pace as UK expansion continues.
alternative to throwing out good food and paying the associated waste disposal costs, while meeting CSR goals and benefiting their communities in a practical and meaningful way. It is part of a movement of start-ups and innovators using technology to disrupt the food industry. As a young and growing organisation, FoodCloud are perfecting the model and working on technology development, processes, and securing adequate resources to be able to scale in a sustainable way. FoodCloud works with Tesco and Aldi in Ireland, and with Tesco in the UK, and hopes to scale to 3,000 Tesco stores by the end of 2017. By charging retailers a fee per store, its current operating income covers its operating costs – enabling FoodCloud to be a selfsustaining non-profit social enterprise.
VA-VA-VOOM Having competed against 3,000 entries, and qualified through a series of rounds, the non-profit made it to the final six of Virgin’s Voom 2016 entrepreneur competition in July. CEO Iseult Ward presented to notable individuals such as Richard Branson, Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely and Marcus Butler. Marketing and communications manager Niamh Kirwan also helped launch the eir Elevation Awards 2016 during July. The awards recognise the growth and ingenuity of the fastestgrowing businesses across Ireland and the specific reasons for their success. Additionally, FoodCloud picked up the Social Entrepreneurship gong at the eir Elevation Awards last year. n September 2016 Business & Finance
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Continuing to deliver construction solutions for our clients Building a brighter future for 60 years www.bamireland.ie Contact: Mike Jones 087 6297738
FAST COMPANY IN ASSOCIATION WITH EIR
ubicoin is the maker of a suite of financial investment tools designed to transform anyone into an informed, confident investor. This latest funding round, which will assist Rubicoin to expand into new markets, was from existing and new private investors, and brings to €3m the total amount raised to date. The company also announced that its Invest by Rubicoin app is now available to users around the world. To date, the app was only accessible to US customers but now, with a global reach to over 140 countries, worldwide investing is now possible. The ability to find and buy outstanding shares in one place has never been easier. To make the investment process even easier, Invest by Rubicoin onboards users right from their smartphones and removes all barriers to investing by offering a simple, clean and intuitive user experience. Investors can sign-in or sign-up for a brokerage account, tap to invest, and get constant support with in-app messages. Through its products Rubicoin aims to demystify the stock market, and create a fully accessible experience for would-be investors through a completely mobile-led offering.
INVESTMENT EXPERTS Rubicoin was co-founded by Emmet Savage and John Tyrrell in 2013 as they wanted to design a product that would create millions of successful stock investors by making the investing process both engaging and enjoyable. Supported by a long-standing and fully audited investing track-record, Rubicoin has produced two apps that places user experience front and centre, Learn by Rubicoin and Invest by Rubicoin. "From the very beginning, our mission has been ‘to get the world
John Tyrrell and Emmet Savage, Rubicoin co-founders.
August was a good month for Irish fintech start-up Rubicoin, as the company announced it has raised €1.2m in funding after its Invest app went global.
investing successfully’,” says John Tyrrell, Rubicoin, co-founder and COO. “We recently opened up our Invest by Rubicoin app to users across the world which has so far created tens of thousands of new stock investors. Our latest funding round will assist our successful expansion into new markets, which is a very exciting prospect for us.” Emmet Savage, Rubicoin co-founder and CEO added: “The last year has been a period of rapid growth for Rubicoin. We graduated from NovaUCD to our new offices in Dublin’s Merrion Row with our team more than doubling from six to 13 employees. We have also enjoyed a rapid increase in customer uptake, with over 150,000 app downloads in the same period. We are confident that our apps will continue to grow in popularity around the globe.”
A SOLID TEAM Rubicoin, a client company of NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, is headquartered in Dublin city centre with an office in New York. The Rubicoin team is made up of lifelong investors and tech geeks. Emmet and John founded Rubicoin and built a team that want to achieve one common goal: to help people shape their financial future by making it simple to start investing. In late 2015, CEO Emmet Savage was been included in Irish America magazine’s 2015 Wall Street 50 in recognition for the past 20 years educating stock investing to wide audiences. n September 2016 Business & Finance
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES
ompliance, risk, governance: since 2008’s economic meltdown these have become everyday terms in the business world. Indeed, in financial services they have become the foundations upon which the banking sector was rebuilt. However, compliance and effective governance are not just the concerns of bankers and insurers, and they concern more than just financial management. One such area that has come under a lot of scrutiny from Revenue in recent years is contractor management. In a bid to cut out tax avoidance, a number of regulatory practices have been implemented across Europe that contractors operating in Ireland must adhere to. From a business’s perspective, ineffective contractor management can lead to project disruption, hefty fines and even legal battles. So, why does this matter so much to the tech industry? Findings from a CIO report carried out by Harvey Nash found that 65% of businesses reported a skills shortage holding them back, while 44% of hiring managers think that the skills shortage will get worse in future. A Harvey Nash technology survey is showing that over 40% of the respondents counted themselves as contractors. In contrast, the same survey in 2016 revealed that almost three in 10 technologists working in Ireland were contract workers, demonstrating a year-on-year increase of more than 10%. Furthermore, 35% of people working as consultants have originated from outside Ireland. In a bid to remain innovative and attract talent, tech departments and companies may end up overlooking their commitments to compliance under business pressures to ensure the delivery of their product. This is where the concern lies.
DAUNTING PROCESS While hiring a contract resource might seem straightforward, the myriad documentation and increasingly complex legislation can take time for managers and business owners to process, particularly if they are unfamiliar with it. Over the years, Harvey Nash has carried out contract audits for a range of companies across Ireland and the EU – with all manners of shortcuts taken by managers unearthed, from simple oversights to blatant malpractice, including: • Managers listing consultants as hardware rather than run them through the books as contractors. • Hiring managers using their own (separate) company through which they hired consultants, creating demand. 38
The assembly line Gavin Fox highlights how the shortfall of skilled staff in tech circles has resulted in a huge rise in outsourced work – but businesses need to take care with contracts. Sole traders on-site rather than limited companies. • Managers hiring contractors that were noncompliant in their tax practices. •
Gavin Fox, director, Harvey Nash
The dangers of poor contract management are sizeable
KNOWING THE PITFALLS The difference between an employee and a contractor very often comes down to the type of contract in place. It might seem inconsequential, but the differences between a contract for service and a contract of service are hugely important in distinguishing between the two. Put simply, a contract for services is a formal, legally binding agreement between a business and a self-employed individual. Whereas an employment contract (known as a contract of service) is between an employer and an individual who then becomes employed by the company. Things become a little trickier when establishing whether a person is in fact an employee or an independent contractor, as the courts have shown that they will look beyond labels and focus on the factual situation and surrounding circumstances in determining what type of relationship exists between the business and the person carrying out the work. The courts look at a whole range of criteria
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to assist them in determining an individual’s employment status and will have regard to the following factors: • Measure of control exercised over how the work is carried out. • Whether the individual supplies labour only or whether they supply equipment. • Opportunity to make a profit. • Requirement of personal service in carrying out the duties. • Responsibility for payment of tax. The consequences arising from the determination of an individual’s employment status can be far-reaching and will affect their obligations in relation to the manner in which they make tax and PRSI payments and social welfare entitlements, such as jobseekers’ and disability benefits, and other rights and entitlements under employment legislation. This includes protections in respect of unfair dismissal, redundancy, working time, the payment of wages, and holidays, to name but a few.
AVOIDING REPERCUSSIONS As outlined above, the dangers of poor contract management are sizeable. Not only does it expose you to additional tax and fines from the Revenue Commissioners, but you can also be brought before the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. That potentially means expensive legal costs, reputational damage and hefty compensation settlements – all because of ill-informed recruitment practices. With this in mind, we would strongly advise any business working with contractors to: • Conduct a contract audit: The best place to start is with an audit of all your employment contracts. This will give you a clear understanding of the lay of the land, identify where your company is exposed and even highlight areas where cost savings could be made with your contractors. • Engage with statement of work: A client should define its project-specific activities, deliverables and timelines for a vendor providing services to the client. FULL COMPLIANCE In addition to this, here are some actionable tips to ensure you don’t end up in such a situation: • Only contract limited companies: By contracting a limited company rather than a sole trader or partnership, you are clearly establishing a relationship with another business rather than an individual. The
contractor is an employee of their own limited company, and thus is not entitled to any of the rights afforded to employees within your organisation. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of their limited company to ensure they’re tax compliant. More specifically, only contract Irish limited companies. After 60 working days in Ireland, EU-based limited companies are obliged to register as an employer in Ireland and pay Irish payroll taxes. • Ensure they’re tax compliant: Even when you do engage in the services of a Irish limited company, it is good practice to ensure they are VAT-registered and registered for all relevant taxes. Copies of the limited company’s Certificate of Incorporation and VAT registration should be obtained. The last thing you want is for a contractor, integral to a project, being shut down by Revenue for failing to keep their taxes up to date. Requesting a tax clearance certificate can offer great peace of mind. • Bulletproof contract for service: Make sure the contractor signs a contract for service. Before they do this, however, have your legal department go through the contract with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that there can be no confusion about the contractor’s employment status. n
Things become trickier when establishing whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor
About the author: Gavin Fox is a director at Harvey Nash, leaders in STEM recruitment in Ireland.
EMPLOYEE VS CONTRACTOR In order to understand the implications of ineffective contractor management, we first need to clarify some key differences between a contractor and an employee. EMPLOYEE
Employees benefit from a number of protective Irish laws including the Unfair Dismissal Acts 1977 to 2007
Most labour laws do not protect individuals engaged as contractors. However, there are alternative protections such as the Commercial Agents Regulations 1994
Employer is primarily responsible for tax and liable to the Revenue Commissioners if it’s not paid
Contractors are responsible for their own taxes and are self-assessed
Data protection laws do not closely regulate the relationship between employers and employees
Clients need to impose obligations on contractors as regards data protection
Rights developed by employees in the course of their employment generally rest directly with the employer
Agreements between contractors and their clients need to contain specific provisions relating to IP issues
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NEWS FDI OF THE MONTH, JULY 2016 Pictured: John Paul Scally, managing director, Lidl
Lidl An expansion programme including some 600 new jobs saw the German discount supermarket hit the headlines in recent weeks.
HEAD OF IRISH OPERATIONS
John Paul Scally is managing director and chairman of the board of directors of Lidl in Ireland. The Westmeath native is in charge of over 180 stores throughout the island of Ireland, managing over 4,000 staff. Scally has served four years on the board of Lidl’s operation in France, where the group has 1,600 stores. He studied industrial engineering in Galway before entering into Lidl’s graduate programme in 2003.
erman discount supermarket Lidl has established a firm foothold in Ireland since its establishment in 2000, now commanding 11.9% of the market according to the latest figures. In recent weeks the retailer has announced plans for a major new expansion, recruiting 600 jobs across business units including store operations, warehouse and distribution support, as well as head office and regional office roles. The recruitment drive is beginning immediately and will last for the next two years, and according to Lidl all roles will provide opportunities for long-term career advancement in the organisation.
COUNTRYWIDE GROWTH The retailer currently operates 146 stores nationwide, with recruitment also providing for its warehouse and distribution requirements: the retailer is planning its largest warehouse for Newbridge, Co. Kildare. The company looks for individuals who are driven, ambitious and focused, and currently has 4,000 staff on its roster. Maeve McCleane, HR director at Lidl Ireland, explained: “Lidl is now recognised as a leading employer of significant scale in Ireland and with 40
that brings a wealth of opportunities for ambitious and dynamic people with a passion for delivering exceptional service for Lidl Ireland’s 1.5 million weekly customers, whether they work in store or in a variety of other roles throughout our business. “As an employer we believe in the importance of committing to our staff by providing a supportive work environment with training and development in all areas to help everyone achieve their full potential.”
OPPORTUNITY AND INVESTMENT Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell-O’Connor welcomed the announcement. “Lidl’s decision to hire an additional 600 new staff over the next two years is a real vote of confidence in the Irish economy and demonstrates further commitment from a company which has already invested over €1.5bn in Ireland since 2000. “It is encouraging to see recruitment across all parts of the business which will provide opportunities for those with a wide variety of skills. I am particularly pleased that much of this employment will be spread across the country in Lidl’s stores, regional offices and distribution centres which is a key objective of the Government’s Regional Jobs Plan.”
The latest market data from Kantar Worldpanel has identified the company’s 11.9% share of an industry that has grown its sales by 4% compared to last year. “Lidl continues to post impressive sales growth as more consumers choose to shop with the retailer – a record 72.4% of all Irish households shopped in a Lidl store in the last quarter, widening the gap between it and rival discounter Aldi,” explained Kandar Worldpanel director David Berry. “Sales growth for Aldi stands at 2.4% in the latest quarter – a positive step up from the previous results for April and an early sign that sales growth might be starting to improve again.” SuperValu leads the standings with 22.5% of the Irish market, followed closely by Tesco (21.9%) and Dunnes Stores (21.3%) – with Lidl’s recruitment plans and the opening of new stores a clear sign of intent. n
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NEWS FDI OF THE MONTH, AUGUST 2016 Pictured: Dejan Cušic, Comtrade
HEAD OF IRISH OPERATIONS
Comtrade A new partnership with Ryanair and support for emerging Irish businesses has brought Comtrade into focus on the FDI scene.
t has been a busy few months for Slovenia-based software engineering provider Comtrade. In May, the company announced a major deal with Ryanair, as Comtrade developed the airline’s myRyanair booking and travel platform. It was an enormous project by any standards: 36,000 developer hours went into it, supporting 106m annual passengers. The system can fill four Boeing 737s every minute without crashing, and speeds up customers’ booking process by over 20%. “Ryanair is a forward-thinking company with a clear understanding of the digital world and the role it wants to play in it,” explained Comtrade’s Dejan Ćušić, solutions and services business director for Ireland and the UK. “The team recognised the changing needs of the airline’s customer base and myRyanair is the perfect solution; establishing Ryanair as a cutting-edge trailblazer with the customer experience at its heart. “At Comtrade, we provide only the top experts and engineers to develop pioneering technology for the companies of tomorrow. That is why we could deliver and release such an outstanding product on such timelines. With Ryanair’s vision and our world-class engineers, we
have created something truly special that will enhance the travel experiences of millions of people every year.” The company was established in 1990, and has grown its network of offices across 11 countries in Europe and North America. Its Irish base is in Stillorgan, in south Dublin. Ryanair’s CTO, John Hurley, was full of praise. “With the team’s expertise, innovation and unwavering professionalism, Comtrade has helped Ryanair lay the foundations for the future,” he said. MyRyanair was shortlisted for Private Sector Project of the Year at the Tech Excellence Awards, and it underwent rigorous testing in the run-up to launch. “We specialise in assisting companies with their digital transformation and our work with Ryanair is the perfect example of what we can do,” said Cušic. “We not only developed the myRyanair platform, we are working with Ryanair on an ongoing basis as they make the transition to becoming a technology-led travel innovator.”
BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS The technology firm has also been building its presence within Ireland’s business community, as it hosted Business & Finance’s Ones to Watch Breakfast Briefing in The Merrion Hotel
As a business leader with many years of experience in the IT industry, Dejan Cušic is passionate about helping organisations grow, helping them to actively pursue new business opportunities. Throughout his career, he has acquired a rare combination of technology skills and business acumen that bring a unique benefit to his clients. In his current role at Comtrade, he is leading expansion in the UK and Irish markets. With more than 15 years of experience working in various roles at Comtrade, he has built an impressive track record of growing the business and delivering innovative solutions to its customers.
in July. The event is aimed at supporting early-stage enterprises, and Business & Finance profiles four such emerging businesses in every issue. The event was well-attended by emerging entrepreneurs and provided an opportunity to celebrate their enterprising spirit and achievements since establishing their companies, as Dejan acknowledged. “Every day I am awestruck by the number of exciting tech companies that are currently emerging from Ireland. To have so many of those companies together in one room was fantastic and I have no doubt that while this year they are the ones to watch, in the coming years we will see them scaling up the Top 100 list. “At Comtrade, we give small and large companies the tools and support they need to grow and innovate faster. I look forward to working alongside some of the inspiring business founders I met at the Ones to Watch event and helping them achieve their goals.” The company has also been building links with students, hosting the Edit Summer School at the Tallaght Training Centre – its first such event in Ireland. The free IT summer school is now in its 20th year worldwide, and took place on seven campuses in 2016. It returns to Dublin next year. n September 2016 Business & Finance
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES Q: Tell us about the IP market in Ireland. How large is it? A: While Ireland bats above its weight in terms of applications filed per head of population, some of this is due to multinationals using Irish companies to hold patent applications – not all of these patent applications relate to inventors or inventions from or made in Ireland. Given that the population is relatively low, absolute numbers are not massive. The opportunity that is much larger is for Irish firms to supply IP services at the European level to non-Europeans. Germany and the UK together have about 50% of European patent attorneys. Ireland has less than 0.01%. The European patent office alone has a €2bn a year budget. Approximately 280,000 European applications are being filed at the present time per year. I estimate that Ireland certainly handles less than 1% of these – and possibly even less than 0.5% quite frankly. So, there is a huge opportunity for Ireland. Leaving aside R&D costs, the European patent application process alone probably costs €7,000 to €30,000 depending on a large number of factors, including how many countries are ultimately of interest. Q: What services do Tomkins provide? A: Tomkins provides a range of services, from harvesting the information necessary to identify intellectual property (IP), deciding how to best protect it, conducting searches to see if an invention or a trademark has been the subject of an application by somebody else, advising how to deal with issues arising relating to ownership, licensing, as well as how to value. We have helped with consolidation where there have been mergers, changes of ownership, registering security interests, identifying the relevance of IP to products being used (including mapping patents onto specific products) and presenting this information in reports that are accessible to all management, rather than decipherable only to those directly involved. 44
Cathal Lane, managing partner, Tomkins
PONDERING PATENTS Cathal Lane talks to Business & Finance about patents, intellectual property and their place in the research landscape.
Q: Can you tell me about Tomkins’ history in Ireland? A: Tomkins started as a very small firm around 1930 when Artur Tomkins, who was a UK-qualified patent attorney, saw an opportunity to come and set up in Ireland to handle Irish applications for his UK colleagues. He was essentially the grandfather of intellectual property in Ireland. He died in 2004 at the age of 104, having taken out an SSIA aged 100. Because of its deep history,
Tomkins has been involved in writing IP legislation and has been to the forefront of issues, including helping to register state emblems such as the harp. Now it is a firm of over 40 people serving multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. Q: Tell us about your customer base. A: We can count among our clients one of the top 10 patent filers in the world. They are a US company and we provide European patent services to them. We serve multinationals, SMEs and start-ups, including some very successful home-grown Irish companies which have expanded abroad. We have clients who export agricultural machinery all over the world (including Asia), a small but extremely innovative food ingredient business that is revolutionising the dairy industry and counts the top dairy producers in the world among its clients, and well-known brands including ECDL and Hostelworld. Q: What types of organisations have the most use for IP services? A: I would say that Irish-based entities underestimate the importance of IP, and they particularly underestimate what they can protect themselves. It is only when they open their eyes by searching to see what competitors are up to in the patent or trademark world, or searching patent databases for a specific technology, that they realise what others are up to and what they themselves should be thinking about. Many people have heard of patents, but have never actually studied one, considered one, or looked at what the competitors are up to. The organisations that best use IP are those that can exploit some part of it themselves. Coming up with an idea, protecting it, and then trying to license to a third party is difficult. The organisations that least use IP are those that probably think of it in defensive terms, as being needed for litigation. For those I think they miss the positive aspect of leveraging it to actually co-operate with others to generate more commercial activity using shared resources.
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TOMKINS: FACT FILE ESTABLISHED IN 1930 BY ARTHUR BELLAMY TOMKINS: THE COMPANY HAS BEEN PART OF IRELAND’S EVOLVING INNOVATION AND BUSINESS SCENE FOR OVER 80 YEARS
AWARDS: 1. LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR 2013 AT INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL LAW EXPERTS AWARDS 2. CORPORATE INTL’S ANNUAL AWARDS IN 2010/2012 3. TRADE MARK FIRM OF THE YEAR AWARD 2010 Month year
2001: CATHAL LANE TAKES CONTROL OF THE COMPANY
Q: How will the IP sector in Ireland be affected by Brexit? A: I believe in the end this will be very positive. While Ireland as a whole may not fare well following Brexit, there is an opportunity for IP services. Many UK firms are serving clients outside the EU, and they may rethink who they wish to use for such services, given that the UK will not be part of the EU. Q: What does Tomkins do to educate people on the importance of IP? A: Tomkins, in essence, educates each of its clients as well as many more that phone up and ask questions about what they might be able to do, but never actually engage as a client. We have been heavily involved in the education sector, providing lectures within university courses, doing semesters as lecturers, speaking at events (including those hosted by IRDG, the Innovation Academy, the New Frontiers programme, the Ryan Academy, SFI, and so on). I believe that there should be an IP academy in Ireland where nothing but intellectual property is taught, discussed and generated. Q: What threat do patent trolls present in the IP space? A: Patent troll is a term that was originally coined for entities that did no inventing/research and development themselves, but bought patents that they thought they could assert against people who were actually commercialising products. Historically, contentious patent matters arose between two entities who are trying to exploit similar technologies. However, if an entity is not actually selling
AREAS OF EXPERTISE: LIFE SCIENCES, ICT, ENGINEERING, MEDTECH, PHARMA, TRADEMARK AND BRAND PROTECTION
anything there is not usually much opportunity to counter-sue them for infringement. While there are still are some organisations that have the hallmarks of a troll, many have morphed into entities that also hire engineers, scientists and other inventors, and develop some of the technologies that they are vested in. So all in all, I think this will evolve and change just like other areas do. The one danger is that there will be an overreaction to a troll and retrograde changes will be made to IP laws as a result. They represent a small proportion of IP activity and while their activities may be more headlinegrabbing, it should be considered in context. Q: How does the Irish IP sector compare to that of other countries? A: As we have seen, the IP profession in Ireland is very small. We are tiddlers in a huge pond. While we may have a high filing rate per head of population, absolute numbers are not huge and we should discount inventions made outside Ireland, but where patent applications are filed in the name of Irish companies. We have a huge opportunity for growth. Q: What areas of expertise does Tomkins cover? A: In order to become a patent attorney you have to have a science or engineering background first to at least primary degree level. You then train as a patent attorney. Our trademark
attorneys have legal/business and other backgrounds. Given that on the patent side that you need to understand the technology, we have people with backgrounds in physics, electronics, engineering, ICT, life sciences, including biotechnology and pharmaceutical, and chemistry. We cover all technology and business sectors for our clients. Q: What are the future challenges facing the IP industry? A: The main challenge will be around the ever-increasing pace of technology development and issues around whether the IP legislation can keep apace. I have heard comments that in a very fast-moving technology landscape with short-lived products and so on, IP is becoming less and less relevant. If anything, it is becoming more and more relevant, and those who are sophisticated enough to master it and leverage it will succeed. When Cmdr Hadfield wanted to sing ‘Space Oddity’ from the space station, he had to get permission across all jurisdictions – you don’t escape IP, even in space! Q: How do you plan to grow Tomkins in the coming years? A: The plan is to continue to recruit good people, communicate simply with our clients and provide transparency and easy-to-understand reports that allow our clients to make key decisions on what is, or is not, a good decision in an IP context. The aim would be to become more international in line with our clients. n
The plan is to continue to recruit good people, communicate simply with our clients, and provide transparency September 2016 Business & Finance
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES
reland’s start-up scene is thriving at present, with a multitude of companies operating across a number of established and emerging sectors. Dublin is a pro-business, pro-entrepreneur city with a can-do attitude but, in the eyes of many, even more can be done to encourage entrepreneurs to take risks and build global businesses from here. The Office of the Dublin Commissioner for Startups – aka Startup Dublin – acts as a voice to inform the world that Dublin is a great place to establish a business. It is an independent, not-forprofit organisation established in October 2014 to support and promote innovation-led, productbased companies that are born, bred or adopted in Dublin. Irish entrepreneur Niamh Bushnell was working with her own start-up in New York before she became Dublin’s first commissioner for startups, a role that was created to help maximise the potential of the tech start-up ecosystem in Dublin. When Bushnell took up the role back in 2013, the city was showing huge potential – but wasn’t getting much credit internationally. She believes that innovation has been at the heart of the country’s growth. “I want Ireland to be known for innovation. Obviously, our start-ups are innovative, otherwise they wouldn’t be making the headway they’re making internationally,” says Bushnell. “But our multinationals are also showing great innovation – yet we never tell that story. “There’s a lot of energy, and there’s a real sense of community spirit in Dublin. For me, coming back to Dublin after 16 years in the US, I found a similar dynamic to the New York start-up scene – a ‘Let’s get up and go’ mentality. “Just like New York, Dublin is small; but it’s actually very dense. You can walk everywhere and it’s easy to meet a bunch of people in the one day. I see Startup Dublin as a cheerleader for all the great activity taking place in Dublin.”
RESOURCES AND INFORMATION Startup Dublin is involved with numerous organisations in an attempt to create a fertile ecosystem that will attract growth in all sectors. Recently it teamed up with Newstalk to create a software as a service (SaaS) boot camp, helping B2B SaaS companies build sales and marketing. It is a six-month programme focusing on sales and marketing to get companies to build globally. Competition was intense, according to Bushnell. “The number of companies that applied for the camp made it really competitive, 46
The start-up sage Dublin Commissioner for Startups Niamh Bushnell talks tech with Colin White.
Niamh Bushnell, Dublin commissioner for startups, Startup Dublin
I want Ireland to be known for innovation
which really upped the ante. There are a number of companies who are making millions in revenue in Ireland, but they have the potential to become even bigger.” Another resource that Startup Dublin has devised is TechIreland. Maintained by a team of analysts, TechIreland will be the most comprehensive database available of innovative Irish companies, their investors, and global companies building products out of Ireland. Due to be launched in October, it is a massive and truly ambitious initiative. “It is the first ever publicly available Irish database of tech information. It tells the story of every start-up and every tech multinational – what their product does, who the founders are,” explains Bushnell. “It also lists every investor who has invested in an Irish company.” Bushnell and her team have also been involved with Dublin Globe, a weekly digest of stories focusing on tech innovation in the city, with content developed in-house and from other sources. Indeed, Business & Finance was one such source that Dublin Globe called upon, when our 2015 Tech 100 listing featured on the website. Following on from this, a monthly business event was launched where Dublin’s tech community are invited for breakfast every first
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Friday of the month. Bushnell believes that the event acts as a great networking opportunity. “The idea behind The Brekkie is to provide a focal point for the start-up community: for those who are deep in it, for those who are thinking about entering it, and for those who are wondering what tech is,” says the entrepreneur.
THE GREEN SCENE The Irish start-up scene has evolved significantly over the past years. Cleantech, fintech and medtech are just some examples of sectors that are now common terms in business. However, Bushnell points to another sector that doesn’t grab the headlines in the same way as its contemporaries. “The stand-out sector for Ireland right now is travel tech. On Dublin Globe we recently published a listicle of over 60 travel tech companies in Ireland. If you look at those 60 companies, over 50 of them are born and bred in Ireland,” she enthuses. “Travel tech is a major, but not very well-known, sector in which we dominate. Irish travel tech companies are blowing the market out of the water.” And Bushnell is adamant in her belief that a strong start-up scene in Dublin benefits the rest of the country, highlighting Galway city as a particularly exciting space in 2016. She says: “It’s crazy how vibrant the tech scene is there. And it’s all very smartly centred around Eyre Square. Galway city promotes itself very well and has a very connected community.” She continues: “But looking elsewhere, Limerick and Waterford for example, there’s lots going on. We’re doing a TechIreland roadshow at the moment and we’re getting a real sense of the vibrancy nationwide.” EDUCATION IS KEY Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in Europe and it makes the country an attractive prospect for multinationals. However, Bushnell believes that the country’s talented pool of young people is a major factor attracting multinationals to invest. Ireland’s education system has been slow to take advantage of growth in the technology industry, but Bushnell is confident that the right conversations are now taking place. “Ireland has a young, well-educated population,” says Bushnell. “In terms of the education system itself, it would be great if we had integrated computer science at a much earlier stage into the education system. It would be great if the women who are now in their late teens or early twenties had been encouraged to take up science, maths and computer-related
subjects when they were in school. But, we’re now starting to invest in something that will benefit us in the future.” She is also optimistic about more female entrepreneurs becoming attracted to the tech sector in the future. In fact, there are already a number of women to champion in the industry right now. “A lot of the tech that’s going out of Ireland right now is led by females. Dublin Globe put together a list of 70 female founders of successful tech companies. We’re talking about people who are really doing exciting things. The gender balance still needs to be addressed, but the women we do have are dynamite,” Bushnell laughs.
I see Startup Dublin as a cheerleader for all the great activity taking place in Dublin
UK ALIGNMENT The venture capital (VC) community in Ireland is pretty active, but, in the commissioner’s opinion, Irish companies need to reach out to different markets. “The opportunities that you get out of being somewhere like Ireland is that we’re very close to our multinationals. We’re very close to Europe and to the US market,” states Bushnell. “But, one of the key things for Irish companies is they need to travel a lot and they need to develop relationships globally a lot more.” She also believes the recent Brexit vote could offer some positives. “In my view, we’ve always needed to find ways to be more strategically aligned with London, and I think Brexit can potentially lead to this. I think trying to get companies to move lock, stock and barrel out of London to Ireland isn’t realistic.” Bushnell adds: “We should be helping the UK by being their European arm. We’ve an opportunity to do that if and when Brexit becomes a reality. Right now it’s nothing but conjecture, particularly in the start-up space.” INNOVATION NATION Nine out of 10 tech companies fail; that’s a stat the world over. Bushnell affirms that it’s always easier to tell a story where there is already a list of role models in place. “We will have a couple of really, really large companies coming out of Ireland over the next couple of years, she says. “If we believe if we are innovative in different sectors, from start-ups to multinationals, to the way we apply innovation in education – we’ll be the economy that we want to be." n For more information: w: dublinglobe.com / startupdublin.com September 2016 Business & Finance
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES
RICHARD O’DWYER Regional manager, Hiscox. Q. What was your first job? I worked behind the bar in a golf club. I started this job at the age of 16 and it was part-time. The job was a very enjoyable and I worked my way up to assistant bar manager within three years. Working in a golf club gave me a very early understanding of relationships and how important it is to know your customer. Q. What’s your greatest achievement? In a business context it would be winning Underwriter of the Year 2013 for Hiscox UK & Ireland. At the time I was a development underwriter and was voted the number one underwriter in the business across the UK & Ireland business. This was awarded for success as both an underwriter and a salesperson. Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Value your time. It is important to ensure that when you are working it is of benefit to you and your business. Essentially, this means don’t give timewasters any time; deal with those who will work with you for mutual benefits.
Q. How do you define success? Health, happiness, comfort. Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff? Celebrating success is key. Always keeping the environment fun, not focusing on small things and encouraging performance by coaching the team and showing them the future rewards of good performance. Q. How do you relax? Spending time with family and friends, holidays in the sun with nice food and a good book or watching a good box set.
Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why? Richard Branson. He is always willing to push himself and his business to the limit; never afraid to try new things and always looking to evolve the business. It would be very enjoyable working for such a diverse business and always considering what the next step is going to be.
Q. What’s your motto? Treat everyone as an equal. Q. What are your aspirations? Since I joined Hiscox in Ireland in 2010 it has grown threefold. We want to continue our fast-paced profitable growth and secure our position as the number one specialist insurer in Ireland. We have a young, hungry and dynamic workforce: I want us to stand out as the insurer that the best young talent in this country aspire to work for. n
... deal with those who will work with you for mutual benefits Hiscox are global leaders in technology, media and cyber risk insurances and work with a limited specialist panel of brokers to deliver these solutions. Regional manager Richard O’Dwyer is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Hiscox in Ireland, which involves the 48
DAY IN, DAY OUT
development of a group of underwriters, broker relationships and growth of the account.
Hiscox works with Irish brokers to provide home insurance and commercial insurance for professional businesses across the island of Ireland. The company has a strong financial rating and has received an A rating from A.M Best and an A+ rating from Fitch.
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES
Print’s charming Georgina Heffernan on why printing in a digital age isn’t so out of touch with the modern artistic zeitgeist.
espite the constant ringing of the death knell for print, amid the clamour of the ever-crowded digital market, readers are not leaving the print world in their droves for the allure of scroll, tap and click. Vogue sells 192,763 print copies compared to 8,314 digital ones; Good Housekeeping 410,981 compared to 3,561. Here in Ireland the newspaper of record, The Irish Times, has a circulation of 76,000 with a readership of 317,000 – compared to 427,000 for both print and digital. While it’s true that people are used to getting free content online, advertisers are finding that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make money from digital editions. People go online to get breaking news – and the web is fantastic for that, but would you really want to read a ten-page feature story online? The mystique of a magazine is also something that cannot be translated through the screen, and the beauty of a well-designed double-page spread is something that works in print alone. This is something that advertisers intrinsically understand; it’s known as ‘the presenter effect’. Show a picture of a designer dress in a newspaper and people will perceive that it is worth at least €100 less than the same dress presented on the pages of a glossy magazine. Environment is everything.
Georgina Heffernan, editor, Magpie
There is a huge element of treat that goes with buying a high-quality magazine
SCREEN JUNKIES One of the downsides of the digital age is that we spend a lot more time staring at the screen on one electronic device or another. In many cases, too much time. You wake up and before you’ve had even a sip of your morning coffee you’ve probably checked your smartphone, scrolled through your Twitter or checked the newsfeed on Facebook. You go to the office and spend the day looking at your computer. In the evening you’ll probably be dual-screening, watching TV while absentmindedly flicking through websites on your iPad. I think it’s time that we reached for the off button – and the printed word is a welcome relief from the pixellated world we find ourselves in. My business partner Deirdre Fitzpatrick and I firmly believe that just as people will continue to read books, they will continue to read magazines. We both fell in love with magazines long ago, as much for the smell of the ink as the content and format. We have heard so much ‘expert opinion’ on how glossy magazines are an endangered species, but luxury magazines are actually one of the few sectors that have proved to be immune to the downturn. The reason they are enduring is that they are very difficult to replicate. You can find the information you want on a website – and sometimes that’s all you want – but there is a huge element of treat that goes with buying a high-quality magazine. SENSORY EXPERIENCE I know of nothing more voluptuous than sitting with bright pictures upon my lap and turning the beautifully designed pages of a magazine. I love the feel of the paper, the smell of the ink, the way the pages lay perfectly flat against one another, the sharpness of the corners, and the very touch of its smooth cover. For me, it’s the ultimate ‘me time’ and a welcome escape from our increasingly digitised culture. Digital may be a great place to go for a quick update or to catch up with the headlines, but who wants to read a long-form article online? Digital is designed to be quick and convenient. Print is desirable for its detail and depth. For now – just like the theories that the advent of video would ‘kill the radio star’ and that TV would spell an end to cinema – despite the seemingly unstoppable rise of digital magazines, there is still a huge demand for print. According to Magazines Ireland, the sustained demand for print is against a backdrop of growth across digital channels. Digital editions of magazines provide new and exciting September 2016 Business & Finance
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES environments for more interactive advertising and live events continue to grow. In the reality of the modern publishing environment there is a demand for more and better content, and this demand needs to be met with limited resources. Remaining competitive and keeping up with developments in the industry is essential for success in the magazine world.
THE ALLURE OF PRINT So what now for print and digital? And why does it have to be an all-or-nothing deal? The two forms don’t have to be mutually exclusive: each can coexist in the publishing world, each providing a complementary offering, fulfilling the needs of readers at a particular place and time. I see a beautiful image-led print magazine as an intimate indulgence to be enjoyed while snuggling up on the couch with a glass of wine or a shared experience with friends over a cup of coffee, while digital is more suited to those timeto-kill moments, a journey to work on the train or a quick news update over breakfast. Digital does not have to mean a move away
AT A GLANCE – THE IRISH MAGAZINE MARKET Despite rising costs in paper, print, distribution and postal rates, and the intense competition from imported titles on the newsstand, the latest ABC figures show that Irish magazines are doing well. • Seven out of 10 people in Ireland buy a magazine regularly • 2.5 million adults in Ireland have read a magazine in the last month • Irish magazines outsell their UK counterparts in every category • 77% of women have read a magazine in the last month • 60% of men have read a magazine in the last month • 81% of women under 35 years have read a magazine in the last month.
Source: Magazines Ireland
from print. Print is not on its way out. Far from it: for magazine lovers and editors alike, we see print as having a very bright future. n
Despite the seemingly unstoppable rise of digital magazines, there is still a huge demand for print
About the author: Georgina Heffernan is editor and founder of Magpie magazine, a recent success story from the hit RTÉ One business series ‘Dragons’ Den’. Heffernan has been working at the forefront of the fashion industry in Ireland for over a decade. Stylist, columnist, features writer and TV presenter, her well-honed skills have appeared on the pages of virtually every fashion magazine.
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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Joanne Hession speaks with Colin White about helping to provide new enterprises with the training to do better, smarter and more successful business.
She bangs the drums
ade up of serial entrepreneurs, firsttime entrepreneurial teams, investors, agencies and institutions, Ireland’s dynamic start-up scene is flourishing. Over $300m in funding was secured by Dublinbased start-ups in 2015, and exciting regional multi-sector developments have also taken place in recent times. However, Ireland wasn’t always a force in the start-up space, as an early morning discussion with portfolio entrepreneur and education enthusiast Joanne Hession reveals at the Entrepreneurs Academy in Smithfield, Dublin. Hession, a recognised leader in training and business development, was destined for a life in business from a young age. “I always wanted to start my own business. I was the one doing the jumble sales out the front garden. I loved the idea of business,” she says. After obtaining a BComm and MBS at UCD, opportunities were not plentiful in an earlynineties Dublin far from awash with jobs. An accountancy role with Ernst & Young, followed by a role managing UCD’s MBS programme, kept Hession active for a time – but the young gogetter from Dublin craved a new challenge. “I was a bit disillusioned by the scene in Dublin at the time. Everybody was working in the corporate world, and everything was about how much money was being made, which didn’t sit very well with me,” says Hession. The 25-year-old applied to the Concern charity and soon found herself at the RwandanTanzanian border after the Rwandan civil war, positioned in the post-emergency field in Concern-managed refugee camps. “We were allowed to set up primary schools for the kids. The situation was really dire. We were meeting families at the border of Tanzania who had nothing. You were meeting kids who had lost their whole family,” she adds. “But in the Concern-built schools we set up, there was a sense of hope and I fell in love with education there and then.”
MODEST BEGINNINGS Hession’s newfound passion for education, together with a strong desire to set up a 54
Joanne Hession, managing director, Entrepreneurs Academy
We’d love to see 10,000 new businesses started by 2025, and that internally is what our goal is here
business, cumulated in the foundation of the Entrepreneurs Academy upon her return to Ireland. “At the time, there weren’t a lot of courses teaching people how to start their own business, and I found the ones already in existence very theoretical and – in my opinion – didn’t offer the practical tools necessary. “I worked out of my parents’ TV room at the beginning,” Hession laughs upon recalling the early stage of the business. “After we moved into an office space, we quickly began training nationwide. Wherever we could win contracts, we were delivering them throughout the country.”
THE CREATIVE CORRIDOR Since its inception, the Entrepreneurs Academy has trained thousands of entrepreneurs and for nearly two decades has supported the growth of small businesses. The academy’s core values are around maximising people’s potential and continuous learning. Last year, Hession and the Entrepreneurs Academy used the office space in Smithfield to bring 300 long-term unemployed individuals through a practical entrepreneurship programme. The continued expansion of the organisation’s training programmes has led to the venue becoming a permanent one for Hession and her ever-growing team.
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Hession notes: “We’ve got nine people that are employed by the academy and we have a panel of 30 contract trainers on the various programmes. We also have a separate business that does consultancy with universities overseas across 12 countries. “We’re all about learning. We run everything from one-day boot camps to six-month full-time training programmes. The academy is more than a training company; we are a nationwide movement on track to change the face of small business in Ireland.” But it’s not just The Pale that benefits from her organisation’s strategy, as education is also delivered nationwide – with plans afoot to expand internationally. “We operate all over the country, from Dublin to Cork to Donegal. We’ve just taken on a big creative corridor programme, which is going to run all down the south-east with the LEOs in five counties,” Hession enthuses. “We’ve started to get enquiries from two countries about sending students to the academy. We plan to teach practical entrepreneurship to the first set of students over the next semester.”
PRACTICAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP Although tech has been the buzzword in the start-up scene over recent times, Hession identifies a deeper pool of talent in Ireland at present. “When people think ‘start-ups’, they tend to think tech. The tech start-up community has become really vibrant these last few years, which is great. But I’m also banging the drum for all those other start-ups. For instance, self-employed freelance journalists or photographers who have a tech underbelly, but who also need to build their business.” When asked about obtaining funding and the common stumbling blocks that many Irish entrepreneurs face, Hession points to fine-tuning the concept before bringing to market. “It’s actually very easy to start a business in Ireland; there’s not a lot of red tape. The truth of it is that if you’ve got a really good business idea, you’ll get the finance,” she says. “A common problem is a lack of the right business idea. What we do is help individuals in this regard so they have a better case to obtain finance. You might think you’ve got a great idea, but is it going to bring in sales? Many start-ups don’t pay enough attention to sales growth. I’d also advise conducting as much market research as possible; getting out there and finding out what’s required is really vital.”
The tech start-up community has become really vibrant these last few years … but I’m also banging the drum for all those other start-ups
LONGING FOR SPRING Another of Hession’s roles is to advise the Government on SME policy, and she and her team consults with corporations and a host of agencies to help them to better connect with small business customers. Furthermore, as part of a new partnership with Springboard+, the Entrepreneurs Academy has offered 100 places on two of its 12-week courses, the first of which commenced in September, with the second taking place in January 2017. Both courses will be fully funded through the Springboard+ Initiative, supported by the Higher Education Authority, and are free of charge and eligible to those who are unemployed. FUTURE REFLECTIONS Looking to the future, Hession is visibly optimistic about the academy’s prospects to nurture an evergrowing number of entrepreneurs and she is proud of the academy’s work to date. “It’s been a real privilege to watch participants on the programmes develop. It’s amazing to see people go from a stage of unemployment to a stage where they have their own business. It’s such a seachange for them and their families. We’d love to see 10,000 new businesses started by 2025, and that internally is what our goal is here.” Before I bid farewell to the co-author of Don’t Get A Job, Build A Business, I ponder her thoughts on the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. “Small businesses will immediately have to look at how can they increase their margin in the UK. Can they move some things to the UK so that they pay sterling for what they’re doing? What else can they do to add value? It’s the ones that react smartest which will thrive. “Of course, there are also opportunities, as Ireland is now the only English-speaking country in the EU, but we’re in a precarious situation. “What usually happens is that each small business will just put their thinking caps on and put their heads down and just work it out for themselves. “Because that’s what we all do all the time. If you sit back waiting for somebody else to do something, it’s just not going to happen. You’ve just got to do it yourself, and that’s exactly what they’re doing at the moment. They are twisting their businesses, moving their business models and seeing what they can do. And with that, opportunity always comes.” n For more information: w: entrepreneursacademy.ie / springboardcourses.ie September 2016 Business & Finance
Thursday, December 15th, 2016 The Convention Centre Dublin
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GLOBAL IRISH OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN BUSINESS
42nd ANNUAL GALA DINNER Celebrating A History of Irish Business Recognising 100 Great Irish Companies Thursday, December 15th, 2016 The Convention Centre Dublin
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SPOTLIGHT: TECH 100
Tech it to the limit Ireland’s reputation as a centre for tech has grown ever stronger over the past 12 months as both multinationals and indigenous organisations continue to innovate.
tional reputation as a leader in ICT as many tech companies with Irish operations expand into the cloud. Ireland has also become an ideal location for companies looking to develop their Internet of Things products and services.
HUB OF ACTIVITY Ireland is currently pursuing a strategy focused on becoming a major investment hub for cleantech and we are, arguably the ‘internet capital of Europe’. With the top 10 global internet-based companies located here, it is an exciting area. In the cloud computing sector, the country has built on its interna-
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES The Business & Finance Tech 100 edition showcases the best and the brightest of Ireland’s tech scene, including a definitive guide to the top-performing tech companies across the island of Ireland, as well as insightful opinion pieces from industry experts. Although global organisations feature predominantly on the list, so too do Irish tech firms who are showing continued growth and expansion both nationally and internationally. These leading Irish tech players are expected to continue to grow substantially in the future, helping to retain and embed existing multinational companies further in Irish business and at the same time attracting new ones. The significant opportunities being generated, as well as the contribution and commitment that top tech companies have made to the Irish economy, is a clear indication of the strength and performance across Ireland’s innovation landscape. The Irish economy contains an impressive spectrum of big data crunchers and server farms, social media giants and app publishers. Further reinforcement of the growth, potential and future of Ireland’s tech industry is evidenced by the level of investment and job creation from global tech giants. And long may it continue. n
ech is undoubtedly the sexiest sector in business right now. There are few areas of the economy as fascinating, and none that have captured the public’s imagination so completely. We live in a digital world in which technology has had a revolutionary impact on how people socialise and work. Ireland has embraced a tech scene that has brought a new cultural element to the our shores. Our talented workforce, generous tax rate and sense of culture – not to mention fun – makes Ireland a favourable location for foreign direct investment. We all know that the Silicon Docks is home to many of the biggest names in world technology. But our influence spreads further than that, as a burgeoning start-up scene continues to strive towards greatness. While Ireland has a world-renowned multinational sector, indigenous start-ups are making waves in areas like SaaS, social media, e-commerce, mobile, education, financial, health, music and game technology. Skilled science and technology graduates fuel Ireland’s internet sector and Ireland has become an internationally recognised centre for tech talent.
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TECH 100 * 3D4 MEDICAL Established in Ireland: 2004 Founder/CEO: John Moore Medical education has come a long way from dissecting cadavers and lugging around enormous anatomy books, and Dublin-based 3d4 is at the cutting edge of new technology in the field. They develop hugely popular 3d anatomy apps such as Complete Anatomy, and its products have been downloaded millions of times, topped the App Store charts for months on end and appeared in iPad commercials. Founded by CEO John Moore and director of business development, Niall Johnston, the company is headquartered in Dublin’s Ballsbridge. Earlier this year it announced the creation of 70 new highly skilled jobs over the next 18 months, including software developers, 3D graphic artists, medical writers and experts. Malin PLC bought a 38% stake in the company last year, for $16.4m.
* ABTRAN Established in Ireland: 1997 Head of Irish operations: Michael Fitzgerald, CEO Irish customer business process management company Abtran announced a new contract with Sky Ireland earlier this year, adding 130 new jobs in Cork to the 2,000 or so it employs in Ireland. Meanwhile, in November, the company secured investment from Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, as CEO Michael Fitzgerald explained. “CCI is the largest equity investment fund in the Irish market and brings extensive local and international experience to Abtran which will be of significant strategic benefit to us in the future. Abtran is continuing its successful growth and development including major investments in facilities, technologies, skills and resources. We are also growing our IFSC-based Consulting and Technology Services Division, which forms an important part of our future. The CCI investment provides access to capital which will underpin a strategic and structured growth programme and will also ensure continuing long term career development opportunities for our people,” he said.
With its international headquarters in Dublin’s IFSC, Afilias is the world’s second-largest domain name registry. Boasting over 20m names under management, it also has sales offices in London and Vancouver as well as footprints in Toronto, Philadelphia and New Delhi. Having launched the hugely successful .info TLD in 2001, a vast range of domain options are now available, and the company recently began offering domains such as .pro, .bet, .pet, .promo, .green, .archi, .bio and .ski. Meanwhile, recent research from the company’s DeviceAtlas mobile device intelligence supplier has revealed that bots and crawlers may represent up to 50% of web traffic today.
* AGILE NETWORKS Established in Ireland: 2011 Head of Irish operations: Darragh Richardson, managing director Agile Networks is Ireland’s largest independent network integrator. The firm works with over 100 of the best-known companies in Ireland across 1,600 sites – every day over 1.8m people use networks supported by Agile Networks, including 60 of the best-known companies in Ireland. The company recently announced its 2015 results, headlined by a 25% jump in revenues for the year: revenues have grown from under €1m to over €9.2m today. “We are very pleased with our performance and to have achieved a higher than forecasted growth rate of 25% means that we’re now the biggest independent network integrator in the country,” said managing director Darragh Richardson. “This impressive growth was mainly driven by demand for design, build, and support services which grew by 42% over the previous year. We offer our customers a unique ‘focal engineer’ model which is a significant move away from the traditional ‘break/fix’ model of support. This model offers a much more proactive managed service and it is this shift that appeals to our customers.”
* ACI WORLDWIDE Established in Ireland: 2006 US giant ACI supports electronic payments for over 5,000 organisations around the globe and over 1,000 of the largest financial institutions, with a reported $14tn being processed every day. The company’s Irish footprint comes in the form of its Software Development Centre in Castletroy, Co. Limerick, where it announced the opening of the company’s largest data centre in Europe in November. Three years ago, the company announced 60 new jobs for the Limerick site. “We made the decision to expand our Limerick facility in recognition of the success of our existing software development centre,” said Tony Scotto, EVP of development for ACI at the time. “This expansion is in response to our growing need to attract more top talent in order to meet the global demand for our products and services. Ireland offers a pro-business environment and a strong calibre of technology professionals to enable us to grow our business.”
* AFILIAS Established in Ireland: 2000 Head of Irish operations: Eileen O’Sullivan, chief financial and operating officer 58
* AIRBNB Established in Ireland: 2013 Head of Irish operations: Aisling Hassell, global head of CX One of the highest-profile and quickest-growing high-tech multinationals in Ireland today, Airbnb is a fiendishly simple system that allows people to rent out their spare room or their house if they’re not in use. Over 60m holidaymakers have been paired up with over two million listed premises in more than 191 countries and 34,000 cities. This year the company celebrated the opening of its second office in Dublin: it now employs 445 staff of 46 nationalities and 18 languages. The new office is its new international hub, the second-largest worldwide, a base for its customer experience functions and a space with which to host Airbnb events.
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TECH 100 * AMATECH Established in Ireland: 2007
* AMDOCS Established in Ireland: 2008
Head of Irish operations: David Finn, CEO
Head of Irish operations: Eli Tuson, managing director, Europe
Founded by David Finn in 2007, AmaTech’s setup is divided between its Spiddal, Co. Galway inlay manufacturing facility, and a machine engineering factory in Füssen, Bavaria. The company designs and builds manufacturing systems for smartcards, with numerous applications for banking, transport, security and identification. Radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs) are now becoming increasingly familiar, cropping up in the likes of credit, debit and Leap cards, but in fact contactless payment systems were invented by Finn in 1996. The company recently announced plans to expand its smart jewellery range in the PayWear space, with Ulster Bank financing assets for manufacturing equipment in a sale and leaseback agreement worth €850,000. “We are delighted to be expanding our Galway-based business through smarter financing,” said AmaTech CEO David Finn. “Innovation is a cornerstone of our company – we have developed technology that allows people to buy things with their bracelets and watches. So when Ulster Bank took an interest in understanding what we do and offered us innovative finance solutions, we were delighted.”
Israeli multinational customer experience systems firm Amdocs provides software and services for the communications, media and entertainment industry. With $3.6bn in revenue last year, there are customers in over 90 countries and the company employs over 24,000. Business support systems, operational support systems and big data are among the offerings, with a client base that includes players such as AT&T, Vodafone Ireland and eir. It acquired Sandyford-based UCD spin-out ChangingWorlds, a mobile data, search and advertising personalisation firm, for $60m in 2008. This year, it penned a deal with mobile operator Three worth €65m. “Our industry is changing rapidly and in this fast-moving digital world customers expect new services and capabilities at unprecedented speed,” said Eric Updyke, group president of systems integration and operations, Amdocs. “Our software and services will provide Three Ireland with a comprehensive, digital experience solution, leveraging customer data, digital interactions and new engagement channels to capture the world of digital immediacy and rise to a new level of customer experience.”
* AMCS Established in Ireland: 2003 Head of Irish operations: Jimmy Martin, CEO Providing software and vehicle technology solutions for the waste, recycling and resource industry, AMCS software underpins €4bn in revenue, 14,000 vehicles and over 3,000 sites. Headquartered in Limerick, the company has offices and teams in Europe, the USA and Australasia. It is backed by Highland Capital Partners Europe, Investec and Enterprise Ireland, and recently announced a €45m investment led by Insight Venture Partners and including participation from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. “This investment by Insight and ISIF will allow us to accelerate our product development and international growth as we help drive maximum value for our customers by providing them with software solutions and critical data to create efficiency and scalability,” said CEO Jimmy Martin. “Insight brings great experience to developing companies with similar dynamics to those we have at AMCS today. The experience and expertise of the Insight Directors will reinforce the continued support we enjoy from our existing investors, Highland Capital Partners Europe (Highland) and Investec.” The company has come a long way since founders Jimmy Martin and Austin Ryan met in a uniquely Irish way: playing hurling.
* AMAZON Head of Irish operations: Jeff Caselden, general manager In May, worldwide retail household name Amazon announced 500 new jobs in Ireland to be filled across two years. Its Dublin facilities will be recruiting data centre technicians, software engineers and customer support staff. The company also has a facility in Cork. “We have already exceeded our previous talent growth targets for Ireland set in 2014, which is testament to the abundance of expertise we have been able to find in the country,” said Jeff Caselden, Amazon Ireland’s general manager. “We’ve been an active member of the Irish technology community for over a decade now and Ireland’s creative culture and the diverse set of technical skills we’re able to recruit for here, make it an ideal location for our rapidly expanding business. Some of our most exciting creations we have at Amazon stem from the work we do here for our customers.”
* AOL Established in Ireland: 1997 Head of Irish operations: Aengus McClean, head of global operations One of the world’s most recognisable technology firms, the web services company has expanded in recent years to encompass media brands The Huffington Post, Engadget and TechCrunch, as well as a slew of advertising businesses. The company was acquired by Verizon in 2015 for $4.4bn. Based here for nearly 20 years, AOL’s Dublin Development Centre is set up in the Heuston South Quarter development, and works in tandem with other devlopment sites in New York, Dulles, Palo Alto and Frankfurt. AOL Networks’ Irish arm expanded three years ago with the announcement of 40 new jobs in the software engineering sector, a move that Angus McClean noted would “expand our current suite of market-leading products in display advertising into a comprehensive, world-class offering that extends across the whole digital ad ecosystem and will set a benchmark for others to follow.”
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TECH 100 data, intelligence-grade security and services/solutions integration. It operates in four key areas: cyber security, financial crime, communications intelligence and digital transformation. BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has over 4,000 staff in 18 countries across Europe, North/South America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
* BLUEFACE Established in Ireland: 2004 Head of Irish operations: Alan Foy, group CEO
* APPLE Established in Ireland: 1980 Head of Irish operations: Cathy Kearney, vice president, European operations One of the world’s leading consumer brands, Apple attracts attention like no other company. Its pricey Macbooks and iMacs are as-standard in the creative industries, its iPad range continues to lead at the head of the now-crowded tablet space, and its iPhones remain the most sought-after of smartphones. The company sits on a cash pile of somewhere around $200bn, and its loyal customers follow each new product announcement with religious devotion. Apple has long been a key player on Ireland’s FDI scene, setting up on these shores with IDA backing in 1980. The company’s Hollyhill base was the first outside of the US and has evolved through manufacturing and services phases. It now hosts a number of divisions including Apple Sales International, through which all non-US sales are handled, and Apple Distribution International. It’s headed up by the low-profile Cathy Kearney, and late last year the company announced another expansion of its Hollyhill base, adding on new office space and room for 1,000 additional employees by the middle of next year. The tech giant also announced that it is establishing a €1m Ocean Energy Industry Fund with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. “For any company to be located at the same campus for over 30 years is a remarkable thing – that Apple continues to expand at this rate in 2015 is truly exceptional,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland said. “Today’s news follows an announcement by Apple in February of this year where they revealed plans to put an €850 million data centre in Athenry.”
* BAE SYSTEMS APPLIED INTELLIGENCE Head of Irish operations: Kevin Taylor, managing director The Irish arm of the British defence and security giant was built up through the acquisition of Detica in 2008, as well as Irish financial software company Norkom for a reported €217m in 2011. The Dundrumbased operation dropped the Detica monicker in 2014, acquiring commercial cyber-services provider SilverSky the same year. Bae Systems Applied Intelligence serves up solutions to protect and enhance their business operations in a networked world, using big 60
Business communications provider Blueface was founded in 2004 and offers communications-as-a-service for organisations of all sizes. Late last year the company opened its new offices in Dublin’s IFSC, with Blueface set to add 20 staff and bring its roster to 60 employees over two years. “Blueface is driven by innovation and creativity and we are firmly committed to maintaining our IFSC hub as the epicentre of our European expansion,” explained group CEO Alan Foy. “We have expanded our office in the IFSC to include a new Network Operations Centre, customer experience area and R&D lab. Our team is hugely talented and we look forward to welcoming more team members over the next 24 months to be an integral part of the Blueface journey.” The company has further operations in the UK and Italy.
* BT IRELAND Employees in Ireland: 3,000 Head of Irish operations: Shay Walsh, MD A major player in the Irish communications scene, BT has headquarters in Belfast and Dublin, employing around 3,000 people. South of the Border, it is a leader in networked IT services for government and large businesses, and provides wholesale services for clients such as mobile operator 3, Carphone Warehouse and Sky Ireland. Other new business includes Bank of Ireland, Airtricity, Ryanair and EMC. North of the Border, BT is a communications provider to consumers and SMEs. In May, the overarching BT Group announced its results for the year ended 31 March 2016, which saw a 6% increase in revenue (to just shy of £19bn), 5% rise in EBITDA and 9% increase in adjusted profit before tax, to almost £3.4bn. “This has been a landmark year for BT,” said Gavin Patterson, CEO. “We’ve completed our acquisition of EE, the UK’s best 4G mobile network provider, we’ve passed more than 25m premises with fibre and we’ve also delivered a strong financial performance. We’ve met our outlook with our main revenue measure up 2%, the best performance for more than seven years. Our profit before tax was up a healthy 9%. “Customers want to be online wherever they are and we will be there for them. Our multi-billion pound investment plans will see both fibre and 4G reach 95% of the UK and we won’t stop there. The UK is a digital leader and our investment in ultrafast broadband will help it stay ahead. “The integration of EE is going well and we now see the opportunity to deliver more synergies than we originally expected, and at a lower cost. And we’re reorganising our business to better serve customers both in the UK and internationally.”
* CANON Established in Ireland: 1990 Head of Irish operations: Philip Brady, director, head of Canon Ireland Present in Ireland since 1990, Canon has a direct sales presence nationwide for its office products, and sells its consumer range through retailers nationwide. Traditionally focusing on print, the company has broadened its perspective to full document management as a key growth opportunity, as country manager
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TECH 100 Philip Brady told Business & Finance last year. “From an Irish perspective, last year  we were the number one photography brand for volume and value,” said Brady. “Across the whole camera category, Canon grew its market share from 30% to over 40%. In the DLSR category, we increased market share from 52% to nearly 60% in value. This coupled, with our solutions, gives us the most comprehensive offerings to the market. “Given the presence of so many large multinationals in Ireland, it is important from a strategic position that Canon has a presence to service the needs of our global customers. Ireland has returned to being a growing market for Canon and we predict growth by 24% in the next three years.”
* CISCO Established in Ireland: 1999 Head of Irish operations: Adam Grennan, country manager One of the biggest names in networking, Cisco technology underpins an enormous chunk of the technology and traffic that businesses and consumers use every day. The company’s Irish setup consists of two locations: East Point in Dublin, handling sales/marketing/finance, and Oranmore in Co. Galway, where its unified communications R&D centre is based. The latter opened in 2007 and operates in the communication and collaboration software technology space, including enterprise and cloud-enabled desktop, mobile applications, desktop virtualisation and real-time web communications. Irish operations are headed up by Dublin-based veteran Adam Grennan, former head of technical strategy, who was appointed country manager for Cisco in Ireland in March 2012.
* CITRIX Established in Ireland: 1999
Bringing greetings cards into the 21st century at long last, the CleverCards app harnesses social media to create and send highly personalised greetings cards anywhere in the world. Based in Dublin’s Ranelagh, Cleverbug has an office in Silicon Valley and a printing and distribution network around the world, helping to cut down on delivery time. Headed up by seasoned media entrepreneur Kealan Lennon, funding drawn from Delta Partners, angel investors and Lennon himself has led to it being tipped as one of the highest-potential Irish start-ups in the tech space. The app has been featured on The Late Late Show, Newstalk and TV3, as well as tech giants CNET and Techcrunch. Last autumn, Cleverbug did a deal with Vodafone, whose customers will have exclusive access to CleverCards Complete. “Coining the term ‘gifting graph’, the company has built the largest social graph of closest friends and family for 450 million people around the world,” explained Lennon. “While there is immense commercial competition around the obvious, publicly known gifting dates, the gifting market for birthdays and anniversaries at $50bn annually, is larger than Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day combined. Mobile operators around the world increasingly understand how important rich, personalised content is to their strategies. We see Vodafone leading globally in this space, so Cleverbug is excited to enter into this strategic partnership.”
* COGNEX Established in Ireland: 2000 Head of Irish operations: Paul Eyre, director of ID Sales, Cognex Corporation With its headquarters in Massachusetts and offices in over 20 countries, Cognex designs, develops, manufactures and markets machine vision and industrial ID systems: devices that can ‘see’. Cognex barcode readers, machine vision sensors and machine vision systems are used in factories, warehouses and distribution centres around the world. They are important tools on production lines and in the supply chain, where they can detect defects, monitor production, guide assembly robots and track components. The company has sold over 900,000 visionbased products, over $3.5bn, since its foundation in 1981. Cognex’s Irish operations are based in Cork, a new facility that opened in 2008.
* COGNIZANT Established in Ireland: 2002 Head of Irish Operations: Garrett Synnott, general manager
Used by over 400,000 organisations and more than 100m users worldwide, Citrix offers a variety of workspace solutions, including application and desktop virtualisation, enterprise mobility management, file sync and sharing, cloud networking, collaboration and cloud services. The firm’s Dublin setup encompasses a number of business units including sales, global IT operations and a technical support team providing support to partners and users across the EMEA region. The East Point premises has also diversified to cover software development, online content, customer self-help technology, and product and programme activities. “Citrix has been able to find the right sort of talent here in Ireland to expand its business in markets across Europe, Middle East and Africa,” said IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan, announcing new jobs in 2014.
Business process, IT and consulting company Cognizant has revenues of over $12m, recorded a revenue growth of 21% last year, and employs around a quarter of a million people. “Digital is driving a once-in-ageneration shift in how we live, work and play,” as the company explains. “It’s this shift that makes it possible – and necessary – for businesses to radically reshape how they interact and transact with customers and partners, seamlessly connecting the physical with the virtual. Companies that successfully navigate this shift are reimagining and reinventing their businesses, dramatically altering the decades-old – sometimes centuries-old – ways in which they serve their markets.” The New Jersey-headquartered, Nasdaq-listed firm has its Dublin office at Mount Street and is particularly active in banking and financial services, communications, consumer goods, education and utilities, healthcare and information services.
* CLEVERBUG Established in Ireland: 2011
* CONTINUUM Established in Ireland: 2002
Founder/CEO: Kealan Lennon
CEO: Colin Meagle
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TECH 100 In 2015 the Continuum Media Group was formed as a result of the amalgamation of four companies (Continuum, APP.Laud, BXP and Trilabyrinth) to serve as specialist pillars of digital media, operations software and internet services worldwide. With a number of offices in Ireland and the US, the group provides digital strategy services and growth tactics with complete fulfilment capacity for everything from websites to CRM systems, apps to eLearning software. Clients include Volkswagen, Dixons Carphone, Marvel, Kingspan, Zed Candy and Ladbrokes. The Continuum Media Group was established by seasoned media entrepreneur Colin Meagle, who now serves as group CEO. “In the past year we have experienced huge growth and reach due to our convergence and have invested heavily in our infrastructure, our processes and most importantly our staff to ensure that our customer success and satisfaction is at the very centre of our operations,” Meagle told Business & Finance recently. We believe that the application of brilliant digital channels should be the consequence of excellent planning and strategy, and our new structure allows us the reach and capacity to deliver on all fronts for our customers.” 2016 also saw the group initiate a pioneering VR development program as part of their R&D activities with APP.laud. Their work has garnered a large number of major awards in Ireland and the US, including the Kentico Global Website of the Year for Best Customer Success for their work with Carphone Warehouse.
* CYBER RISK INTERNATIONAL CEO: Paul C. Dwyer Cyber Risk International (CRI) delivers its cybersecurity services in four modes: assess, design, transform and sustain. Believing that cybersecurity is a “board imperative”, it offers a full suite of solutions from cyberintelligence through risk assessment to incident response. Earlier this year, CEO Paul C. Dwyer delivered a keynote at the Cyber Leaders’ Lunch in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel, and oudlined his company’s approach. “The term ‘security’ means ‘free from risk’,” he explained. “I suggest therefore the term ‘cyber security’ is a fallacy. How on one hand can the industry say it can make something free from risk, but on the other we have to accept it comes with risk? I believe the answer lies in effective cyber risk management. So how does your organisation go about developing an effective cyber risk strategy?”
* DATAHUG Established in Ireland: 2010 Head of Irish operations: Ray Smith, CEO
* COMTRADE Founded in Ireland: 2001 Head of Irish operations: Dejan Cusic, country manager, Ireland and the UK IT group Comtrade develops end-to-end technology products and solutions, with major bases in Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as eight other countries. Its Irish operations are based in Stillorgan, and the company offers data, systems and telecommunication solutions and services across a variety of sectors. The gaming industry is catered for through a suite of solutions for online, mobile and land-based operators, and the group also pushes its storage management software R&D labs and management packs. The firm was established in 1990 and is home to over 1,500 employees, including more than 1,000 software engineers. Earlier this year the company announced that it has partnered with Ryanair to develop the airline’s myRyanair platform, an application that speeds up the booking process and assists passengers with their journey – a project that took 36,000 developer hours.
* CUBIC TELECOM Established in Ireland: 2005 Head of Irish operations: Barry Napier, CEO Based in Dublin, Cublic Telecom focuses on connectivity for internet of things (IoT) and enterprise customers, embedding its technology into devices at the manufacturing stage. The machine-to-machine connectivity developer has scored success with its cloud-based platform, and the investor list includes Sierra Wireless, ACT Venture Capital, TPS Investment and Enterprise Ireland. Last year was a big one for Cubic Telecom, with news of an €18m investment from Audi and Qualcomm to bring 3G and 4G connectivity into Audi vehicles. That investment has paid off, with the launch of the Audi A3, A4, A5, Q2 and Q7 in 13 European countries earlier this year. “Audi chose Cubic to deliver an end-to-end in-car connectivity solution, fully integrated with the vehicle dashboard and the Audi manufacturing process” said Barry Napier, Cubic CEO. “The Cubic global platform with Over-The-Air (OTA) provisioning enables Audi to sell a standardised connectivity solution globally. Real-time network and software updating are key to meeting Audi’s requirements for a truly premium and continuously improving in-car connectivity experience.”
Datahug was founded in 2010 with the goal of breaking down barriers within businesses in order to better share and leverage business relationships. The company’s mission has been to help sales teams focus on building trust with customers. It provides next-generation sales software that applies data science to a sales team’s existing workflow to increase efficiency, improve predictability and drive revenue. With offices in San Francisco and Dublin and a staff of 50, the company has processed over a billion emails and added more than $100m in revenue for its customers.
* DATALEX Founded in Ireland: 1985 Head of Irish operations: Aidan Brogan, CEO Dublin-headquartered travel software company Datalex’s work underpins over a billion shoppers’ experiences. It works with some of the world’s biggest travel retailers, such as Delta Airlines, JetBlue, Frontier Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, and last year it delivered the high-profile redesign of Aer Lingus’s flagship website. In June of this year the company announced 200 new jobs to be filled over 18 months at its revamped East Point Business Park offices, as well as operations in Beijing, Atlanta and Manchester. “This is an exciting time of growth for our business,” explained CEO Aidan Brogan. “In response to the significant global demand for our digital commerce platform, we are looking for the very best talent to deliver the next evolution of digital travel commerce. We are actively recruiting globally and throughout Ireland for highly skilled senior software developers, architects, analysts, project managers and many other roles.”
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* DATAPAC Established in Ireland: 1982 Head of Irish operations: Patrick Kickham, director One of the country’s largest and most successful ICT solutions and service providers, Datapac has offices in Dublin, Wexford and Belfast. It provides nationwide coverage, supported by its Managed Services and Support Centre, and partners with leading names such as Cisco, Citrix, EMC, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Sophos and VMware. Clients include a cross-section of Irish business life, from Topaz to Glanbia, Smurfit Kappa to Harvey Norman, along with public and third-sector clients. It was recently awarded Sophos’ Irish Partner of the Year for the fourth year running, and became the first Irish company to achieve elite partner status with US data giant Datto. Meanwhile, the company was shortlisted for the Chambers Ireland 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards for its work on Barretstown’s infrastructure.
* DELL Established in Ireland: 1990
creation of 40 jobs that will effectively triple the size of its international studio based in Dublin. Founded in 2012 in Dublin, Digit Gaming is a cross-platform development studio – an international team with collective experience working on some of the world’s most successful game franchises in browser, console, MMO, mobile and social games. “Content is the richest source of value in this industry and we are delighted to have significant opportunity to create a lot of it. We are adding to our team to help us do just that,” said Richard Barnwell, founder and CEO of DIGIT Game Studios. “In addition to Kings of the Realm, we are scaling up our studio to launch an all-new title with iconic, world-leading AAA IP, that has a chance to be huge.”
* DING Established in Ireland: 2005 Founder/CEO: Mark Roden With a belief that mobile phones can change people’s lives, Mark Roden established Ding to enable people from emerging markets working abroad to instantly transfer small values of airtime to friends’ and families’ mobile phones back home. The inspiration for Ding came in 2005 when Roden embarked on developing a technology to enable the instant delivery of top-up to mobile phones anywhere in the world. In August, Ding acquired French-based top-up retailer TransfertCredit, which has over 1,000 merchants. “Because of the technology you have access to in the fintech space, it is easy to get caught up in reimaging your business model – focusing too much on future technology and applications rather than the here and now,” explained Roden. “At Ding we are focussed on cementing our position as the world’s leading international mobile top-up business, on continuing to deliver an unrivalled global product and providing great service to our customers. The acquisition of TransfertCredit is key in implementing this strategy and it gives us further access to the African and Caribbean diaspora in France.”
Head of Irish operations: Niamh Townsend, general manager, Ireland Dell Ireland, part of Dell, is a strategic global hub for sales, services and operations, employing over 2,800 people in Limerick and Dublin. Dell began manufacturing operations in Raheen, Limerick during 1990 with the official opening taking place in 1991. The company now employs over 2,300 in Limerick, Cork and Dublin, and last year it announced the hiring of 60 new R&D jobs in Dublin. “We know that the level of technical talent in Ireland is great and we’re excited to tap into it, augmenting the existing talent that we have here already,” said Dell chief information officer Paul J. Walsh said. “Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone in our plan for Ireland to become a central development hub for Dell’s Innovation Technology team. As a global end to end solutions provider, we have the ability to quickly meet the evolving needs of our customers. The efforts of the IT team in Ireland will serve a critical role in driving our Dell IT innovation efforts and positioning Dell as a true end-to-end IT solutions provider.” This has been a time of transformation for the company ever since the announcement of an agreement to acquire fellow tech giant EMC in a deal worth around $67bn. Michael Dell visited EMC’s Cork base earlier this year.
* DIGIT GAMING Established in Ireland: 2012 Head of Irish operations: Richard Barnwell, founder and CEO In May last year, Ireland’s largest game developer, Digit Gaming, announced an international recruitment drive and the immediate 64
* * DIONA Established in Ireland: 2012 Head of Irish operations: Graham Stubbs, co-founder and CEO Diona was founded in 2012 by Dublin-born Graham Stubbs, Anil Singaraju and John Polakowski. Headquartered in Ireland with offices in Texas, Toronto and India, Diona provides innovative mobility solutions and services to global government health and human services agencies. CFO Adam Fenn was honoured in Business & Finance’s CFO100 earlier this year, and Diona has been recognised as a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme. On that occasion Stubbs said: “When Anil, JP and I founded the company we passionately believed we could build a successful, innovative enterprise mobility solutions and services company focused on helping governments help people. In our wildest dreams, we did not think that Diona would be recognised so quickly.”
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CMO 100 Edition & Event November 2016
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* DISTILLED SCH Established in Ireland: 2011 Head of Irish operations: Eamonn Fallon, CEO July last year was a watershed moment for Distilled Media, as it came together with the Oslo-listed Schibsted Media Group to form Distilled SCH. This brought DoneDeal.ie, Daft.ie and Adverts.ie under the one roof, with Eamonn Fallon becoming CEO of the conglomerate: he and brother Brian Fallon originally founded Daft.ie in 1997 as a part-time project while the younger brother, Brian, was still in school. In 2004 the site’s popularity prompted them to make it a full-time project, which they grew and commercialised for the following four years. In March 2008, Daft.ie bought Property.ie, Ireland’s oldest property website. In August of the same year the brothers took a minority stake in Boards.ie, Ireland’s largest community website. “Joining forces with Schibsted in this venture creates an online advertising business of scale in Ireland with the capability of competing head to head with the international internet majors” said Eamonn of the deal last year. “Our combined reach is currently 650,000 people per day. We look forward to working together with Schibsted, benefitting from their exceptional international experience and insights, to develop and grow this business in Ireland.”
* DROPBOX Established in Ireland: 2013 Established in San Francisco in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, Dropbox is a free cloud storage service allowing over 275m users in over 200 countries to easily access and share documents, photos and videos from anywhere in the world. The Dublin office of Dropbox was established in 2013 and was Dropbox’s first move outside of the US. The Dublin office is focused on supporting and growing the company’s EMEA consumer and business users, and since its establishment in Ireland the company is now serving all of its customers outside of North America via Dropbox Ireland.
This is the logical next stage in our evolution as we establish an identity that better reflects the company that we are today.” The company, which has around 2m customers, announced a major broadband investment earlier this year, as well as the launch of eir Sport following the acquisition of Setanta Sports Ireland. The company’s eir Business offering is a leading provider for SMEs, large corporates and the public sector: it provides the network, portfolio, expertise and commitment to serve business. It provides connectivity to over 90,000 Irish and international businesses and has invested more than €1.5bn in infrastructure – it can call upon the largest engineering force in the country, and has Ireland’s largest dedicated high-speed fibre network. Bill Archer has been managing director of eir Business since 2014. He previously had an extensive career at multinational telecoms giant AT&T, where he was most recently president of advanced solutions.
* EMC Established in Ireland: 1988 Head of Irish operations: Bob Savage, vice president and managing director, Ireland EMC has its 650,000 square-foot International Operations Campus at Ovens, in Co. Cork. With nearly 2,000 people on-site, 25 of the company’s functions are represented by people of 36 nationalities and 26 languages. The facility handles products and services for around 85 countries: it has come a long way since its establishment on six acres with 22 employees in 1988. Earlier this year EMC merged with Dell in a landmark $67bn deal for the global tech industry. “The combination of Dell and EMC creates an enterprise solutions powerhouse bringing our customers industry leading innovation across their entire technology environment,” said Michael Dell. “Our new company will be exceptionally well-positioned for growth in the most strategic areas of next generation IT including digital transformation, softwaredefined data centre, converged infrastructure, hybrid cloud, mobile and security. I truly believe that the combination of EMC and Dell will prove to be a winning combination for our customers, employees, partners and shareholders.” In the wake of the merger, Michael Dell visited the EMC Cork facility in May this year.
* ENGINE YARD Established in Ireland: 2011
* EIR Established in Ireland: 1999
Established in 2006, Engine Yard is a leading cloud application management platform, empowering developers and DevOps to provision, manage, monitor and control applications in the public and private cloud. The company is backed by Benchmark, New Enterprise Associates, Oracle and Amazon. Engine Yard currently serves thousands of customers, ranging from fast-growing web start-ups to large enterprises in 58 countries, and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Portland, Tokyo and Dublin. In 2011, Engine Yard established its EMEA headquarters in Dublin when it acquired Dublin-based PHP PaaS start-up Orchestra. Last year the company acquired OpDemand, the developer of Deis, the first open-source application platform purpose-built for Docker. With the addition of OpDemand, Engine Yard can offer customers more flexibility in application languages.
Head of Irish operations: Richard Moat, CEO Telecoms provider eir’s transformation in the past year has been rapid: around this time last year the company rolled out a new name, logo and high-profile marketing campaign in a €16m effort involving 100 agencies. It rebranded 1,500 vehicles and around 116 stores. We have changed and our customer focus is changing,” explained CEO Richard Moat, who was Business & Finance Business Person of the Month for October 2015. “We are proud of our history and our origins, but the time is right to modernise. Changing our brand is part of that evolution. 66
* ERICSSON Established in Ireland: 1957 Head of Irish operations: Zelia Madigan, managing director Ericsson is the fifth-largest software company in the world and a leader in communications technology and services. The company
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TECH 100 has had a presence in Ireland since 1957 and is one of the country’s leading providers of telecommunications infrastructure and services. Ericsson currently employs around 1,400 people across research and development, global services and sales in two geographical locations, Dublin (telecom and network services) and Athlone (research and software development). Earlier this year, Zelia Madigan replaced Traolach Collins as managing director of Ericsson Ireland, the Trinity College Dublin computer and electronic engineering graduate having joined the firm in 2000.
its second Dublin office and would be hiring up to 200 new employees to provide support for its global operations. This year The Irish Times has reported that sister company Fidelity International has signed two leases on Dublin’s south quays, and plans to move several jobs from Surrey to Dublin.
* FINEOS Established in Ireland: 1993 Head of Irish operations: Michael Kelly, founder and CEO
* FACEBOOK Established in Ireland: 2009 Head of Irish operations: Gareth Lambe, head of Facebook Ireland First established in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, social networking giant Facebook has become one of the world’s most recognised brands within a decade. As of March 2014, Facebook had 1.71 billion monthly active users and reported revenue for 2014 of over $10bn. Facebook established its EMEA headquarters — its largest office outside of the company’s global headquarters in California — in Dublin in 2009 and has made several investments ever since. The latest came this January with the announcement of a €200m data centre facility at Clonee, Co. Meath. “Facebook’s data centers are among the most advanced, energy-efficient facilities in the world, and Clonee will be the latest evolution of our designs,” explained Niall McEntegart, EMEA & APAC data centre operations director. “Like our Fort Worth, Altoona, and Lulea data centers, this location will be run entirely on renewable energy, thanks to the abundant supply of wind energy that already exists in Ireland. This will help us reach our goal of powering 50% of our infrastructure with clean and renewable energy by the end of 2018. Ireland has been Facebook’s international headquarters since 2009, and our new data center will continue Facebook’s significant investment in the country and in Europe. This project will bring hundreds of new construction jobs, dozens of new long-term operations jobs, and hundreds of millions of euros in new investment to Ireland. We’ve already started construction on the site and expect it to come online in late 2017 or early 2018.”
* FIDELITY Established in Ireland: 1996 Head of Irish operations: Sandeep Suri, general manager and country head Fidelity Investments is an international provider of financial services and investment resources and solutions for individuals and institutions. Fidelity has its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts and has offices in most major cities in the world. Fidelity Investments Ireland was established in 1996 as the organisation’s European offshore development centre. Since then it has continued to expand and invest in its Irish operations in Dublin and Galway, currently employing around 1,000 people. In 2014 the company announced it was opening
Michael Kelly is founder and CEO of FINEOS Corporation, a privately funded Dublin-based global provider of enterprise software solutions for the financial services industry. FINEOS is one of Ireland’s greatest software success stories, and since its establishment in 1993 it has grown to become a leading provider of group and individual software solutions for the global life, accident and health insurance industry. Its clients include the top companies in the world inlcuding eight of the top 20 life, accident and health insurance carriers in the US. The company won numerous awards and accolades, one of which was Kelly’s selection as the Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001. This year the company has announced a new partnership with enterprise customer communications firm Smart Communications in the insurance sector, as well as launching its new FINEOS Claims FastTrack product, allowing insurers to get up and running on FINEOS’s systems within 60 days.
* FIREEYE Established in Ireland: 2013 Head of Irish operations: Mark Hegarty, International Controller In 2013 FireEye, a provider of software protection against web and email next-generation security threats, announced it was establishing its EMEA technical support centre in Cork, creating 150 new jobs. A year later, the security software provider acquired Mandiant in a deal worth an estimated $1.05bn, and also announced it would be doubling its workforce in Ireland. Initially FireEye’s Irish operations were focused on tech support. However, the tech firm saw greater opportunities and is continuing to scale up its business in Ireland.
* FIRST DERIVATIVES Established in Ireland: 1996 Head of Irish operations: Brian Conlon, CEO
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TECH 100 First Derivatives is a leading provider of products and consulting services to the capital markets industry. Focused on financial institutions that work cross-asset, often with multi-system and/ or high-volume trading activities, the company scopes, designs, develops, implements and supports a broad range of mission-critical data and trading systems across front, middle and back-office operations. Incorporated in 1996, First Derivatives has served the capital markets industry ever since. A publicly held company, trading on the London Stock Exchange and Irish Stock Exchange, First Derivatives is headquartered in Newry, where it has established its research and development centre, its Capital Markets Competency Centre and its near-shore support facilities. The company has continued to expand its service offering and now has operational bases in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia servicing its global client base, and now employs over 1,000 people worldwide. In May, the company announced financial results that saw revenues leap by 41% to £117m, with First Derivatives acquiring Affinity Systems and ActivateClinets along the way.
Fujitsu is among the top five IT solutions providers in Ireland, offering a full portfolio of IT products, solutions and services to the public and private sector. It is the largest Japanese employer in Ireland, with over 800 employed here, and its R&D functions in Ireland focus on two areas: big data and healthcare sensor technology. The company’s client list includes Aer Lingus, Airtricity, the Dublin Airport Authority, ESB, Road Safety Authority, Telefonica, the Courts Service, the Institute of Art and Design Dun Laoghaire, and Topaz.
* FUND RECS Established in Ireland: 2013 Head of Irish operations: Alan Meaney, CEO & cofounder Fund Recs was founded in 2013 when the company founders were approached by a large bank to develop a new reconciliation platform for its fund administration unit. With over 25 years’ operational and technology experience between them, the company launched VELOCITY – a platform that enables fund administrators to process valuations faster and with greater insights. Fund Recs has offices in Dublin and Waterford, and continues to expand through partnership and investment. This year it was named as European Startup of the Year at the ICT Spring Conference in Luxembourg. “Our research team based in Arclabs Research and Innovation Centre in Waterford are developing real solutions to real client problems and this award is a testament to the progress we’ve made over the last 18 months,” said CEO Alan Meaney.
* FÓNUA Established in Ireland: 1997 Head of Irish operations: Fergus De Burca, managing director Fónua was founded in Ireland in 1997 and provides solutions for the mobile telecommunications and consumer electronics industries. With annual turnover exceeding €300m, Fónua ranks in the top 250 companies in Ireland. Customers include blue chip multinational teleco companies as well as major multiples such as Tesco, DSG, HMV, Carphone Warehouse and Harvey Norman. Fergus De Burca joined Fónua in 2000 and became managing director in 2008 following a management buyout headed by chairman Don Maher.
* FUJITSU Established in Ireland: 2009 Head of Irish operations: Tony O’Malley, CEO, Ireland
* GOOGLE Established in Ireland: 2003 Head of Irish operations: Ronan Harris, managing director, Google Ireland The establishment of Google’s EMEA HQ in Dublin’s Barrow Street in 2004 proved to be a pivotal moment for Ireland’s reputation as a tech hub and a great place to do business. With over 6,000 people working at its Irish operations, Dublin is now Google’s largest operation outside of the US, and is growing year-on-year. Google has become the flagship for FDI in Ireland and the reputational benefit of Google’s choice of Dublin as its EMEA headquarters has proven to be of even greater value than the significant employment value itself. In June of this year, Taoiseach Enda Kenny officially opened the tech giant’s €150m data centre in west Dublin, Google’s second in Ireland. “Our 400+-strong engineering team in Ireland have pioneered ‘site reliability engineering’ or SRE, which means developing, building, deploying and maintaining some of the largest software systems in the world, explained Google Ireland engineering lead Terence MacGoff. “This work is what makes it possible for Google Search to deliver thousands of results in an instant; it is what enables millions of Gmails to be sent every second of every day and allows 400 hours of video content to be uploaded seamlessly to YouTube every minute. We’re proud of that fact and are constantly innovating with our customers in mind.”
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TECH 100 and product staff based in Ireland will join Huawei. The news was followed by word of another investment by the Chinese firm, with 50 more people to be hired at its new research and development office at the IFSC in Dublin. “The opening of our newest Dublin facility highlights our long term dedication to investment and opportunities in Ireland’s technology sector,” said Zhou Hong, president, European Research Institute at Huawei. “The facility will tap into Dublin’s growing clusters of cloud and technology businesses, nurturing future talent and providing additional new opportunities for highly-skilled professionals.” The new centre will work in conjunction with Huawei’s other R&D locations in Dublin, Cork and Athlone and will bring the total number working in R&D in Ireland to 120. Huawei’s first Irish R&D centre opened in 2011, in Athlone, and in 2012 the company established a customer experience centre in Cork.
* HEWLETT-PACKARD Established in Ireland: 1975 Head of Enterprise: Martin Murphy, MD Head of HP Inc: Gary Tierney, MD Founded in 1939, Hewlett-Packard (HP) is one of the world’s largest technology companies, operating in more than 170 countries globally. Its headquarters is in Palo Alto, California and its portfolio spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. HP Ireland, headquartered in Leixlip, Co. Kildare, runs nine businesses at five sites with over 4,500 employees across the island. The Leixlip facility is a centre of excellence for HP’s large worldwide outsourcing contracts. The company also has operations in Ballybrit, Co. Galway; Clonskeagh, Dublin; and Newtownabbey, Belfast. HP currently employs around 4,000 people here, and has invested over $1bn over the last 20 years. On November 1st 2015, Hewlett Packard split into two separate companies. Hewlett-Packard Enterprise focus is on best-in-class portfolio of server, storage and infrastructure products and services in their enterprise group, Enterprise Services, Software, Cloud, and HP Financial Services. HP Inc. focuses on printing and personal systems that empower people to create, interact and inspire like never before. The strong financial position enables HP Inc to make key investments in growth markets like 3D printing and new computing experiences.
* HUBSPOT Established in Ireland: 2013 Head of Irish operations: Christian Kinnear, managing director Designed to make marketing efficient, effective, and measurable, HubSpot’s all-in-one inbound marketing software is integrated, powerful and intuitive to use. Over 19,000 customers in more than 90 countries use HubSpot’s software, services and expertise to engage with prospects, leads, and customers through social media, blogs, email, landing pages, and more. Originally founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, HubSpot introduced its European headquarters in Dublin in early 2013 to offer support to its 600- plus customers and 100-plus value-added resellers outside the USA/Canada. The company officially opened its new One Dockland Central, Dublin office in April this year, committing to hire a further 320 Dublin-based employees over three years. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate HubSpot’s growth across EMEA than with a commitment to continued growth and the opening of a bigger, better office in Dublin where we can build on the fantastic work has already been achieved,” said JD Sherman, HubSpot president and COO. “HubSpot’s Dublin-based team has been core to so much of the success that we’ve seen as a company around the globe over the last three years and I am so excited for the successes that are yet to come.”
* IBM Established in Ireland: 1956 * HUAWEI Established in Ireland: 2004 Head of Irish operations: Zhao (Frank) Bin, managing director In July last year, global mobile handset and ICT solutions provider Huawei announced it had bought the software technology of Irish company Amartus and that as part of the deal Amartus’s senior team 72
Head of Irish operations: Peter O’Neill, country general manager IBM, the American tech and consulting corporation with headquarters in New York, was founded in 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Company through a merger of three companies. IBM in Ireland is one of the country’s leading providers of advanced technology products, services and expertise. It first opened an office at the Shelbourne Hotel in 1956. Today, IBM Ireland comprises a workforce of over 3,000 employees working across a broad range of businesses and locations. These include IBM Ireland, which has nationwide
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TECH 100 responsibilities for delivering sales, marketing and services across the Irish market; a technology campus in Mulhuddart, Dublin, which hosts IBM’s globally integrated international missions and delivers services, manufacturing, research and software development together with laboratories in Cork and Galway for the world market; and IBM’s European sales and services support centre based in Blanchardstown, Dublin, which delivers to the European market.
* ICONIC Established in Ireland: 2013 Head of Irish operations: John Tinsley, co-founder & CEO Iconic Translation Machines is a leading Irish translation software company, successfully securing €400,000 in funding last year that led to the creation of 15 new jobs in their headquarters in Glasnevin, Dublin. The company provides cloud-based translation solutions to language service and translation companies and targets a language industry that is worth in excess of €37bn annually. Its flagship product automates the translation of intellectual property documents. Founded in 2013 by Dr John Tinsley and Dr Páraic Sheridan, Iconic’s advanced proprietary technology was born from almost a decade of research and development at the CNGL Centre at Dublin City University, developing a unique approach to machine translation for highly specialist and technical domains.
* INDEED Established in Ireland: 2012 Head of Irish operations: Gerard Murnaghan, vice president of Sales, EMEA Indeed, one of the world’s leading search engines for jobs, launched in Ireland in 2012 with the opening of its EMEA headquarters. The Dublinbased headquarters comprises functions such as sales, client services, business development, finance and operations. The recruitment website initially employed a team of 50 but quickly grew to 230 employees. Last year plans were announced to expand further, with the addition of 300 jobs over the next few years. Indeed now operates in over 60 countries worldwide after having launched in eight new countries this year, bringing the total number of employees to 2,400.
in its 360-acre former stud farm in Leixlip, turning it into the most technologically advanced industrial location in Europe. The campus is one of Intel’s highest-volume manufacturing sites in the world. A $5bn campus upgrade at Leixlip as well as core operations in Shannon and Cork have resulted in a significant recognition of the company’s investment in Ireland. Intel Ireland was awarded the 2015 Business and Finance Award for FDI of the Year. The company now employs 4,500 people across its Irish operations. This includes eight vice-president positions that are occupied by Irish people – the most recent of which being Ann-Marie Holmes, who was appointed in February of this year.
* INTERCOM Established in Ireland: 2011 Head of Irish operations: Ciaran Lee, co-founder and CTO Founded in 2011 by four Irishmen – Eoghan McCabe, Des Traynor, Ciaran Lee and David Barrett – Intercom is a customer communication company that offers simple, personal messaging services for online businesses and their customers. With offices in Dublin and San Francisco, Intercom provides a single, integrated platform for support, marketing, product, sales and communications. The tech firm has been tipped to be Ireland’s next billion-euro company. In April the company closed a new funding round of €44m, totalling €102m in funding since 2011. After doubling its size last year to 250 staff members, Intercom now plans to double again with the further addition of 250 staff members over the next year. The majority of incoming staff will be based in the Dublin office.
* KAINOS GROUP Established in Ireland: 1986 Head of Irish Operations: Dr Brendan Mooney, CEO Kainos was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Belfast. It provides digital technology solutions to more than 140 clients in the healthcare, government and financial services sectors in Europe and the US, with clients including Netflix and the UK National Health Service. Heralded as one of Northern Ireland’s biggest IT success stories, CEO Brendan Mooney was recently awarded an honorary degree for services to business and commerce by Queen’s University. The company closed the financial year ended March 2015 with revenue of £60.8m, extending this figure by more than a quarter to £76.6m in March of this year, reporting an adjusted pre-tax profit of £14.1m.
* KELLTON TECH Established in Ireland: 2016 Head of Irish operations: Gerard Eivers, general manager Europe
* INTEL Established in Ireland: 1989 Head of Irish Operations: Eamonn Sinnott, VP Intel Corporation and general manager, Ireland Since locating its technology campus in Ireland in 1989 and beginning hardware production the following year, Intel has invested over $12.5bn
Kellton Tech is a full-grown software development company, offering IT solutions, strategic technology consulting and product development services. Its customers range from start-ups to Fortune 500-listed forms across a range of industries. The company has offices in the USA and India, and launched its EMEA headquarters in Dublin this year. Globally, the company employs 1,200 with plan to create 100 jobs over a five-year period in its newly established Drogheda-based facility. Gerard Eivers joins Kellton Tech from Novartis, where he held the position of head of vendor operations, previously working at The OR, Arvato FS, Microsoft and Meridian.
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TECH 100 * KEMP TECHNOLOGIES Established in Ireland: 2011 Head of Irish operations: Marguerite O’Grady, general manager, EMEA Headquartered in New York with significant operations in Limerick, Munich and Singapore, KEMP Technologies is a leading provider of load balancers and application delivery controllers, enabling clients to optimise their e-commerce and online traffic capabilities such as online banking, email, web and cloud-based applications. Established in 2000, KEMP has had a presence in Ireland since 2011 when it opened its EMEA headquarters in Limerick. The company has a total workforce of 80 in its Limerick office. From the EMEA headquarters, the company is now exporting into emerging markets such as Japan, Russia, India, China and South Africa and works with clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to SMEs and public sector clients.
* KINGSTON TECHNOLOGY Established in Ireland: 1997 Head of Irish Operations: Nick Palmer, planning, logistics and HR Kingston Technology is one of the world’s largest independent manufacturers of memory products for desktops, laptops, servers, printers and flash memory products for PDAs, mobile phones, digital cameras and MP3 players. Kingston is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, with key operation centres in Europe and Asia. To meet growing demand in Europe and the Middle East, Kingston established its European headquarters in London in 1996. In 1997 Kingston established a strategic turnkey logistics hub in Dublin to support the company’s OEM customers in Europe, and established its Far East facility in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan.
* LINKEDIN Established in Ireland: 2010 Head of Irish operations: John Herlihy, managing director, EMEA LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the internet, with more than 400 million registered users – including executives from every Fortune 500 company – in over 200 countries and territories. John Herlihy, previously the VP of SMB sales and head of Google in Ireland, has taken over as managing director of LinkedIn’s EMEA operations. The company was also recently acquired by Microsoft for $26.2bn. LinkedIn opened an international headquarters in Dublin in 2010 to support the growth of the company’s EMEA operations through a range of activities including marketing, sales, finance and customer service. The company now employs 1,000 people in Ireland, significantly increasing its numbers of employees here in the six years since its establishment. Construction is underway in Dublin city centre for a new international headquarters due to be completed by next year.
log data insight. Logentries monitors, searches and correlates log data in real-time, providing live tail visibility within seconds. All logs pass through a pre-processing engine, tagging and filtering important events in live mode. The company was founded by Trevor Parsons and Viliam Holub in 2010. In 2015 it was acquired by technology firm Rapid7 for $68m. The company now employs about 70 people who are based in their Boston headquarters and Irish R&D facility in Dublin.
* MAGNET Established in Ireland: 2004 Head of Irish operations: Mark Kellett, CEO Established in Ireland in 2004, Magnet Networks is a telecoms company providing phone and broadband services to residential and business customers. The company is owned by Colombia Ventures Corporation, with offices in Dublin, Galway, London and India. Magnet has invested over €120m in Ireland to create its own advanced network, and its next-generation service is delivered through an extensive fibre optic network. The company is now the country’s third-largest provider of business telecoms after acquiring the Irish retail division of Imagine Communications Group. Following the deal, the Magnet Business division now has 11,000 SMEs and corporate customers. The acquisition has also resulted in an increase to 95 employees.
* MCOR TECHNOLOGIES Established in Ireland: 2005 Head of Irish operations: Conor MacCormack, cofounder and CEO Mcor Technologies is an innovative manufacturer of the world’s most affordable full-colour, safe and eco-friendly 3D printers. They are the only 3D printers to use ordinary business A4/letter paper as they build material. Mcor Technologies was formed by brothers Dr Conor MacCormack and Fintan MacCormack. They wanted to create a set of accessible tools based on selective deposition lamination (SDL) technology that would provide the freedom to innovate in an unlimited way. Their journey started in 2005 with the vision of a future in which everyone can easily turn their ideas into low-cost, full-colour, safe and eco-friendly 3D objects. Mcor’s award-winning products now form part of a patent portfolio of over 40 patents. Earlier this year, the company unveiled the world’s first colour 3D desktop printer, the Mcor ARKe, which is priced at €8,995 MSRP.
* LOGENTRIES Established in Ireland: 2010 Head of Irish operations: Trevor Parsons, chief scientist and co-founder Logentries aims to eliminate the complexity of managing applications and systems in today’s distributed environments, delivering valuable
* MICROSOFT Established in Ireland: 1985 Head of Irish operations: Cathriona Hallahan, managing director, Ireland
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TECH 100 Microsoft recently acquired LinkedIn for $26.2bn in its largest deal ever, a landmark for the industry. In Ireland, the tech giant is currently building a €134m campus-style building at the South County Business Park in Leopardstown to house its 1,200 Dublinbased staff. “Our new colleagues will have an opportunity to influence how this vision is delivered for customers across the globe, explained Cathriona Hallahan, managing director, Ireland. “Microsoft in Ireland is a global hub for many parts of our operations and development teams. That means that there are great career opportunities for people.” The company has also announced plans for a three-year construction project in Clondalkin that will require as much as €900m in investment. The project will see the construction of four more data centres and the creation of 140 jobs. These will be located at Grange Castle, where Microsoft had previously invested €800m in its first data centre outside of the US and the largest of its kind in Europe.
* MRP Established in Ireland: 2010 Head of operations: Jack Butler, COO MRP is a global provider of marketing intelligence, software and services enabling clients to gather the insights needed to more effectively sell to their key target markets. The company was established in 2002 by Kevin Cunningham and CMO James Regan. MRP enjoyed success in the US and was later acquired by First Derivatives, a deal led by Cunningham. The company has 12 offices worldwide and serves 100 countries. Cunningham launched MRP in Ireland in 2012 with the opening of a Belfast-based office, which has grown from 20 to 100 employees. Its Irish premises has enabled the company to expand its reach across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia.
* MICRO FOCUS (FORMERLY NOVELL) Established in Ireland: 1995 Micro Focus develops, sells and installs enterprise quality software that is positioned in the operating systems and infrastructure software layers of the IT industry. The past few years have seen big changes at business software firm Novell, which was itself acquired by the Attachmate Group in 2010. In 2014 Attachmate began a merger with FTSE 250-listed Micro Focus, forming one single company that drew in brands such as Novell, NetIQ and Borland. Novell began operating in Ireland in 1995 and based its Dublin Financial Shared Services Centre, supporting all Novell businesses in the EMEA region, in Sandyford. It currently employs 91 people at its Dublin centre.
* MONEYMATE Established in Ireland: 1991 Head of Irish operations: Paul Fawsitt, CEO MoneyMate is a specialist provider of investment product information management services to global asset managers. Headquartered in Dublin, MoneyMate also operates offices in London, New York, Boston, Milan and Stockholm. Since 1991, Moneymate has been working with industry leaders to deliver a range of value-added research and investment data services. The business began in the research area, when it developed quantitative fund data, analysis and reporting tools for the funds industry in Ireland, Italy, Sweden and South Africa. It then went on to develop a range of data management applications to source and validate the data required for the analytics software.
* MOVIDIUS Established in Ireland: 2005 Head of Irish operations: David Moloney, founder and CTO Movidius, a mobile vision processor, develops hardware and software for virtual reality headsets, drones, home automation and other technology. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, California and operates development centres in Dublin and Timisoara, in Romania. Movidius is a venture backed by investors including the AIB Seed Capital Fund, Atlantic Bridge, Capital-E, DFJ Esprit and Robert Bosch Venture Capital. Last year the company raised $40m in funding to make visual sensors for the IoT. It also announced that it would be expanding its Dublin workforce with the recruitment of 100 artificial intelligence experts in the coming year.
* OPENET Established in Ireland: 1999 Head of Irish Operations: Niall Norton, CEO With its headquarters in Dublin, Openet provides high-performance transaction management software and business support systems (BSS) to telecom and media giants such as Meteor, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Bell, Verizon, AT&T and Orange. Over 600m mobile users around the world ultimately depend on the company’s solutions. As one of Ireland’s largest privately-owned technology firms, Openet employs about 680 people at its Dublin headquarters, including more than 200 engineers in its R&D lab and core product development function. The company has witnessed significant growth over the past number of years as profits more than doubled from 2014 to 2015, with similar growth forecasted for this year.
* ORACLE Established in Ireland: 1997 Head of Irish Operations: Paul O’Riordan, VP and head of business intelligence & analytics One of the world’s largest enterprise IT companies, the US giant currently employs 1,400 people in Ireland at its EMEA headquarters at East Point Business Park in Dublin. This base serves countries from Ireland to Saudi Arabia, around one third of Oracle’s total revenue, and the company also operates a Belfast office. Earlier this year Oracle announced its plan for expansion across Europe, the Middle East and Africa following a multi-billion dollar investment in cloud computing. This expansion included the recruitment of 1,400 sales professionals, 450 of which are to be located in Ireland.
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TECH 100 Founded by Corkman Liam Casey, PCH is a major player in Silicon Valley and offers hardware product development and supply chain management systems to clients from multinational giants to startups – and even Neil Young, with his super high-quality Pono music player. In addition to its Cork corporate headquarters, operational headquarters are in the giant manufacturing Shenzen centre in China, along with innovation hubs there and in San Francisco and offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul. The company supplies accessories to Apple, Sony and Samsung, and last year bought e-commerce site fab. com. Casey is regarded as a leader in global technology, and has been profiled by business tech bible Wired, with IrishCentral describing him as “Silicon Valley’s most amazing Irishman”.
* PAYPAL Established in Ireland: 2003 Head of Irish Operations: Louise Phelan, vice president of global operations, EMEA
* PRAMERICA SYSTEMS IRELAND Established in Ireland: 2000 Head of Irish operations: Ciaran Harvey, senior managing director and CIO
Since separating from the eBay group to trade independently on Nasdaq in July last year, PayPal has grown substantially: so far this year it has witnessed a 15% rise in Q2 revenues. PayPal has recently announced a partnership with Visa that will attempt to make credit card and PayPal transactions easier for customers online and in retail locations. The company also hopes to expand its reach by allowing PayPal account holders to withdraw cash with the use of a Visa debit card. PayPal has 188m users worldwide and currently employs over 2,400 people in Ireland. The number it employs in Ireland is set to increase further to 3,000 by 2018 – 1,600 of which will be located in Dublin and 1,400 in Dundalk.
The biggest employer in the north-west of Ireland, Letterkennybased Pramerica is the business and technology arm of $1tn US giant Prudential Financial, for which it provides software and contact centre functions. Pramerica currently employs 1,300 people from 30 different nationalities. In March, Ciaran Harvey was appointed senior managing director and CIO, after having joined the original start-up management team in 2000 when Pramerica was first established. Last year the company announced that 330 jobs will be created over the next three years as it builds a vast, eco-friendly, state-ofthe-art new campus with a potential capacity of 1,800 staff, bringing together employees currently based in four buildings.
* PAYPOINT NETWORK Established in Ireland: 2003
* QUALTRICS Established in Ireland: 2013
Head of Irish operations: Dominic Taylor, CEO Offering a convenient way to pay bills and top up the credit on various utilities, PayPoint is a global name when it comes to energy, telecoms, housing, waste, media, financial services, transport, retail and e-commerce. It has over 28,700 retail sites in the UK and Ireland, and its Irish business took off with the signing of a 2003 deal with the ESB whereby electricity customers could pay their bills or buy tokens at PayPoint outlets, and the company rolled out a new network of agents. There are nearly 600 PayPoint outlets in Ireland, as well as 1,000 outlets in the North, providing services to 100,000 weekly customers.
Head of Irish operations: Dermot Costello, head of sales, EMEA The fast-growing Qualtrics software helps users to collect and analyse customer data and employee insights in order to optimise business operations and sales. It is currently used by over 8,000 of the world’s leading brands and 99 of the top 100 business schools. Last year was a big year for the software-as-a-service insight platform provider, with the official opening of its European HQ in Dublin in May. The opening of the European headquarters means that the company plans to increase the staff of its HQ to 250 by the end of this year.
* QUANTCAST Established in Ireland: 2013 Head of Irish operations: John Lamphiere, director EMEA, corporate sales and operations
* PCH INTERNATIONAL Established in Ireland: 1996 Head of Irish operations: Liam Casey, founder and CEO
Pioneering digital advertising company Quantcast measures audiences and real-time advertising, and has locations across the US and Europe. Acknowledged as one of the top five big data processing organisations in the world, the company collects over a trillion new data records every month, processing 30 petabytes every day for advertisers and media agencies. It established its EMEA operations centre in Dublin in 2013, with 100 jobs to be created over two years in fields such as account management, product operations, marketing and finance. This year has seen the company on the move once again, with a number of acquisitions and new offices.
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TECH 100 VP position in News Corp. “We stole the talented Rahul Chopra from News Corp, and, as Storyful’s CEO, he has all the right skills to guide Storyful to a glorious second act,” Little wrote in the Storyful blog prior to his departure. Headquartered in Dublin, Storyful also has offices in New York, Sydney and Hong Kong. The company remains one of the world’s leading social news and content services.
* SAP Established in Ireland: 1997 Head of Irish operations: Liam Ryan, managing director A worldwide leader in business software, German multinational SAP has almost 300,000 customers in 190 countries, with annual revenue of over €17bn. Its Irish operations are an important cog in the machine, with three sites in Dublin and Galway. Dublin handles global support, inside sales and IT shared services, and is home to SAP Business Objects’ Research and Development Centre, which develops business analytics software for the company’s AppHaus system. Galway, meanwhile, functions as a multilingual service and support centre for SME and multinational customers, covering 29 languages and a staff drawn from 50 nationalities. All in all, SAP operates 41 lines of business in Ireland, and seven of the top 10 Irish PLC companies use SAP solutions.
* SEDICII Established in Ireland: 2013 Head of Irish operations: Rob Leslie, CEO and founder Irish cybersecurity start-up Sedicii secures and anonymises users’ identities: “We’ve been told security comes at the expense of convenience. Sedicii proves you can have world-class security and a great user experience,” as the company explains. Allowing users of a device to safely access all manner of their accounts using only one password, the technology uses the sophisticated zero knowledge proof protocol. Founded by seasoned entrepreneur and electronics engineer Rob Leslie, the company is headquartered at Waterford Institute of Technology. Last year, Sedicii was the only Irish company selected as a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum, and only one of eight from Europe – a prestigious accolade.
* STRIPE Established in Ireland: 2009 Head of Irish operations: Don O’Leary, head of EU operations/Ireland country lead Founded by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison, Stripe is an API that enables developers to easily handle payments online and in mobile apps, a competitor to PayPal (whose original founder, Elon Musk, is an investor). With its headquarters in an old trunk factory in San Francisco, $280m in funding and a client list that includes Twitter, Salesforce and Kickstarter, the company’s valuation is now a hefty $5bn – making it one of Ireland’s most successful start-ups. Stripe already has a presence in 30 countries, accepting payments in over 100 currencies. The companies last funding round was led by Visa and raised $90m, and last year it was also announced that Stripe would be partnering with the credit card company. Its Irish operations are based at the landmark One Building on Grand Canal Street in Dublin.
* SUNGARD AVAILABILITY SERVICES Established in Ireland: 2001 Head of Irish operations: Carmel Owens, general manager, Sungard AS
* STORYFUL Established in Ireland: 2010 Head of Irish Operations: Rahul Chopra, CEO One of the highest-profile Irish digital media success stories, social media news agency Storyful was acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in 2013 for €18m. Following the acquisition, Mark Little left the company but ensured that the future of Storyful would not be compromised. Rahul Chopra was later appointed as CEO of Storyful, having previously held a
Providing information availability through managed IT, cloud and recovery services, Sungard AS is a gateway for US-based organisations seeking to do business in Europe, with data hosted at Sungard AS sites in Ireland. In 2015, the company announced a partnership with data centre solution provider Digital Realty Trust, seeing Sungard AS expand its footprint and create 50 new jobs. The company also works with Fujifilm, providing its private managed cloud, and delivers managed services for Transics. The state-of-the-art Digital Realty campus at Digital Profile Park in Dublin boasts an impressive tier III status, the first such facility in Ireland.
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* SYSNET GLOBAL SOLUTIONS Established in Ireland: 1989
* TOTALMOBILE Established in Ireland: 1985 Head of Irish operations: Jim Darragh, CEO
Head of Irish operations: Gabriel Moynagh, CEO Providing payment card compliance services, compliance validation and merchant intelligence products, Dublin-headquartered Sysnet is an important link between SMEs and financial institutions. It has clients in over 40 countries around the world and offices in London, Atlanta, Hyderabad, Kiev and Cape Town. Sysnet works with the top seven financial organisations in the UK and Ireland, and counts WorldPay, US Bank, Lloyds, Barclays, Walmart and Nationwide Building Society as customers – over 800,000 merchants use the compliance management system that Sysnet developed. Gabriel Moynagh, whose father founded the company in 1989, joined Sysnet in 2005, became general manager in 2009 and CEO in 2012.
* TERADATA Established in Ireland: 2011 Head of Irish operations: Peter Mohan, EMEA regional controller Dealing in big data analytics, marketing applications and data warehousing, the Ohio-headquartered, NYSE-listed company works with some of the world’s biggest brands including 3M, British Airways, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Dell, DHL, eBay and Ford. It has also partnered with Tourism Ireland on marketing campaigns, as well as eir and AIB. Teradata solutions are used in 77 countries. Since its origins in 1979, Teradata has grown to encompass more than 10,000 employees in 43 offices across the world and annual revenues of $2.5bn in 2015 alone. The company’s Dublin base is in Santry.
* THREE Established in Ireland: 2005 Head of Irish operations: Robert Finnegan, CEO, Ireland Now Ireland’s second-largest mobile operator, boasting 35% of the market and more than 2m customers, Three’s operations received a huge boost with the purchase of O2 Ireland in March 2014. Owned by CK Hutchinson Holdings, which employs around 270,000 people in over 50 countries, the Three brand is becoming even more familiar through its sponsorship of the Irish football and rugby teams, not to mention its high-profile rebranding of the former O2 Arena, now the 3Arena. Its head office is in Dublin, with customer care functions in Limerick and a customer service centre in Waterford, as well as 68 retail outlets. Three has recently signed a €65m deal with software solutions providers Amdocs to overhaul and modernise its IT systems over a five-year period.
Helping to enable companies’ employees to work remotely and on the go, the Belfast-based TotalMobile primarily offers solutions to government, healthcare and industry. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is a growth area with the rise of tablets and smartphones, and its 30 years of experience have stood the company in good stead. In recent years TotalMobile has expanded into the USA with the opening of a Massachusetts operation, and counts Allianz, Vodafone and several UK local authorities as customers. This July, former CEO Colin Reid retired and will shortly move to the role of non-executive director. Reid will be replaced by Jim Darragh, the former CMO Compliance CEO, who has over 20 years’ experience in corporate software business.
* TRANSUNION TRUSTEV Established in Ireland: 2013 Head of Irish operations: Pat Phelan, CEO A new era has begun for the former Trustev, co-founded by veteran high-profile entrepreneur Pat Phelan along with CTO Chris Kennedy. Trustev technology prevents fraud online by scanning transactions in real time and judging whether they are genuine – a system they describe as ‘smart blacklisting’. Headquartered in Cork (Phelan being a proud Corkonian), and with a major New York base, the firm landed a number of awards and plaudits from the likes of Forbes, SXSW, the Irish Internet Association, the EU Commission and an Entrepreneur of the Year shortlisting. Last December, Trustev was acquired by Chicago-based TransUnion in a deal worth $44m; $21m up front and $23m more based on reaching certain targets. The deal sees Phelan take up a position as senior vice president for identity solutions at TransUnion.
* TRILOGY TECHNOLOGIES Established in Ireland: 2009 Head of Irish operations: Edel Creely, group managing director Dublin-headquartered IT support firm Trilogy Technologies offers managed services and a full suite of ICT solutions. The company is based at High Street in Dublin city centre. Group managing director Edel Creely (a professionally trained violinist, incidentally) was at the centre of Trilogy’s formation in 2009, with the acquisition of IT Focus and merger with Team DBA. Trilogy acquired B2Lateral in 2014, providing a City of London presence. The acquisition, and opening of its Dublin headquarters, saw the company expand its workforce by 30 positions in Ireland last year. September 2016 Business & Finance
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TECH 100 * VIDDYAD Founder/CEO: Grainne Barron Established in Ireland: 2013
* TWITTER Established in Ireland: 2011 Head of Irish operations: Mark Little, managing director, Ireland One of the biggest names in social media, and touted by some as a force for democracy and transparency in the world today, Twitter needs little introduction. The company announced the opening of its European HQ on Dublin’s Pearse Street in 2011, cited as a huge win on the part of IDA Ireland. Twitter’s Irish operations have multiplied since then. After four and half years as MD of Twitter Ireland, Stephen McIntrye left the company this year to pursue a career in venture capital. Over the past number of years, McIntyre oversaw the growth of Twitter’s Dublin HQ from four employees to 200 across 20 functions. He has been succeeded by the founder and former CEO of Storyful, Mark Little. Little’s media career has been prolific, from his familiar role on RTÉ’s Prime Time to his innovative multimedia startup, also in this year’s Tech 100. Storyful was sold to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for e18m in 2013, and Little’s career changed direction once again. He is now Twitter’s vice president for media partnerships in Europe, as well as managing director of its EMEA HQ.
* VERSION 1 Established in Ireland: 1996 Head of Irish operations: Justin Keatinge, CEO One of the fastest-growing IT services providers in this part of the world, Version 1 harnesses technology to address enterprise customers’ business challenges. For example, it delivered the Department of Agriculture’s animal health computer system, a claims management system for Irish Life, and simplified the IT setup of one of the biggest oil companies. The company has received a number of awards such as Microsoft Partner of the Year, Deloitte Best-Managed Company, and Microsoft Business Intelligence & Data Analytics Partner of the Year 2016. The firm was founded by current CEO Justin Keatinge and John Mullen in 1996, and has grown to encompass over 600 employees and revenues in excess of €75m.
Based in Dublin and San Francisco, Viddyad allows businesses to quickly and easily create and publish video ads online. Using a sophisticated platform of user-friendly tools and an extensive library of over 20m rights-cleared pieces of content, no experience or content is required – easily unlocking social media, TV or web advertising for companies that don’t have the time, resources or expertise. The start-up has received plaudits from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, Web Summit and SXSW. Its R&D team are based in Dublin’s Docklands, whereas sales and marketing functions take place in Silicon Valley. Founder Grainne Barron has won numerous awards and served with Startup Ireland, IBEC’s CEO Forum and Techpreneurs.
* VIRGIN MEDIA Established in Ireland: 2015 (UPC established in 2007) Head of Irish operations: Tony Hanway, CEO UPC, owned by US firm Liberty Global, last year rebranded as Virgin Media Ireland after Liberty Global acquired the UK-based Virgin Media for $23.3bn in 2013. The high-profile publicity blitz saw Richard Branson become a regular fixture in the company’s advertising, and Virgin Mobile saw it enter the Irish mobile telecoms market for the first time. Liberty has also purchased TV3 and UTV Ireland, building up significant sporting event rights such as Euro 2016, Rugby World Cup and the Six Nations (from 2018). Former O2 Ireland CEO Tony Hayward has been appointed to lead Virgin Media’s Irish operations.
* VMWARE Founded in Ireland: 2005 Head of Irish operations: Ray O’Farrell, CTO and chief development officer With an extensive Irish setup in Ballincollig, outside of Cork city, VMware is a global name in virtualisation with over 500,000 customers, 55,000 partners, 14,000 employees and 50 locations around the world. The Cork facility supports customers in the EMEA area with functions including global support services, finance, inside sales, IT, order management, deal desk, facilities, legal, HR and recruitment, and has native speakers of more than 20 languages on-site.
* VIATEL Head of Irish operations: Colm Piercy, founder/CEO Established in Ireland: 1997 On an upward curve after becoming part of the Digiweb group in 2013, Viatel owns a network of over 8,500km in low-latency duct and fibre optic infrastructure connecting eight countries, 35 major cities, 150 data centres and thousands of companies. With offices in London, Dublin and Paris, the company is in a growth phase, planning acquisitions and securing hundreds of millions in new funding from Swedish investor Proventus. Founded in 1991 by Colm Piercy, still at the helm today, Viatel also upgraded 1,500km of network throughout Ireland last year at a cost of €1.5m.
* VODAFONE Established in Ireland: 2001 Head of Irish operations: Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland
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TECH 100 As one of the world’s biggest communications providers, operating in 26 countries, Vodafone serves over 2m customers in Ireland alone. Last year the mobile telecoms giant announced a partnership with Ryanair, providing 95% of the airline’s telecoms requirements including data connections for the pilots’ electronic flight bags and crew’s electronic point-of-sale devices. In 2014 it announced over 110 new jobs, in addition to last summer’s announcement of a new European sales centre in Carrickmines, Dublin – a €60m investment that has created 200 jobs. Commenting on this investment, Vodafone Ireland CEO, Anne O’Leary said: “the selection by Vodafone of Ireland as a location for this European sales centre also demonstrates Ireland’s standing in Europe in terms of availability of highly skilled people for these emerging and developing roles.”
* VOXPRO Established in Ireland: 1999 Head of Irish operations: Dan Kiely, CEO Based in Cork, with operations in Dublin and San Francisco, Voxpro is in a phase of rapid growth. It now employs 1,700 people worldwide. The company offers customer contact solutions for firms such as Google, Nest, Airbnb and Travelzoo, among many other multinationals and blue-chips, operating in over 32 countries. This year Voxpro announced plans to invest $4m in a new centre of excellence in Athens, Georgia that will provide 500 jobs by 2020. This news came after the addition of 450 roles at Voxpro’s California base in March.
* WORKDAY Established in Ireland: 2008 Head of Irish operations: Annrai O’Toole, European CTO Established in 2005, Workday is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. Its services include financial management, human capital management and analytics applications for global companies such as TripAdvisor, HP and Netflix. Following the acquisition of Cape Clear, Workday opened its European headquarters in Smithfield in 2008, employing over 400 people. Last year it was announced that the headquarters would be relocating to a new office in Smithfield, amid plans to employ a further 200 over the next two years. The new positions include high-skilled roles in cloud computing, bringing the total number of employees to 4,700 worldwide.
* XILINX Established in Ireland: 1995 Head of Irish operations: Kevin Cooney, managing director Europe Programmable microchip manufacturer Xilinx is active in the internet of things (IoT), 5G, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and all manner of cutting-edge hardware. The Silicon Valley firm was responsible for a number of firsts since its foundation in 1984, and holds over 3,500 patents. Its Citywest EMEA headquarters takes in R&D, engineering, IT centre, supply, finance, legal and HR functions, and was the company’s first research facility outside of the US, established in 2005. Youghal man Kevin Cooney has been at the helm in Ireland since 2004, having joined the company in 1995 and working up through senior IT and business development management roles. This year, Xilinx was awarded the title of Corporate Philanthropist of the Year for ten years of strategic community partnership in Ireland by the Community Foundation of Ireland.
* YAHOO! Established in Ireland: 2003 Head of Irish operations: Pat Scully, managing director, EMEA One of the world’s largest tech companies, Yahoo! started out as a search pioneer and has a large EMEA setup in Dublin including advertising, customer support, finance and HR functions. The company invested $12m in new Docklands offices last year, increasing its workforce here from 320 to 450 at its new 78,000 square-foot Point Village facility. Galway man Pat Scully, previously at NASDAQ-listed Nuance Communications, has been in charge since 2014. Scully has in the past mooted the possibility of joining the Irish data centre scene, either by buying or building.
* ZENDESK Established in Ireland: 2012 Head of Irish operations: Colum Twomey, VP of product engineering Cloud-based customer service software company Zendesk has grown to serve over 40,000 customers in 140 countries and 40 languages since its foundation in 2007. Headquartered in San Francisco, it allows companies to interact with customers through a variety of media, from websites through phones to digital social media. It opened a modest Dublin engineering operation in 2012, growing to a headcount of 52, and launching its first European data centre in March 2013 along the way. In 2015 the company officially opened its new Dublin Development Centre at Grand Parade in Ranelagh, with capacity for 150 employees. The Zendesk Neighbour Foundation, a community-focused support initiative, was also launched in 2015.
* ZYNGA Established in Ireland: 2010 Head of Irish operations: Paul McInerney, site director, Ireland Silicon Valley online gaming publisher Zynga was responsible for the Facebook-based hit FarmVille, and set up its Dublin office in 2010 on the back of huge growth. The NASDAQ-listed firm was founded in 2007, and has studios and offices all over the world with a reported 400m players of FarmVille and FarmVille 2, and over 130m hands of poker played every day in Zynga Poker. The company’s Ballsbridge office handles customer services, including online community management, business functions and content management. n
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Irelandâ€™s Inaugural DatSci Awards 2016 in association with CeADAR and Next Generation Aviva Stadium, Dublin on 22 September 2016 ND
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CELEBRATING DATA SCIENCE TALENT IN IRELAND
in association with
Tickets available from Eventbrite or mail firstname.lastname@example.org for ticket details
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TRAVEL: ASTURIAS TECH UPDATE FOOD FOR THOUGHT MOTORING
LIFESTYLE DIARY DATES
WELL FOR YA!
ON THE FRINGES
WellFest is Ireland’s only health, fitness and wellness festival. WellFest is about participation, feeling good and most importantly having fun. At WellFest you get the opportunity to hand pick your own day of wellness from the large selection of classes, workshops and seminars on offer at the festival. Whether you want to kick start a new wellness regime or to simply expand your knowledge by learning new skills from top professionals – WellFest is for you! WHAT: Wellfest WHEN: September 17th18th WHERE: Herbert Park, Dublin 4 PRICE: €42.80-€69.55 MORE INFO: wellfest.ie
From food workshops and cookery demos to art trails, whiskey and wine tasting, Blás na hÉireann Food Awards and a full line up for children, the 10th annual Dingle Food Festival has something for everyone! The festival showcases the incredible food and the genuine hospitality that Dingle and west Kerry has to offer, while supporting local food producers, local restaurants and cafés. In 2016, over 10,000 visitors from home and abroad are expected to flock to Dingle to seek out the wonderful culinary delights and unique atmosphere that the peninsula has to offer. WHAT: Dingle Food Festival WHEN: September 30thOctober 2nd PRICE: Varies MORE INFO: dinglefood.com
The Dublin Fringe Festival is Ireland’s leading multidisciplinary arts festival. Fringe 2016 is about big nights out. Spiegeltent is back in all its glittery glory and Dublin’s favourite garden in the lush and historic environs of Merrion Square will be included in this year’s celebrations You’ll get acquainted with new voices, new talent, new combinations of makers from across disciplines. WHAT: Dublin Fringe Festival WHEN: September 10th25th WHERE: Dublin city centre PRICE: Varies MORE INFO: fringefest.com
The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is Ireland’s largest sporting organisation and is celebrated as one of the great amateur sporting associations in the world. Dublin take on Mayo at Croker in what promises to be a classic encounter in the All-Ireland Football Final. Mayo haven’t brought Sam Maguire back to the Heather County since 1951 and odds will be stacked against them on September 18th against a Dublin team that is revolutionising the sport. The decider will attract a full house of over 80,000 on one of the most iconic days in Irish sport. WHAT: All-Ireland Football Championship Final WHEN: September 18th WHERE: Croke Park PRICE: Good luck! MORE INFO: gaa.ie
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LIFESTYLE TRAVEL: ASTURIAS
Is there a hidden part of Spain? Niamh Mac Sweeney went in search of a less travelled region – and yet somehow felt a genuine connection with home.
Celtic cousins e all love that feeling of boarding a plane knowing we are destined to explore vastly different terrain, and that sense of anticipation that comes when embarking on a new adventure. Finding hidden gems that we are convinced no-one else knows about, trying to navigate our way around winding streets and getting lost, sampling new delicacies that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, and that excitement after discovering a landmark that we’ve only read about in guidebooks – these are the elements that make holidays what they are, and what they should be. When it comes to Spain we are all aware of the sunny holiday resorts and the cultural city breaks. Less well known is the north of Spain, and although it has its fair share of pristine coastlines and a vibrant cultural scene, it is vastly different. It’s rustic, it’s homely; a total juxtaposition to the sunny south, and there is certainly a feeling that this is a region less travelled – but certainly no less adorable. For those who have already visited the northern part of Spain, you will be well aware of its 90
uniqueness and the many delights this part of the country has to offer. For those who have not, you should probably start now because there is much to see and do, to which its growing popularity as a destination bears testament.
GREEN GRASS OF HOME Asturias is a region located in the north-west of Spain, and a mere two-hour flight from Dublin to Santander makes it convenient and accessible. From the green mountainous landscape to the warm and friendly cider-dinking people, when you first arrive you will be forgiven for asking: is this Spain or has the plane simply circled Ireland and landed back in Wicklow, Kerry or west Cork? For those who have done the Spanish section of the Camino de Santiago, you will probably already know the region of Asturias, but for those who haven’t, its time to get acquainted. Expect the unexpected and prepare to feel like you’re in a completely different place – but yet somehow still right at home. Green, fresh, historical, cultural, welcoming and
Top: Santa Maria of Naranco Above: A dish of sea urchins
Expect the unexpected and prepare to feel like you’re in a completely different place – but yet somehow still right at home
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You’re sure to find plenty of high-end and traditional eateries in equal measure here
inexpensive are just some of the adjectives that can be used to describe Asturias; unique, picturesque and outstanding could easily be added to the list. Whether it’s Michelin-star or sawdust-on-the-floor establishments you’re looking for, you’re sure to find plenty of high-end and traditional eateries in equal measure here. For the thrillseeker, there are more mountains to climb then a walker could shake their walking sticks at. And for the history buff, religious sites and medieval architecture are bountiful and certain to hold one’s interest.
THE GOLD TRIANGLE When visiting Asturias three is the magic number and top of the hit list of places to visit should be Gijón, Oviedo and Llanes. First stop, and only a short transfer from the airport, brings you eastwards to Llanes. Renowned as the Costa Verde or Green Coast of Spain, Llanes is a quaint town where time has stood still. Remote yet somehow familiar, the food, folklore and fiestas are what set it apart. Close by, Pancar is a mountaineer’s paradise; its rugged landscape and many walking routes are certain to please those who enjoy being in the great outdoors. Given that the Picos de Europa National Park is in close proximity, it’s easy to see why adventurous folk are drawn to this place. Pancar also has an interesting church that was erected in honour of St Patrick, so if by some remote chance you are pining for home, a visit here would easily dispel any feelings of homesickness. A GREAT ROMANCE The real jewel in the crown of Asturias is Gijón. Walking through this historical centre, one is instantly transported back in time, particularly in Cimavilla – the oldest part of the city. Here, visitors can reminisce among the ruins of the old Roman settlement and take a welcomed step back in time. There is an abundance of cultural, historical and architectural marvels in Gijón, but there are plenty of unique things to do in this city as well. A pastry-making course in Aliter Dulcía is a nice way to spend an afternoon, and budding bakers can try their hand at making traditional frixuelos or casadielles in an informal and fun setting. The Gijón Atlantic Botanical Garden is another place well worth a visit. Spread over 16 hectares, visitors can experience flora and vegetation found
Top: Llanes Above: Cathedral of San Salvador, Oviedo
GETTING THERE Ryanair fly Dublin to Santander daily. For more information or to make a booking w: ryanair.com
in Atlantic areas from a number of perspectives. Food is never far from any tourist’s mind, and after a busy day exploring Gijón, visitors will easily work up an appetite. Lunch at La Salgar Restaurant is certain to hit the spot. This Michelin-star establishment is a real family affair, with the Manzano clan – Nacho, Olga, Esther and Sandra – true masters of ceremony. Its mix of contemporary versus traditional is expertly executed and the views from the restaurant complement the sights and tastes of what’s on the plate.
SEA BEFORE YOU EAT A visit to the aquarium in Gijón is a must-see, and with more than 400 species such as otters, stingray, penguins and sharks, visitors get the opportunity to submerge themselves in a truly captivating underwater world. If budgets will allow for an outof-this-world experience, there’s a dining spectacle with a difference: the aquarium can organise dinner, where your own personal waiter will serve you the most impressive array of seafood dishes. There is something very relaxing and therapeutic about being in an aquarium, and with a selection of stunning wines and plates of delicious seafood in tow, a trip to the aquarium can suddenly turn into something very unique and different. Think exclusive, think extravagant, think spectacular and you’ll come close to hitting the mark. To have dinner in an aquarium has to be on many people’s bucket lists, and if it isn’t, then it really should be now. If you’d rather have your dinner without sharks swimming overhead, then go to Restaurant Auga. In Asturias there are numerous famed Michelinstarred restaurants, and much like La Salgar, Restaurant Auga is a fancy, fine-dining affair. Fruits September 2016 Business & Finance
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LIFESTYLE For the thrillseeker, there are more mountains to climb then a walker could shake their walking sticks at
of the sea are in abundance on Auga’s delightful menu. The sea urchins are an acquired taste but the Galician scallops with apple, mushroom and plankton will melt in your mouth. Red mullet, sea bass and hake are all accompanied with tantalising ingredients such as seaweed, citrus and pickled vegetables to give a tasty twist to traditional fare. If you’ve a hankering for meat then you won’t be disappointed either, as Iberian pork and lamb feature, as do numerous other meat dishes. And if you’re feeling particularly peckish, try the Asturian Fabada – a traditional stew consisting of pork and beans, this hearty feast is guaranteed to satisfy and sustain you.
HOLA OVIEDO If it’s culture, history and architecture you’re looking for, look no further because Oviedo – the capital city of Asturias – is bursting with character and heritage. Founded in the year 761, Oviedo was the only capital city of a Christian kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula during the 8th and 9th centuries. Today, this dynamic city is contemporary but hasn’t forgotten its past. A visit to the Cathedral of San Salvador and the historical city centre is a must, as are the pre-Romanesque monuments of Santa Maria of Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo, their locations affording expansive views over the city. Culture vultures flocking to the city of Oviedo will no doubt be thirsty after all their exploring – handy, then, that there are many sidra (or cider) bars in the area. Cider is the traditional drink of Asturias and is considered the regions ‘wine’. Sold in traditional sidrerias, the bartender serves the cider with great drama and showmanship. Holding a large glass in one hand and a bottle of cider in the other, the bottle is held above the pourer’s head 92
and somehow it expertly falls into the glass below. This pouring method is called escanciar in Spanish, a technique that is said to encourage carbonation and instil a better flavour. Rather than drink a pint of the golden nectar, in Asturias the glass is never filled and therefore its contents must be drank immediately and in one go. There are many sidrerias around the region of Asturias, where young and old indulge in the tradition of cider drinking at all times of the day and night. Restaurant Cider Bar La Finca is one such establishment among many where fine food and thirst-quenching cider are served with gusto.
USEFUL LINKS w: whereisasturias.com w: turismoasturias.es w: hiddeninspain.com
Above: Ribadesella Below: La Salgar Restaurant
EATING OUT w: lasalgar.es/web w: acuario.gijon.es w: restauranteauga. com/en
PORT OF PLENTY In between Gijón and Llanes is the wonderfully picturesque town of Ribadesella. This fishing town is home to many well-guarded secret beaches, most of which offer views of the spectacular snowtopped peaks of the Picos de Europa Mountains. Ribadesella is an easy place to relax and stroll around, but if you’re feeling adventurous then kayaking on the river Sella, treks and biking in the mountains, or surfing on its stunning beaches will certainly get the heart racing. A sleepy town it might be, but you won’t be bored or wanting for things to do. If you have time, a visit to the Tito Bustillo Caves is highly recommended. One of the most important Palaeolithic sites in the world, these caves are a designated World Heritage Site and a showcase for the many objects, tools and wall paintings that have been perfectly restored. A GENUINE CONNECTION North to south, Asturias is rich, generous and varied. It is a region full of contrasts, and yet it still feels recognisable. The green, mountainous landscape is familiar, the beaches are altogether different but not that dissimilar, and the people are as friendly as you will meet in any part of Ireland. Asturias is green and it is genuine. From its mighty sea to its impressive mountainous landscape, it is a land where if you dig deep you will find a countryside that boasts scenery that is both varied and encapsulating. You will also find a culture of heritage and tradition that embraces its future – yet still remains sensitive to its ancestry. Warm and welcoming, Asturias is a secret part of Spain waiting to be explored.
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UPDATE Edited by Ruraidh Conlon O’Reilly
Bite-sized news, views and updates from the global tech industry.
FITBITS SLIM DOWN Building on the popularity of its groundbreaking wearable devices, connected health and fitness gizmo maker Fitbit has introduced two new fitness wristbands – Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2. Charge 2 and Flex 2 track your most important health and fitness stats, with new sleek looks and an experience that is even more engaging, motivating and personal to help you reach your goals. According to co-founder and CEO James Park: “Over the past nine years it has been our ability to innovate on both design and utility, and our deep understanding of what consumers want, that has made us the leading global wearables company.” In addition to PurePulse heart rate tracking, the Fitbit Charge 2 now features an enhanced exercise experience, new health and fitness tools, the smart notifications you need most, and a new design with a larger display and interchangeable bands that easily let you go from a workout to a night out. Fitbit’s ultra-slim, first-ever swim-proof fitness wristband, the Fitbit Flex 2, features a removable 94
tracker that transforms with classic bands, elegant bangles or pendants, allowing you to effortlessly track all-day activity, exercise and sleep in a style that’s all your own. The company is gaining a reputation for combining fitness and fashion by revolutionising wearable technology. Fitbit’s latest product releases accompany the announcement of new stylish collections for Fitbit Alta and Fitbit Blaze, as well as Fitbit Adventures – an immersive new challenge feature within the Fitbit app across the full Fitbit platform of products. Charge 2 and Flex 2 are available for presale today on Fitbit.com. Fitbit Charge 2 and Flex 2 will be available at major Irish retailers including Currys, Argos, Harvey Norman and Arnotts in September and October, respectively. The Fitbit Charge 2 tracker with a classic fitness band in black, blue, plum or teal is available for €159.95. The Fitbit Flex 2 tracker with a classic fitness band in black, lavender, magenta or navy is available for €99.95. Accessories and special edition series of both products will also be available.
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ONE PLUS ADDS UP
The next generation of the One Plus Android lineup, like its predecessors, boasts capabilities to match the big players without breaking the bank. Packing the new quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (up to 2.2 GHz), the OnePlus 3 performs tasks 35% faster than the OnePlus 2 and features a 40% boost in graphics power – all at a fraction of the power consumption. The phone uses Dash Charge technology, charging your smartphone in a faster, cooler and safer way. Unlike other quick-charging technologies, Dash Charge replenishes more than 60% of the 3,000 mAh battery in 30 minutes and continues fast charging even when streaming video or playing energy-intensive games. Available for purchase at launch without an invite on the OnePlus e-commerce site, the One Plus 3 combines ultimate efficiency with maximum user-flexibility as it comes completely unlocked with no carrier contracts necessary.
HARDAS-NAILS HARD DRIVE
The latest iteration of Samsung’s popular portable drive weighs in at just 21 grams, allowing you to carry massive amounts of storage in the palm of your hand. The Samsung Portable SSD T3 boasts an ample 2TB of storage and a USB-C port for increased speed and smartphone compatibility. Sporting a shock-resistant metal case and internal frame, the drive is capable of withstanding 1500G of force and a drop from two metres, meaning you can take it just about anywhere. With a guarantee of speed and security, the drive can provide up to 4x faster read/write speeds than traditional external hard drives and is equipped with AES 256-bit hardware encryption to keep all data secure.
SPECTRE AT THE FEAST
The HP Spectre is hailed as the world’s thinnest laptop with the perfect blend of high-end art and cutting-edge technology. A carbon fibre base creates a thin profile that is both durable and lightweight, keeping the total weight of the notebook at just less than 1.2kg. High-gloss copper accents reflect a hand-polished jewellery finish, complementing the laptop’s premium look and feel thanks the inclusion of a hidden piston hinge that creates the illusion of a hinge-less design. The Spectre contains an innovative hybrid battery split into two thinner pieces, powering the PC for up to nine and a half hours. A full-HD IPS edge-to-edge display featuring Corning Gorilla Glass delivers a superb viewing experience for editing photos, perfecting a presentation or watching a movie. Maximum performance in minimum size is attained through the machine’s 6th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and a lightning fast PCIe SSD with storage up to 512GB, and up to 8GB of memory. The inclusion of the Intel hyperbaric cooling system helps maintain performance at an optimal level. The Spectre may be small but the sound is certainly mighty. It features stereo speakers by Bang & Olufsen with HP Audio Boost technology, a combination of hardware and software to give customers the depth they want.
BRAVO FOR NEW BRAVIAS
Sony has released specs for five new models in the 4K HDR television series: XD83, XD80, XD75, XD70 and SD80. All of these Sony Bravia 4K HDR TVs deliver a superior 4K viewing experience as well as near-4K quality upconversion from HD sources, ideal for a variety of room sizes and customer needs. With over eight million pixels, the screens offer intense detail and stunning picture quality, providing more than four times the detail of full HD. They feature HDR compatibility and 4K Ultra HD resolution, making for a TV viewing experience that’s all the more pleasurable as details, colours and contrast are accentuated. Stunning clarity and detail is not all that’s on offer. All five new Bravias support Google’s Android TV operating system, making it easy to stream video, access catch-up services, or use as a gaming device. The XD83, XD80, XD75, XD70 and SD80 Sony Bravia 4K HDR TVs will be available from major Irish retailers soon, with prices ranging from €1,200 to €2,250. September 2016 Business & Finance
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LIFESTYLE FOOD BUSINESS
Food FOR THOUGHT
The inside track on Ireland’s booming food and beverage industry.
Edited by Maura Reidy
THE ACADEMY OF GASTRONOMY
THE FOODSERVICE ACADEMY SEEKS TO HELP SMALL IRISH FOOD AND DRINK COMPANIES DEVELOP THEIR BUSINESS IN THE FOODSERVICE MARKET (COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS THE ‘OUT OF HOME FOOD MARKET’).
ine Irish food and drink companies have completed the first FoodService Academy programme with Musgrave Marketplace, Ireland’s leading wholesale supplier to retail, foodservice and SME businesses. The Food Service Academy was set up by Bord Bia and Musgrave Marketplace to help small Irish food and drink companies develop their business in the foodservice market. The inaugural Food Service Academy took place as a four-month programme, which included workshops and mentoring sessions. The successful companies will now go on to supply products to Musgrave Marketplace’s 6,000 foodservice customers, which range from hotels and restaurants to pubs and nursing homes.
The nine companies that have successfully completed the programme with Musgrave Marketplace are: · Atlantis Seafood, a family seafood business based in Wexford · Blanco Nino, Europe’s only producer of authentic corn tortillas and un-fried tortilla chips made in Tipperary · Coffee House Lane, a Waterford family-run coffee roaster · Lily’s Tea Shop, blenders of a range of premium, loose leaf teas as well as matcha tea and premium tea pyramids based in Louth · Nobó, the dairy free ice-cream producer, which is made without any refined sugar, gums or stabilisers · Maria Lucia Bakes, a Dublin producer of gourmet gluten, wheat and dairy free granola cereals · Kildare’s Outdoor Oinks, a range of Bord Bia approved pork and bacon products · Tipperary Kitchen, a family run artisan bakery 96
Pictured: Sheena Forde, Musgrave Marketplace; Dominick McGroddy, Lily’s Tea Shop; and Maureen Gahan, Bord Bia
It really is a privilege to work with such passionate people in the industry and to support Irish food business
producing a range of handcrafted meringues, dessert sauces and chocolate biscuit cake · Wildberry Bakery, an artisan gluten free bakery in Cork Commenting on the programme, Sheena Forde, trading director of Musgrave Marketplace, said: “We have been incredibly impressed by the calibre of companies that participated in this year’s inaugural FoodService Academy and are really excited to bring these products to market.” “She continued: “It has been a pleasure working with each and every one of the businesses to date and we have learned a huge amount from them as well as imparting knowledge from the programme to them. Bord Bia have been a fantastic partner and we are thrilled to announce that plans are already underway for a 2017 FoodService Academy programme. It really is a privilege to work with such passionate people in the industry and to support Irish food business.” Bord Bia’s Maureen Gahan added: “From Bord Bia¹s perspective, we are delighted with the success thus far of the inaugural FoodService Academy. Each of the participating companies have had invaluable access to key people from the Musgrave Marketplace team, both at the workshops and through individual meetings over the course of the programme. “The feedback they have received from Musgrave Marketplace Sales Representatives has allowed them to develop their products and supporting material to reflect the needs of the end customer,” Gahan continued. “We are already looking forward to FoodService Academy 2017 and offering this opportunity to additional Irish food and drink businesses.” n
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CRAFT IN A CAN
This September sees the return of the hugely popular Cliff Townhouse Oyster Festival, taking place from September 5th to October 2nd. The festival, now in its fifth year, will include an extended Oyster Menu, the All Ireland Oyster Plate, and a limited edition Cliff Oyster Cocktail Menu, designed entirely by the Cliff Townhouse bar staff. The first oyster will be shucked on Monday September 5th and by festival close, head chef Sean Smith reckons more than 10,000 bivalve beauties will have made their way through his kitchen. This year’s offering will not just include food and beverages. Cliff Townhouse Pearls of Wisdom, an engaging masterclass series as food, fashion and wellness, celebrating the versatility of the glorious oyster will also be on the menu.
Franciscan Well, which includes leading craft beer Rebel Red among its range, is bringing its awardwinning craft beer into canned format from August. Rebel Red, Friar Weisse and Chieftain IPA will be offered in a 330ml can for the first time in the off-trade across Ireland, with selected on-trade sites also stocking the product. The Franciscan Well range has also been rebranded to reflect its Irish roots. The previous logo, which included the image of the monk, has been replaced by an image of an arch, highlighting a strong sense of place as the brand aims to accentuate the Well’s provenance. The new brand firmly emphasises that it is an authentic Irish beer, established in Cork and brewed in Cork. The decision to can Ireland’s favourite craft beer range is part of an international trend, which has seen rising consumer demand for craft beer in a can instead of a bottle. This decision from the award-winning brewery is in keeping with internationally recognised best practice for freshness and taste, with cans providing superior product packaging quality and infinite recyclability.
CREAM OF THE CROP Aldi’s Clonbawn Sour Cream, produced by Green Pasture of Lifford, Co. Donegal, has been crowned the champion at the international 2016 Great Taste Awards, receiving a three gold star rating. Heralded as the Foodie Oscars, the Great Taste Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for excellence for food and drink. Over 10,000 food and drink products were blind tested by expert judges this year, with the winners chosen by a panel made up of top chefs, cookery writers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers following a
rigorous judging process. Produced exclusively for Aldi, Clonbawn’s Sour Cream is available for just 75c/200ml and beat a host of leading brands to take the title. Aldi took away a total of 32 titles at this year’s awards, totalling 272 Great Taste Awards since 2010. Many of Aldi’s triumphant products are sourced from market leading Irish suppliers, indicating Aldi investment in developing the longstanding partnerships with Irish producers and communities. Over 50% of Aldi’s supplier spend is now with Irish suppliers, producers and manufacturers.
IT’S FOOD AND DRINK Premier Publishing and Events have announced the recent addition of The Food and Drink Conference to the list of high-quality conferences and exhibitions that they coordinate. Premier Publishing and Events is Ireland’s largest business to business conference and exhibition organiser and managing director Colin Murphy said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to broaden our market-leading food industry events portfolio with this acquisition. Food hospitality will be a natural addition to our craft beers and spirits and food manufacturing events.” The Food and Drink Conference and Exhibition will take place at Citywest Convention Centre on September 14th. This will be the largest gathering of food industry professionals with six co-located events including food manufacturing, speciality fine foods, craft beers and spirits, free from foods, forecourt retailing and food quality and safety.
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LIFESTYLE REVIEW: GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED
Going to glorious
GOODWOOD From retro thrills to multi-million euro F1 cars, the Goodwood Festival of Speed can provoke a full-on sensory explosion. Ruraidh Conlon O’Reilly reports from the world’s greatest car show.
lastonbury for cars. A motorsport Mecca. Glorious Goodwood. Spend any time entertaining dreams of fast cars and things get whittled down to only a handful of locations. The Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours have been there for decades now, and rightly so. But in more recent times there has been an addition to any self-respecting petrolhead’s bucket list: a relatively new institution known as the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Just as the Festival of Speed itself takes us back in time, to understand the place properly a bit of history helps. After World War II the Goodwood Circuit near Chichester in Sussex, in the the south of England, arose out of RAF Westhampnett airfield – much like the more famous Silverstone circuit’s origins. Throughout the ‘50s and early ‘60s, so often regarded as the golden era of motorsport, it was a much-loved fixture for sportscar and nonchampionship Formula 1 racing. Its open curves, high-speed straights and casual approach to safety ended Stirling Moss’s career and killed Bruce McLaren, and it closed for racing in 1966. Fast forward to 1993 and the young Lord March of Goodwood House wanted to revive racing at the circuit, but pragmatism saw him opt for a hillclimb on his estate for the time being. It’s hard to imagine that he, or any of the enthusiasts responsible, could have predicted that the Goodwood Festival of Speed would come to dominate the motoring calendar like it does today. Circuit racing returned at Goodwood 98
five years later: as charming and entertaining as September’s vintage-clothes-only Goodwood Revival is for diehards, the Festival of Speed is an international phenomenon.
THE CHEQUERED FLAG The crowds have mushroomed into six figures, the branding and corporate partnerships have assumed a more central role, but the template remains the same: cars of all shapes and sizes start oﬀ at the bottom of a hill, navigate slippery estate roads lined with trees and bales of hay, and a mile later they arrive at the top and the chequered ﬂag. For some cars, the priceless ones, it’s a moment in the sun; a lap of honour. For Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren in 1999 it was cause to ﬂoor the throttle so uncompromisingly that F1 cars are no longer timed, but for other categories the competition element thrillingly remains. This year a bespoke, and insane, Subaru Impreza ‘Gobstopper’ somehow prevailed over a McLaren P1 LM. Laps of honour are not to be sniﬀed at. Irish interest perhaps peaked when Eddie Jordan and his designer Gary Anderson took the Jordan 191 and 197 carefully up the hill a few years ago. The festival’s newfound importance makes current-day F1 teams come out in force, and Goodwood is scheduled on an oﬀ-weekend for the F1 circus. This year seven of the current 11 outfits dispatched their valuable creations up the hill, most of them rather gingerly. A few hundred cars tearing up a hill is just one part of the fun, though: this weekend Goodwood is an endless sprawl of tented garages, displays, stalls
Top: Goodwood House and gravity-defying BMW sculpture Above: The Bugatti Chiron is now the fastest production car in the world
The Festival of Speed is an international phenomenon
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and punters. There’s no other place on earth that allows an enthusiast to get so close to cutting-edge machinery and multi-million euro vintage cars alike. The paddock is chaos.
CHAOS REIGNS This is key to the charm: onlookers mingle with drivers in an environment far removed from today’s sterile F1 compound of featureless buildings, access passes and private security. This year frontrunner Nico Rosberg, the ever-present Stirling Moss and former champ Jenson Button were perhaps the headliners, Rosberg obligingly donutting his Mercedes in front of the packed grandstands. Meanwhile, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason took the wheel of an ancient (and supremely expensive) Auto Union and former F1 star-turned-Paralympic-gold-medalist Alex Zanardi received a hero’s welcome in his specially adapted BMW. Keanu Reeves is here. That’s real mud underfoot – maybe the Glastonbury comparison isn’t so wide of the mark after all – and in the paddock hordes ogle over cars once driven by Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, Alain Prost, James Hunt, Graham Hill and Ayrton Senna. Somehow, that isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea. Towards the north of the site there’s a forest rally stage, and the WRC Polo and Group B cars cater for those who like their cars pointing sideways. Long queues form outside the Land Rover stand, where punters are driven up and down dizzying hydraulically operated hazards. Jaguar’s stunt drivers, meanwhile, donut around the place all day in F-Types whose passengers look like they’re going to lose their lunch. Even more extreme are the drift cars, whose drivers seem to prefer Monster energy drinks instead of the champagne on sale down the posher end of the venue. Irish drifter Derek ‘Buttsy’ Buttler and his specially adapted Sauber F1 car drive like they have a vendetta against tyre rubber. Speaking of Irish interest, a Mondello Park banner is to be found among Bernie Ecclestone’s phalanx of ‘80s Brabham BMW F1 cars: the 1986 Benetton BMW is over from the Kildare circuit’s museum. This year the Munich marque is celebrated at the Festival of Speed, and as a result three of its cars are suspended atop a jaw-dropping, gravity-defying sculpture in front of Goodwood House.
Top: Nico Rosberg greets fans Above: The Brawn BGP 001
PICKS OF THE PACK Brawn BGP001: Under wraps since the Leicester City of Formula 1 won the title in 2009. Porsche 919 Hybrid: Fresh from winning this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours in the final three minutes. Fiat S76: Built in 1911, has a 28.5-litre engine. Wonder why they call it The Beast of Turin. McLaren Mp4/6: The ‘Senna’ decal on the airbox tells its own story. Ford GT40: Will send grown men back to their Scalextric sets. Mercedes W25 Avus Streamliner: The future, as viewed from 1936.
LUDICROUS MACHINERY Timed competition, high-speed thrills and motorsport memories perhaps catch the headlines most, but road cars are at the centre of things too. It’s become a very busy weekend for the major manufacturers, an occasion for press launches and first appearances on the hill. There’s a dedicated paddock where punters can peruse cars yet to hit the showrooms, around 30 of which are making their debut. Pride of place year was the brand new Bugatti Chiron, which makes the Veyron look a little humdrum as the latter can only do 253mph. Two-wheel varieties get a look-in too. Stuntriders supply some of the best entertainment of the weekend, their balancing antics making one wonder just how and where they get to practise their art in the first place. An array of ludicrous machinery bombs up the hill and poses in the paddock, from today’s cutting-edge Ducatis right back in time to MV Agustas and Triumphs. But for all the nostalgic fun, the moment of the weekend was provided by something far more recent. Perhaps the most warmly received car was the Brawn BGP 001, driven by Sky F1 commentator Martin Brundle. F1 technical guru Ross Brawn cobbled together the team’s 2009 season against all the odds after Honda pulled out, and the nearly sponsor-less squad won a shock world championship with Jenson Button at the wheel. In storage in Brawn’s garage since then, the car hadn’t turned a wheel since its victory – and to see and hear it tackling the hill is the kind of magic that makes the Goodwood Festival of Speed such a once-in-alifetime event. Until next year, that is. n
GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED: TOP TIPS Book your accommodation early – very early. Hotels in the locality sell out rapidly; miss out and you may find yourself resorting to options further afield such as Brighton. Camping may be an option. Plan carefully: Gatwick is your best bet from Ireland, and a hired car makes the journey very simple. South-east England has plenty of attractions if you want to make a weekend of it, or venture into London. Drive via Holyhead or Fishguard for a good old motoring holiday.
Arrive early and well-provisioned: Gates open first thing and traffic is heavy, so prepare for a frantic day of activity. It’s almost impossible to take everything in in one day – if at all possible, give yourself two. A programme, schedule and entries list are essential. A picnic is nice, and prepare for all weather conditions. Bring a camera and big memory card: A DSLR, a good lens and a clear vantage point will deliver a glorious album of the world’s finest cars – but be prepared for the odd close-up or selfie with drivers mingling in the paddock too. September 2016 Business & Finance
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GLOBAL RECRUITMENT SPECIALISTS Robert Walters is one of the world’s leading specialist professional recruitment consultancies with a global presence spanning 25 countries. Founded in 1985, Robert Walters has been at the forefront of innovative staffing and talent solutions for clients within the information technology industry for over 30 years. Known for our global reach, local network and strong client service, our Dublin team are proud to be the leading recruitment specialists in Ireland for more than 16 years. In Ireland, our experienced consultants recruit professionals for Irish plc’s, corporate/SME’s, start ups and multinationals. We recruit for a variety of roles, including: Business analysts n Data analysts n Information security, cyber security and data protection n IT business partners n IT managers n
IT support n Programmers / developers / software engineers n Project managers n Strategy & change management n UATs n
In addition to our recruitment services, we provide salary benchmarking, local market updates and global industry knowledge. Working with you, we will give you all the information you need to ensure that whatever your requirements, you will receive exactly what you are looking for. To discuss any of your recruitment needs, please contact Mark Fallon on 01 673 0811 or email email@example.com
www.robertwalters.ie AUSTRALASIA ASIA AFRICA EUROPE AMERICAS
SPOTLIGHT NETWORK IRELAND
The dilemma of digitisation
etwork Ireland, the national organisation driving the personal and professional development of women is hosting its annual conference in Cork city on Friday, September 30th. The theme of the conference is ‘Fearless Ambition’ and will feature a range of national and international business people, motivational speakers and influencers discussing risk taking and why we need to be fearless when it comes to business and careers. As with all Network Ireland events, there will be a strong degree of networking at the conference, giving delegates ample opportunities to engage on a one-to-one basis with business leaders, influencers and peers.
A WARM WELCOME The organisation’s flagship event is being partnered by Cork City Council, together with Network Ireland’s national partners AIB and Vodafone. The conference will be supported by Enterprise Ireland with Business & Finance as the official conference media partner. Following on from the conference there will be a special Gala Dinner in the Clarion where the Network Ireland Business Awards will take place. At this event the regional winners from Network Ireland’s regional awards, will compete for the coveted national awards. President of Network Ireland Deirdre Waldron and founder of Fuzion Communications, whose head office is based in Cork, stated: “I am delighted to be announcing that we are bringing our flagship event back to Cork this year. Our city is so pro business and all of our members travelling from the four corners of the country will get to see first hand what a special place Cork is to do business.” She continued: “As well as a warm and inviting experience in Cork, my wish for delegates is for them to return home with ideas and encouragement to take their careers or
Pictured (L-R): Kaye Drake, Enterprise Ireland; Ann Doherty, Cork City Council; Deirdre Waldron, Fuzion Communications; Debbie Power, Vodafone; and Elmarie Kelleher, AIB
On September 30th, 250 of Ireland’s leading professional women and female entrepreneurs will be gathering in Cork for Network Ireland’s annual conference.
their businesses to the next level, helping them to become leaders within their own business communities and their organisations – being even more fearless and ambitious than they already are.” Ann Doherty, CEO, Cork City Council, who was also present for today’s announcement, added: “We in Cork City Council are looking forward to welcoming some of the most talented professional women and entrepreneurs to Cork in September. We already have a strong relationship with the Cork branch of Network Ireland, which is the biggest branch in Ireland. “We are going to do everything in our power to ensure that delegates get to experience everything that our fantastic city has to offer, including a special ceremony with our Lord Mayor, Cllr Des Cahill and the Cork business community on the eve of the conference – welcoming the many women in business from all over Ireland to our fantastic city,” said Doherty.
HONOURING RESILIENCE Over the next few weeks, announcements will be made regarding the line-up of guest speakers and panellists for the various interactive discussions. Already confirmed is Hayley Barnard, founder and MD of MIX Diversity Developers, an internationally respected communications consultant who will be talking about raising the bar on our careers and businesses by being resilient and brave. Chairing the conference will be Newstalk’s Jonathan Healy and MC for the Gala Dinner and Awards will be businesswoman, broadcaster and humanitarian Maria Walsh. n For further information on the conference, including early bird offers, or for more information on Network Ireland, visit: w: networkireland.ie
ABOUT THE ORGANISATION Established in 1983, Network Ireland is a progressive, dynamic organisation supporting the professional and personal development of women. Its membership is made up of a very diverse group of women, from budding entrepreneurs, SME owners, professionals and
leaders in indigenous and multinational organisations to nonprofits, charities, arts and the public sector. It have a strong voice and are interested in promoting diversity and equality, entrepreneurship and leadership development; collaborating with like-minded people and organisations. September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMERCIAL GALLERY | LIFE PROFILE SCIENCE | COMAPNY 50
Ireland’s thriving life science scene Ireland’s most prominent life science leaders gathered at the Royal College of Physicians on Dublin’s Kildare Street to launch the Business & Finance Life Science 50 edition.
reland is a globally recognised centre of excellence in the life science industry and four decades of continuous investment has made the country a location of choice for international life science companies. Our life science scene has exploded in recent years. With annual exports worth approximately €8.5bn, we are heavyweights in the manufacture and distribution of medical products. Ireland’s low corporate tax rate and exceptional talent pool have helped in attracting so many global life science leaders. There is a high demand for niche skills as the pharmaceutical and medical device industry advances. The demand
for consultants and permanent staff members within Ireland will continue to grow over the coming years.
INDIGENOUS COMPANIES The total life science sector – across medical devices, pharma and bio – in Ireland exports more than €45bn annually, employs over 50,000 people directly and includes operations of six of the top seven diagnostics companies. Through continued commitment and collaboration amongst all industry stakeholders, the sector continues to evolve and grow. We now offer a fully integrated, multidisciplinary and cohesive value-chain in the life sciences industry, making
Ireland the partner of choice for the global community. While this for many years been an area of strength for Ireland, increased FDI, along with talent shortages are changing the way life science professionals approach their roles. A central feature of the Irish ecosystem is our burgeoning indigenous company base. Irish companies are now competing in international markets throughout the world. The Business & Finance Life Science 50 launch event celebrated all that is good within the sector as leaders gathered to discuss opportunities for innovation and growth in Ireland. n
Pictured (back to front, L-R): John Kiernan, Stuart Dwyer, Rob Daly, PJ Moloney, Ian Hyland, Paul Clifford, James Granahan, Thomas O’Leary, Art Shannon, Andrew Espejo, Michael Finn, Mary Sheahan and Sean O’Keefe
John O’Connor (HSBC) and Ian Hyland (Business & Finance)
Andrew Espejo (Bristol-Myer Squibb)
Art Shannon (Perrigo), Mary Sheahan (Perrigo) and Siobhan O’Shea (Cpl Recruitment)
Business & Finance September 2016
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GALLERY | LIFE SCIENCE 50
David Casey, Deirdre O’Reilly, James Granahan and Ken McKinley (Noonan)
Mary Collins (Fáilte Ireland)
John O’Connor (HSBC), Andrew Espejo (Bristol-Myer Squibb) and Ian Hyland (Business & Finance)
Ian Hyland (Business & Finance), Shaun Murphy (KPMG) and John Kiernan (Marquant Healthcare)
John Kiernan (Marquant Healthcare) and Stuart Dwyer (Embassy of the USA)
Anca Popa, Peter Godwin and Rebecca Brown (Cpl Recruitment)
Ian Hyland (Business & Finance) and Rob Daly (Cpl Recruitment)
Gavin O’Broin and Mary Collins (Fáilte Ireland)
September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | HSBC
New adventures in fintech HSBC is partnering with the fintech industry to offer modern, efficient banking to corporate clients, writes HSBC’s John O’Connor.
he rapid advance of modern technology is having a profound impact on almost every aspect of modern business. From the way work is organised to the creation of entirely new and disruptive business models in the form of Uber and Airbnb we are now in the throes of the greatest period of transformation since the industrial revolution.
BANKING, FASTER The impact on finance and the broader financial services sector is equally if not more profound. From the most basic personal banking app to the most sophisticated automated trading platforms, new financial technologies have been embraced by all segments of the market with alacrity. As a result, HSBC’s clients increasingly expect our banking services to be faster, safer, and more convenient – available to them anytime, anywhere, and on any device of their choosing. It is not sufficient for us to be a 104
technology follower or even to keep pace with the latest developments, we have to be at the forefront and take a lead. It is what our clients are entitled to expect of us, especially when we are supporting some of the world’s largest and Ireland’s biggest indigenous technology firms with their own banking.
INSIGHTS AND INNOVATION That is why we are working with some of the fastest moving technology companies in the world and investing in the rapidly growing financial technology sector to enhance our own offering. HSBC’s Strategic Venture Capital team, which brings together technologists, strategists and specialists from our four global businesses as well as experts from our IT function, works within the wider innovation team in our strategy function to look for financial and enterprise technology companies that can provide us with insights into key industry trends and help us move quickly to adopt new technologies.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES Our goal is to develop connections with the latest generation of young and growing companies that are transforming financial services. We constantly build on our understanding of new technologies, services, solutions and business models, and adopt them when relevant. We have selected the four key areas of security; data and artificial intelligence; open banking; and operational efficiency as the focus of our investments. And over the past two years we have made a number of strategic investments within these overall themes. These include a company which is developing a platform to connect buyers with suppliers and helps them trade more efficiently by improving invoicing, workflow and supplier financing. This in turn will help HSBC to work more closely with our trade finance clients, supporting them in the management of their supply chain while affirming our position as the market leader in global trade finance. BIG DATA AND SUPPORT Another investment is in a firm which is leader in what is becoming known as ‘big data democratisation’. This offers companies the tools to make it easy to analyse and make sense of very large data sets. This will help us learn more about our customers and support us in offering them the right products at the right time. Other investments include a new cloud-based treasury management solution and an artificial intelligence tool to support large-scale customer relationship management. n HSBC Ireland provides a fully integrated set of corporate banking, treasury and securities services, connecting clients to global growth and opportunities. For more information on how HSBC Ireland can help your business, contact John O’Connor: w: hsbc.ie e: firstname.lastname@example.org
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | HISCOX IRELAND
Beat the hackers David Gallagher, head of Technology, Cyber and Data Underwriting at Hiscox Ireland, looks at the recent Talk Talk hack and the lessons it holds for SMEs.
ronting up on national media to admit their company has been the victim of a data hack that may have compromised the personal and financial details of millions of its customers is probably not high on the average chief executive’s wish list. Yet, last year, this was the position that Talk Talk’s Dido Harding found herself in; admitting that the company’s website had been targeted and that personal customer information may have been accessed by a hacker. In the days following the announcement, Talk Talk had to navigate toxic headlines, a plunging share price, as well as the logistical problems of finding out how many records have been accessed, fixing the breach, and getting its website and service back up and running. Add to that potential investigations by regulators and possible legal action from disgruntled customers and it’s not hard to see why this type of information security failure is rapidly becoming a major risk for large corporates; particularly as Talk Talk is only one of a number of high profile businesses to suffer recent information security breaches including dating site Ashley Madison, Morrisons and Carphone Warehouse.
EXPERIENCING A HACK Of course we should dispel the myth that this is just a ‘big business’ problem. We know for example that more than 70% of small businesses have suffered some form of data breach over the last year and that the average cost of the worst hack for SMEs was between €75,000 and €310,800. For SMEs however, it can be difficult to see the parallels between what happens to a big business like Talk Talk when it suffers a computer hack and what their own business would go through if their information security was penetrated. In reality, the experience can be surprisingly similar. True, a small business director might not have to appear on the News at 10 to explain a data hack, but bad news amongst clients and prospects travels fast via social media and SMEs will have to be alert to mitigating reputational damage. Some have criticised Talk Talk for not being quick enough to communicate, but I think they got the balance about right between understanding the problem and communicating to their customers. SMEs need to be just as proactive albeit in a more modest and targeted way. It’s important to get the tone of your
communications right. When working with fewer customers and clients, the personal touch is all-important. SMEs are increasingly being fined by the ICO for information security failures and even sole traders are not immune with one fined €5,000 for failing to encrypt a hard drive containing details of the company’s 250 customers. With the Talk Talk website down, normal business was interrupted which in turn could have an impact on revenue generation. The impact for small businesses can be just as devastating if a website is down for example or if its systems have been hacked and locked. The effect on management times, whatever the size of the company, will also disrupt business as usual. CEOs and senior management will be diverted from their diary commitments to manage the crisis which, in turn, could stall the company’s short and even long-term development. You can be sure that Talk Talk will have engaged a full army of experts to help isolate the attack, work out what went wrong, what records have been compromised, setting up call centres, and managing its reputation. SMEs will need to go through a similar process to successfully manage any information breach. The good news for SMEs is that a good cyber insurance policy means they can deliver a ‘big company’ response to a data breach. Our cyber and data policy for example does far more than just provide financial compensation. We have assembled a number of ‘blue chip suppliers’ who offer practical support in the event of a data breach, including forensic investigations, legal advice, notifying customers or regulators, and offering support such as credit monitoring to affected customers.
BE PREPARED Every business, no matter how small, must be prepared for an information security breach. And while an SME might not find itself plastered all over the national media, it might find the experience uncomfortably similar to Talk Talk’s current problems. n For more information: w: hiscox.ie September 2016 Business & Finance
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Cyber Task Force - 210x275.pdf
THE ART OF
CYBER RISK OVERSIGHT PAUL C DWYER “The benefit of Dwyer’s expertise, experience and strategic model is very clear on reading this book, This is a must read for the C-Suite and those charged with managing cyber risks” Seamus McCarville CIO Irish Continental Group PLC
“This book is a must for the C-Suite, in clear concise language Dwyer articulates the complexity of today’s cyber threat landscape. The 10 principles of cyber risk oversight offers leaders in global enterprises a strategic path to deal with this evolving challenge” An ICTTF Publication
Ronan McGuinness Global Chief Information Officer Asset Management Firm
COMMERCIAL PROFILE | BANK OF IRELAND Pictured: Startlab demonstration day teams
Every 20 seconds, somewhere in the world a limb is amputated as a consequence of diabetes. Bluedrop Medical is an early stage medical device company developing a connected health solution to reduce the burden of diabetic foot disease using a novel home-based technology, capable of identifying ulcers early, when they can be treated with better outcomes and reduced costs. w: bluedropmedical.com
Start me up Find out how to apply for an exciting upcoming incubator programme that offers tech start-ups key opportunities to scale their business.
tartlab, powered by Bank of Ireland, is a tech start-up incubator programme, built from the ground up, to educate, connect and scale early stage tech companies in the west of Ireland. Based at 19 Eyre Square Galway, the Startlab teams that are selected to attend a six-month inresidence programme have access to key speakers, coaches and the Bank of Ireland network to help grow and scale their company. Teams selected for Startlab come from a wide range of industry segments including gaming, hardware, medtech, design and marketing tech, all with the goal of scaling their companies in the fastest way possible and leveraging the coaches and connections available to them during the programme. Having launched Startlab, powered by Bank of Ireland, in January 2016 the first graduating teams concluded their term with a demo day on June 16th. On that day they charted the progress of their companies during the programme and explored their next set of goals to build on this success. Teams have the option to stay within the programme for a follow-on period to scale up their companies until our next initiative
beginning in January 2017, which is currently taking applications.
MEET THE TEAMS Mint Tek Circuits have created an online marketplace to connect hardware developers with quality-vetted manufacturers across the globe to support them in building their new product prototypes. w: mint-tek.com Howling Hamster is an independent games studio based in Galway currently working on their second title, Sub-Species, being released in the second quarter of 2017 on the PC platform. Which is a tense action packed game in which you take a sub into the deepest parts of the ocean to battle an array of vicious hideous monsters. w: howlinghamster.com ExerWise is building a wearable activity tracking wristband for pre-phone children aged seven to nine years to help monitor the amount of time they spend exercising. They recently completed a successful Kickstarter hitting their goal and have been accepted into the EU Start-up Scale up IoT Virtual Accelerator programme. w: getexerwise.com
Couture Intel provides expertise in foreign travellersâ€™ shopping and spending, offering a range of services that help retailers maximise their business with foreign customers and help their shoppers get value. The touristic shopper can now shop and compare pricing of goods at home to the prices abroad, instantly. w: couture-intel.com WoofAdvisor is a community-based platform for the global market of pet lovers who wish to include their pets in their travel plans. In addition, the platform delivers highly qualified traffic directly to accommodation providersâ€™ websites, cutting out booking engine fees in the process. w: woofadvisor.com BuilderEngine is an innovating platform for people who want to create better and smarter websites. It builds the tools that allow designers, developers or anyone with general computer skills to build complex websites within minutes with drag and drop interface. Build faster, smarter and shape the web with BuilderEngine. w: builderengine.com
HOW TO APPLY If you have a tech start-up and would like to apply to Startlab Galway powered by Bank of Ireland to grow and scale your start-up, complete an application ahead of the deadline this November 18th. n For more information: w: startlabhq.com September 2016 Business & Finance
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Travel, tailored to you Think of your Travel Counsellor as your personal travel concierge. Wherever you’d like to go, whatever you’d like to do, your Travel Counsellor will work with you to craft your perfect holiday. And while you’re away, your Travel Counsellor is here for you, day or night, no matter where you are in the world. From weekends away to family holidays, your Travel Counsellor will tailor every trip to you. And with our new, free app, ‘My TC,’ all of your personalised travel information is available in one place, even when you’re offline. Instantly access your itineraries and travel documentation. Share your plans with friends and family. And contact your Travel Counsellor at any time, from anywhere in the world, at the touch of a button. Discover our award-winning service and find your local Travel Counsellor at www.travelcounsellors.ie
COMMERCIAL PROFILE | TRAVEL COUNSELLORS IRELAND Pictured: Travel Counsellors chat about the app at their recent conference at Powerscourt Hotel
Tapping into tech In a digital age, reaching customers and creating authentic, engaging, personalised content is a challenge, writes Cathy Burke of Travel Counsellors Ireland.
n a digital age with ever-increasing targeted marketing and the so-called digital ‘noise’ from the stream of social channels we’re constantly plugged into, reaching customers and creating authentic, engaging, personalised content is a challenge. As is often reported in industry news, tech-savvy consumers are well-versed in targeted digital marketing activity and are placing their trust in online user generated content and peer reviews. If this is a digital age where online and tech expertise reign supreme though, where does it leave travel agents who may rely on face-to-face contact to forge new relationships? At Travel Counsellors, cutting-edge technology isn’t just moving travel agents forward into the digital age – it is enhancing their relationships with their customers. Technology might make the world go round but nothing can replace a personal relationship and that’s why Travel Counsellors created a free app that is a virtual extension of their agents – with each agent available at the tap of a button. Travel Counsellor Andre Bedford, who was part of the focus group for the new app, said: “It definitely won’t replace
the personal relationships that I have with my clients, it will only enhance the service I provide to them, as well as remind them that I am always there when they need me.” The combination of the intelligent use of customer data, cutting-edge technology and personal customer knowledge means that Travel Counsellors’ agents are able to provide their customers with expert travel advice that’s always unique and personal. And it’s this personalisation that is key to the future of the travel industry.
TECH AND TRAVEL AGENTS The ‘my TC’ travel app, which launched in July and is currently being used by travelling customers in over 80 countries worldwide, shows how cutting-edge technology can be combined with personalised content to enhance the customers travel experiences. Free to download for Android and iPhone, ‘my TC’ enables customers to view their itineraries and travel documentation (even offline), to count down the number of days to their trip and to share their travel details if they wish. Travel Counsellors can personalise
customers’ booking information with photographs, names and trip notes for each part of the journey, and customers can share their Travel Counsellors’ contact details with friends or via social media channels. In the same way that we see consumers sharing their travel experiences through social media posts, Travel Counsellors’ customers can now share their personal travel agents’ details and create shareable content that their peers can engage with. As Andre commented: “With the sharing functionality, my clients can pass on my details to their friends, families and colleagues, which will encourage referrals and help me continue to grow my business.”
INVESTMENT For Travel Counsellors, investing in personal development and continued learning are key building blocks of our global franchise. With almost 1,500 Travel Counsellors in seven countries, there’s an extensive ongoing programme developing new technology to enable our Travel Counsellors to be the best they can be, supporting them in providing the high level of personal care that Travel Counsellors are known for. The dynamic in-house booking system, Phenix, powers each franchise. The IT support team is available to deal with queries whenever they occur, at any time of day or night and the new app, ‘my TC’, highlights the excellent customer service the Travel Counsellors provide. With Travel Counsellors’ commitment to its agents’ continued learning and investment in technology, each Travel Counsellor is able to stay ahead of the curve and use technology to propel their business forward. n Travel Counsellors are licensed and bonded in Ireland with the Commission for Aviation Regulation. For more information: w: travelcounsellors.ie e: email@example.com t: +353 21 230 9333 September 2016 Business & Finance
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A stitch in time...
Haven is teaching life changing skills so that the most marginalised people in Haiti can lift themselves out of poverty. www.havenpartnership.com
COMMERCIAL PROFILE | CANON CASE STUDY
Innovation in practice This year, Canon is bringing industry-changing products and services to the Irish market, writes Philip Brady.
s the world leaders for managed services worldwide (according to Gartner), Canon helps customers optimise their document and business process with a great range of professional business services and solutions for now and in the future. While people may be familiar with Canon’s photography heritage, they may not know that Canon currently invests 8% of its revenue back into R&D and has invested in acquiring organisations that bring new products and services to our customers. Today, Canon has a wealth of expertise and technologies that continues to evolve with the everchanging needs of consumers and businesses. Our business services range from consultancy on information management to document solutions for any office of any size that can be either outsourced to us or completed in-house. We also work with our professional print service providers and provide workshops and mentoring to help them make the most of our latest technologies and insights about the print market. Canon helps 3,500 medical staff efficiently manage patient information
in one of Ireland’s largest emergency departments at St James Hospital.
PLATFORM FOR INNOVATION Canon Ireland enables customers to increase productivity and reduce costs. We help customers gain the most value from their information, providing knowledge and expertise to reduce and manage costs and improve productivity and efficiency to drive business growth and profitability. We also work with professional, commercial and wide format printers, providing market leading expertise, products and solutions. Canon Ireland works across a broad spectrum of clients ranging from public sector, education, health, finance, legal, manufacturing, inhouse, display graphics and commercial printers to the small and home office. Looking ahead, this year Canon Ireland will also be launching 3D printing services in Ireland bringing best inclass 3D printing technology combined with exceptional service from Canon. 3D printing is transforming business processes and accelerating product development by enabling faster and more productive design iterations and flexible production.
CANON TECHNOLOGY STREAMLINES HOSPITAL’S MANAGEMENT TIMES: St James’s Hospital in Dublin is one of the largest acute teaching hospitals in Europe, employing over 3,500 staff and over 110 consultants across 11 clinical directorates and ten departments. It is Dublin’s busiest emergency department, which in 2010 alone received 45,230 patient visits. Working with Canon Ireland, St James’s brought in a solution to enhance its document management in a number of departments. The software integrated seamlessly with the other existing electronic processing systems already in place, dramatically improving turnaround for transactional processing and file archiving throughout the hospital, hence improving efficiencies and driving down costs. With the new Canon solution, the patient card is only filled in and scanned once. The doctor can then locate and access it digitally through the system at a click of a button, simply by using the patient’s ‘unique episode number’. The retrieval process used to take up to anything from five minutes to an hour depending on where it was stored. Now, it takes only a few seconds, which helps authorised efficiently personnel access and update records.
It has created a new platform for innovation, modernisation and productivity in businesses across the globe. 3D printing is being used extensively to test new prototypes as well as enabling companies to dramatically decrease ‘time to market’ for new products. Delivering a technology that enables a multitude of applications, from concept models and rapid tooling to end-user parts, saving cost and time whilst delivering high-quality output. The limitless opportunities afforded by 3D printing enable organisations to get a step ahead of their competition by offering new and innovative products and services today. Canon offers a unique market proposition, whether you are new to 3D printing or looking to take the next step on your 3D journey. With our heritage of supplying cutting edge technology, solutions and services to leading companies across the globe we are the ideal partner for most industries. n For more information: w: canon.ie e: firstname.lastname@example.org September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | CAPITA •
Innovating in Ireland James Devlin, client services director explains how Capita is expanding its footprint in Ireland, thanks to high profile and innovative projects.
apita is the largest provider of business processing and IT outsourcing in the UK, employing more than 75,000 people. Ireland is an important market for us, with more than 1,700 employees across five Capita businesses – a figure that is set to grow in the coming years. For the second year running, Capita has been ranked in the Forbes Top 100 Most Innovative Companies in the world. Innovative thinking is embedded in our culture and is reflected in the cuttingedge technology projects we undertake across the whole of Ireland and the UK through our Capita Managed IT Solutions (MITS) brand. Examples include AAH Pharmaceuticals, Bombardier Aerospace, Brakes, Translink, NIE Networks, Wolseley and Balfour Beatty. From our office in Grand Canal Square, Dublin, we are fostering long-term relationships with clients in the private, public and third sectors across a wide range of industries including education, utilities, manufacturing and retail. This, coupled with our recent significant contract to deliver a new IT infrastructure for the Department of Justice and Equality, supports our focus on growth
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within the Irish market. We work in partnership with our clients to firstly gain an in-depth understanding of their market before creating technology strategies which support transformation, drive operational efficiency and reduce costs.
MAKING IT WORK Capita currently support almost half a million IT users across Ireland and the UK. We offer a wide range of expertise in the IT sector but we specialise in flexible ICT managed and support services as well as infrastructure services such as data management and storage, security, mobility and delivery of infrastructure projects such as email migration. Our market-leading cloud-based expertise is enabling clients to work more efficiently as they deliver key projects and reduce costs by minimising their reliance on technology hardware. Recent successful projects which Capita have undertaken include: •D eveloping postcodes across Ireland. •D elivering a new ICT infrastructure for the Department of Justice and Equality. •C reating a finance system for the Irish Aviation Authority.
D eveloping a consular service certificate system for the Department of Foreign Affairs.
ENERGY EXPERTISE A key area of focus for Capita has been the energy and utilities sector. We’ve built an impressive legacy of projects through partnerships with NIE Networks, Power NI, Energia, NI Water, Consumer Council for Water, Southern Water, British Gas and ESB. Our expertise in smart metering and advanced analytics is helping the sector to move to next-generation infrastructures and we are managing the rollout of smart metering across all of England and Wales. In doing so, we’re providing leading-edge IT platforms that enable our clients to adapt their business to the shifting demands of regulation and market reform. SUPPORT SERVICES Capita is a trusted partner of many public sector departments. Recently we’ve been working with the Department of Justice and Equality to provide a comprehensive managed IT service for more than 2,000 employees who are responsible for maintaining national security, detecting crime and providing a courts service. And we’re leading the way in education – delivering the first secure education cloud solution in Europe for more than 1,100 schools in Northern Ireland, supporting around 350,000 teachers and learners. Whether you’re a small business seeking an experienced IT partner, or a large organisation looking for a complete managed service, Capita can tailor a service to fit your needs. n For more information: w: capita-mits.co.uk e: email@example.com t: +44 28 9085 9085
CAPITA MANAGED IT SOLUTIONS STATISTICS • • • •
850 employees across Ireland and the UK 2,000 customers Supporting over 400,000 IT users Providing cloud technology to more than 1,100 schools in Northern Ireland
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | COFACE growth markets.” Given that a successful export strategy is a proven route to business growth, there are likely to be significant rewards for those who are inspired to access new markets. However, every company that is new to export should have the right protection and information to minimise trading risks such as bad debt and geopolitical upheavals. Not only can this protect cash flow from the shock of a bad debt but an insured business is often a more attractive prospect for investment.
Trading places There are many trading opportunities for Irish tech companies in a post Brexit world, writes Coface’s Roslyn Keogh.
here was widespread dismay in Ireland on June 24th following the news that over half of the British electorate had chosen to leave the European Union. The vote for Brexit is a blow for the Irish economy, but there should be opportunities for Ireland’s flourishing tech companies, provided they take precautions. In many respects the gloom was understandable amid continued economic and political uncertainty at home. The additional fallout from Brexit made it hard to look on the bright side, particularly the potential consequences of a weak pound for Irish exports when bilateral trade with the UK is valued at €1.2bn each week. And in the weeks since the decision, there has been little positive news as the Central Bank trimmed its GDP growth forecasts for 2016 and 2017, while a survey by the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) found that 92% of its members thought that Brexit will have a negative impact on their business1. In a meeting with the new UK prime
minister Theresa May in London, the Taoiseach vowed to maintain close links between the two countries and preserve the benefits of the peace process. However, for both the government and business it will be difficult to plan for any future trade deal with the UK before Article 50 is invoked and it becomes clearer what kind of negotiating position the UK will adopt. But for tech companies, some optimism is justified. Experts have predicted that Ireland could be ideally placed to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) from technology companies seeking a EU base. And the fact that Ireland has already been successful in attracting the likes of Apple, Amazon, Intel and Facebook shows there is an existing pool talent. Companies can also capitalise on the globalised marketplace for tech products and services. As Simon McKeever, chief executive of the IEA reflected: “This current situation does highlight the need for Ireland to diversify its export markets. We need to focus more of our attention on high
SUPPORTING EXPORT TRADE As one of the world’s leading credit insurers, Coface helps companies protect their domestic and export sales in over 200 countries with: • A range of all-inclusive insurance options for every size of technology business. For example, TradeLiner is a credit insurance policy that offers three essential benefits: protection of bad debts, collection of unpaid invoices and indemnification. • Flexible insurance options for specific risks such as strategically important customers or political events and the opportunity to request supplementary cover when needed. • Access to Coface’s business database of over 65 million companies worldwide so policy-holders can obtain fast credit risk information and receive early warning signs about potential payment defaulters. • Regular assessments of country and sector risk by Coface’s experienced economists to make it easy to research the potential of different markets. • An online policy management tool and mobile app makes it easy to apply for credit limits on new customers; monitor and adjust existing limits; view a real-time snapshot of the distribution of credit risk in their portfolio; and send messages directly to our underwriting department. n For more information about how Coface can help your company explore new opportunities to export, contact Roslyn Keogh: w: coface.ie t: +353 1 230 4669 September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | ETHIOPIAN lighting offers passengers superior levels of comfort and wellbeing, creating new standards in terms of flight experience.
World-class service and design Michael Yohannes, Ethiopian’s country manager talks about a growing network, innovated aircraft design and on-board wellbeing.
thiopian was first established with the intent of bringing Africa together and closer to the rest of the world. Today, the airline serves 93 destinations across five continents – 52 of those in Africa. Ethiopian’s network includes Delhi, Durban, Tokyo, Beijing and Bangkok, with Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh planned for October 2016. All are serviced via our main hub in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. To date, Ethiopian is the only airline connecting the three continents of Africa, Europe and North America through Dublin Airport. For our Irish travellers, Ethiopian offers connections from Dublin via Addis Ababa to China, South East Asia and Africa. On our Dublin – Los Angeles route, there are seamless connections to Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Honolulu. Since beginning operations from Ireland in June 2015, Ethiopian has opened up the Irish market offering travellers more choice in destinations and fares. Ethiopian, is also a member of the Star Alliance Group, and has won numerous awards including for the second year the SkyTrax World Airline Award of, ‘Best Airline Staff in Africa,’ 114
and for the fourth consecutive year, ‘African Airline of the Year’ from AFRAA. Other awards include ‘Best African Cargo Airline of the Year’ from Air Cargo News, and ‘Best Airline to Africa’ from Premier Traveler Magazine (US).
ON-BOARD WELLBEING Following a strategic plan to become the leading aviation group in Africa, Ethiopian operates a modern and environmentally friendly fleet with an average aircraft age of four years. On our services from Dublin, Ethiopian operates the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The very clever design of the Boeing 787 dramatically improves the air travel experience by offering more comfort, space, improved temperature control and lower cabin altitude, meaning passengers arrive at their destination feeling less fatigued. In June 2016, Ethiopian took delivery of the first of 14 Airbus A350 900s that are on order. The innovative design of the new Airbus A350 900 reduces trip times, improves overall efficiency and extends flight range. Within the A350-900 cabin, the spaciousness, quietness, and mood
WORLD-CLASS MAINTENANCE To become a leader in the aviation industry, Ethiopian recognised an effective MRO (maintenance, repair, overhaul) was crucial. Initially set up in the 1950s, Ethiopian’s MRO has become the largest MRO service in Africa with a 2,000 strong workforce. All maintenance activities are carried out at the highest standards and fully certified by the US Federal Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency. Our world-class MRO helps to make Ethiopian one of the most dependable and safest airlines in the world. BUSINESS CLASS Regardless of whether you are flying with Ethiopian for business or pleasure, the Cloud 9 business class service is something to look forward to. After using the dedicated business class check-in, you bypass queues in Dublin’s T1 as you whiz through Fast Track to the DAA Executive Lounge. There, you can relax or catch up with some work before boarding your flight. At all other airports, Ethiopian’s business class passengers have access to Cloud 9 or Star Alliance lounges. Once on board, sit back and relax in our comfortable lie-flat seats and enjoy a pre-flight glass of champagne. Each seat is fitted with a power supply, personal entertainment system with 85 channels and a 15-inch screen for viewing. Then settle in and enjoy the delicious food and premium wines served by Ethiopian’s award-winning crew. All passengers can join Ethiopian’s loyalty programme, ShebaMiles for free and begin earning and spending miles on rewards that includes upgrades, flights, and access to worldwide lounges. Points accrued can also be redeemed across all member airlines within the Star Alliance network. n For more information: w: ethiopianairlines.com e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: +353 1 812 5916
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | FÁILTE IRELAND Pictured: The Convention Centre Dublin
Silicon Docks will see 10,000 delegates descend on Dublin with approximately 6,000 of these being from overseas. This conference alone will generate €9m in direct economic impact.
Destination Ireland Miriam Kennedy, head of Business Tourism and Events, Fáilte Ireland explains why business events are a vital part of the tourism industry.
n 2015, the Irish business tourism sector was worth in excess of €669m and supported 20,000 jobs in Ireland. Association conferences meeting in Ireland have experienced strong growth over the last couple of years and in 2016 the international corporate meetings and incentives market segments are seeing a resurgence in growth, generating even more regional spread thanks to a few influential individuals. Good news for Ireland. The meetings market is driven by people, and Fáilte Ireland recognises that Ireland’s strength in this industry is down to individuals who are in a position to influence the choice of destination for their organisation’s next international meeting. These individuals are people like you, who pitch and bid for these events to come to Ireland, with our help of course. We’re a small country with a big reputation internationally. Ireland proportionally has a very high number of representatives on corporate management teams who are key influencers as to where their next international meeting will be held. As a nation where hospitality is part
of our DNA, it’s not unusual that Irish people should get involved in hosting international meetings. Not only are meetings in Ireland a great way to network, share knowledge and meet international colleagues, but they are hugely important to the economy. Corporate business delegates are valued at €1,500 – that’s two to three times that of a leisure tourist and, on average, each delegate will extend their stay to nearly three days on top of their business commitment, affording them the opportunity to mix business and pleasure.
TAILORED SUPPORT Fáilte Ireland’s Corporate Meeting Supports Programme is specifically targeted at encouraging multinationals, based both in Ireland and abroad, to bring their next corporate meeting to Ireland. Fáilte Ireland are supporting the inaugural Dublin Tech Summit 2017 which will bring together global leaders in innovation, technology and business to shape the future of global trends and technologies. The two day summit which will be held across Dublin’s iconic
OPPORTUNITIES So the question remains: why would you want to host an international corporate meeting in Ireland? There are two parts to this answer. The first reason is to ‘put on the green jersey’ and do it for the good of the country; however, that doesn’t get everybody over the line. Inviting your international colleagues to meet here in Ireland can make you and your company look good. It’s a chance to showcase your successes here in Ireland, while at the same time strengthen business networks – and have some fun. It’s an opportunity to tell your overseas colleagues, clients, suppliers and networks that Ireland is a great place to do business and experience the céad míle fáilte that the Irish are famous for. 95% of business delegates interviewed on departure say that they were very satisfied with their experience. MEET THE TEAM Fáilte Ireland’s business tourism team provides significant support to you before and during the event to ensure each delegate’s meeting experience is exceptional on every level. Absolutely anyone has the potential to bring an international corporate meeting to Ireland. With the assistance of our Meet in Ireland team at Fáilte Ireland, you don’t have to do it alone. n The Meet in Ireland banner is the official meetings, incentives, conferences and events brand for the island of Ireland. It comprises three tourism authorities: Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland, who work in partnership to promote Ireland as a leading conference and meeting destination. For more information: w: meetinireland.com e: email@example.com t: +353 1 884 7134 September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | MAGNET CASE STUDY
The big payback Why are so many smart business owners offering free wi-fi without any payback? Magnet’s Philip Clapperton asks.
any customer-facing businesses realise that providing free wi-fi to their clients is no longer a differentiator, it’s an expectation. But are they getting the most from providing this service? Businesses who engage with their customers either by email or via social media generate 20% more revenue on the days that emails are sent versus the days that they are not – which would appear to make communicating with your customers a no brainer. Take a café or restaurant for example – it’s fantastic when the tables are full and the place is buzzing. However, wouldn’t it be brilliant if you could talk to all those people again and entice them to come back when you’re not in the middle of your seasonal peak? The question is, how to obtain the information to allow you to set-up a database to communicate with?
SUITABLE PROTECTION As a customer-facing business it is very likely that customer demand has meant that you are providing a free wi-fi service for your customers to use – it is almost a pre-requisite today. It is also likely that it’s password protected 116
so customers must either ask for the password to connect to wi-fi or else it’s displayed somewhere prominently around your business.
PRIVACY RIGHTS However, what you may not have considered when installing was whether the wi-fi provider could offer you the facility to capture wi-fi guest login details. This free service you’re offering could be working much harder and smarter for you by gathering information about your customers logging in. It’s not CSI, you’re not invading your customers’ privacy; you’re simply asking for an email address for use of a free service – a simple trade-off, which they can take or leave. If a customer decides they don’t want to receive any communication from you, data protection rules ensure they always have the right to opt out. So you can quickly grow your email database overnight by simply switching on the wi-fi. ACCESS ALL AREAS Businesses using wi-fi to grow their email subscription list have found it highly valuable in increasing revenue and introducing customers to new
Established in 1925, McCambridge’s of Galway is a family owned restaurant, deli and fine foods shop located in the heart of the city centre. McCambridge’s also have a café/restaurant on the second floor of their building which is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike. McCambridge’s understood the need to install a wi-fi service to serve both the café/restaurant and wider store, however, also wanted to ensure that this provided them with the opportunity to upsell their products and services to customers once they had left. Following the installation of the Magnet Wi-Fi McCambridge’s started to grow a database of wi-fi users which quickly resulted into thousands of emails addresses. By using Mailchimp the marketing department created a newsletter, which is now, sent out every month to all their email subscribers. Instantly it became apparent that when the newsletter was sent visits to the McCambridge’s website increased substantially which in turn has led to an increase in the number of online orders being placed. “Magnet were an incredibly easy company to deal with, they worked efficiently and professionally to get our wifi installed. It has been a tremendous asset to the business,’’ said Charlene McGough of McCambridge’s of Galway.
products and services, thus paying for the service itself. This service is not new and is common in large businesses such as airports and hotels. However, advances in technology now mean that it is available to small local businesses at affordable prices. Dependant on the business’s requirements a time and/or data limit can be put on the amount of wi-fi access that is granted – especially handy for that student who nurses one cup of coffee all morning whilst researching their thesis or bit torrent-ing Game of Thrones! Magnet Wi-Fi offering guest login detail capture is now available from just €25 per month, including detailed daily and weekly reports. n For more information: w: magnet.ie e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 1800 819 888
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | MRP
The power of adding on Being able to tell what your prospects are doing – and what their intentions are – is the future of marketing.
oining the modern ranks doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your sales and marketing strategy, it just means that you can improve every pillar of the strategy you’ve worked so hard to build. That’s the beauty of predictive. You open up Google. You type in ‘best project management tools’. You scroll. You scroll. Maybe you click. Maybe you open up an instructional e-book – it asks for your email address first. Maybe you forward a site to your boss. Maybe you get a promo email about a great deal on a yearly contract for one of those tools. Maybe you click. You’re not performing all of these behaviours in a vacuum. It’s 2016 – everything you do online leaves a digital footprint. More importantly, if you’re a marketer, everything your prospect does leaves this footprint. And if you’re not following these clues, you’re not marketing as efficiently as you could be. Predictive analytics, like MRP’s very own Prelytix engine, maps these footprints for you. Not only does it do that, it has mapped so many of
these footprints that it’s capable of anticipating where they’re going to lead – and when. This is intent data, and it provides a marketer with powerful visibility into the buying interests of a potential customer. In a study by Forrester, 47% of B2B marketers responded that their top challenge in creating actionable insights was getting good quality data from a variety of sources. Every day, Prelytix analyses billions of “buying intent” sessions to create profiles of what buyers are looking for, their geographic locations, the size of their organisations, the industry they belong to, and more. It also determines how far along in the buyer journey the prospects are with laser-like accuracy. This is what actionable insight looks like: intelligence that enables marketers to get there first, and with the right messaging. When you take everything you’re already doing to market to your prospects, and you add predictive, it takes your efficiency and effectiveness to greater heights. We call this Predictive+TM.
MARKETING TACTICS Traditional marketing tactics – direct mail, email campaigns, social media, and so on – are successful to the extent that they get the word out, prospective customers start to recognise your brand’s name and learn about your solutions. At MRP, we also employ many of these traditional marketing strategies, for ourselves and clients alike, but then we add predictive. Predictive has been able to elevate our internal marketing tactics by giving us the information we need to, for example, deliver tailored content to a prospect regarding our solutions, just as they were researching tools to improve marketing effectiveness. Here, speed to market, and the precision of the message are critical to influencing the potential buyer at this stage of the decision making process. POSITIVE OUTCOMES Predictive data arms you with the ability to allocate your resources much more wisely. The logical ultimate outcome of adding predictive is increased ROI. It gives you the unique power to know that you’re allocating your marketing investments more wisely – putting your budget in places that are most likely to show a return. In one case, just by using data generated by predictive, MRP was able to generate over 400 new business opportunities for a global client, complete with profiles mapping their pain points and buyer journey stages. This resulted in over one million dollars in new opportunities. Putting the right contacts at the top of the funnel gets the pipeline moving faster, and that’s efficiency – the power of Predictive+ at work. n MRP is a global provider of marketing intelligence, software, and services and also a proud 2016 Tech 100 honoree. Over the last six years, MRP’s European Marketing hub in Belfast has fast become the market leader and is recognised amongst the largest firms based in the city. For more information: w: mrpfd.com e: email@example.com t: +44 28 9030 5500 September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMERCIAL FEATURE | IRELAND’S TOP ICT SOLUTION PROVIDERS: IMOBMEDIA
Pictured: Brendan Conway, CEO, iMobMedia and Stephen Brewer, chairman and former Eircell CEO
iMobMedia believe the next digital ad house will come from a mobile network operator.
ith international locations in London, Dubai and Johannesburg, Dublinheadquartered iMobMedia, an industry pioneer in the Mobile Telecoms Marketing Advertising and CRM space, provides award-winning revenue generating solutions to Mobile Network Operators (MNO) globally. iMobMedia platform enables operators to contact their own customers in a meaningful manner, in real-time, when they are near their store with contextually
relevant offers, based on audience insights. This helps improve on key metrics such as churn, net promoter score (NPS) and product usage in a cost effective and innovative manner. We also successfully support operators to grow new revenue streams in the form of location-based marketing campaigns for global brands without an app. We identified a market niche and developed out-of-the-box permission based technology platform designed for MNO to Monetise their own Networks Intelligence in the face of eroding core business margins, particularly dealing with the OTT players and the upcoming 5G network challenges. iMobMedia platform drives the right connections at the right time and right place. We offer E2E solutions that recognise privacy and security. We deliver fully integrated real-
time geofence technology via GSM with agile and de-risked light touch integration on the network. Our enhancing Customer Value Management (CVM) solution helps organically optimise connected customers lifecycle to create new, valuable ways of engaging with clients to deliver excellent customer experience leading to increased brand loyalty and reduced churn. Based on monetising existing assets, iMobMedia platform enables operators to establish media business solution to accelerate new revenues, by providing a secure white label platform. This is a powerful offering from operators providing opportunities to differentiate their business and bring the client enhanced value. This year our objective is to offer full MNO turnkey digital advertising platform, which will provide the opportunity and ability to unlock new ad products and further additional revenue streams. n For more information, w: imobmedia.net
COMMERCIAL FEATURE | IRELAND’S TOP ICT SOLUTION PROVIDERS: MONEY POINT
Mo’ money, less problems Money Point is a company specialising in cash handling solutions and services for a vast range of businesses and organisations.
he Money Point concept is to provide and install solutions that are easy to operate, keeping technical requirements to a minimum, and productivity to a maximum. The company’s goal is to increase its customers’ business productivity and security and, hence, profitability, by helping them to realise the maximum benefit from their personnel and cash management equipment and processes. On offer is Money Point’s 118
expert consultancy and advice, coupled with quality equipment and solutions. Money Point’s solutions are backed up by professional project management, ongoing support and maintenance. The organisation is dedicated to our customers, fostering long-term relationships with them. Money Point is the largest supplier of cash management equipment in Ireland, with over 3,500 users across Ireland, the UK and Europe and the company supplies the major banks and retailers with a range of products. It also supplies counterfeit detection machines and scored a 100% result in a European counterfeit test – the POS machines can authenticate a banknote in 0.3 seconds. It provides tested and certified intelligent cash deposit safes to automate cash handling procedures,
boost staff safety and deliver precisely defined protection against theft. Money Point has developed its own software, CashMan, which integrates into any brand of cash handling machine. CashMan enables operational management to control and reduce the cost of processing cash in a performance and price-sensitive marketplace. This is achieved by computerising, integrating and optimising all the stages in the cash handling process. CashMan’s extensive functionality is designed to increase process efficiency by integrating the work of receipting, deposit balancing, fitness sorting, stock, ordering and dispatch. Money Point has been offering consultancy services to businesses on their cash handling processes for over 25 years. The company can identify areas for improvement and provide businesses with a best-fit solution. No matter how big or small your business is, the company’s experts will find the best cash handling solution for you. n For more information, w: moneypoint.ie
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | THE O’MAHONY GROUP products and services ‘under one roof’. Managed service contracts abound. It is all about who can do more for less.
Taking telecoms international Irish companies have the ability to come up with new technologies with more frequency than companies from other countries, believes Declan O’Mahony.
sk anybody in the world of telecommunications – whether operator or vendor – whether it was easier to do business 10 years ago and most will agree it was. The vendors will tell you that their products and services were more highly valued, while the operators will tell you that it was easier to identify the vendors they required. Certainly 15 years ago the landscape was altogether different. Nokia was the market leading handset manufacturer and the operator networks were dominated by companies like Ericsson, Siemens (now Nokia Networks) and Alcatel (now also Nokia Networks). Mobile apps, in the form of clunky WAP browsers, had been tried (and ultimately failed as a mobile experience) and there was little or no data usage. For younger readers, there was also no WhatsApp or Twitter. Since then the pace of change has been rapid – it is probably fair to say that in the years between 2003 and 2016, we have seen several times over the change we saw in the period 1990 to 2003.
MARKET CONTROL Today, Samsung is the market leading handset manufacturer, running an operating system designed by Google, whose main business is still an online search engine. Hang on? An online search company designs a handset OS with no previous experience and achieves huge penetration. When did this happen? Apple, who caused the surge in smartphone adoption with the original iPhone, could be on the way to repeating the mistakes of the 1980s, judging by their latest figures. The company comes up with all the great features, and then someone else comes along, creates an open software platform with similar features and starts to take over the market. Data usage is increasing exponentially and companies like WhatsApp, Twitter and others continue to increase their hold on mobile subscribers. Operator networks are increasingly being dominated by vendors such as Ericsson, Nokia Networks and more recently companies like Huawei and ZTE, who can provide a multitude of
A DIFFERENT ROUTE Irish companies are, I believe, unique in the telecommunications arena. Typically, the best of these companies are small – set up by people who have a vision for a solution or service and an inherent desire to make life better for their fellow human beings. Apple and Google are examples of companies that started in this way, but particularly in Ireland, there are several small to medium-sized companies doing really fantastic things. Supported by Government agencies like Enterprise Ireland as well as private equity, they are a step above what is coming out of other countries. Increasingly they are looking outside of their traditional markets like Europe and the US, with several now working with the very biggest operators across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. VISION AND INNOVATION In my experience, quite apart from the technology, people like working with the Irish, and it has helped open many doors for Irish companies over the years. Some of the most innovative companies in the past 15 years got their start from supportive operators willing to go a different route. Many operators of course embrace this route and indeed seek out such companies. They are more visionary than others; they see the potential. However, there are operators out there who are missing out on innovations for their subscribers and ultimately profits by ignoring the many companies with exciting technology to offer, particularly in emerging markets. Irish companies have a big advantage here and combined with a great product and strong sales team can thrive in this new environment. n Declan O’Mahony is the CEO of Dubaibased consultants The O’Mahony Group which specialise in helping Irish technology companies enter the lucrative Middle East and Gulf markets. September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | ROBERT WALTERS
The recruitment run Mark Fallon, associate director for Accounting, Finance and IT at Robert Walters Ireland provides advice on how to hire the right employees for your business.
s hiring activity in the Irish market increases, so too does candidate confidence. Employers are once again competing to attract and retain the best talent in the marketplace. Hiring can be one of the biggest challenges in growing a business and many organisations underestimate the time and effort needed to invest in this activity. While not exhaustive, this list may act as a set of best practice guidelines to follow when making hiring decisions. Formalise a job description at the beginning of the recruitment process; think about what skills are essential versus desirable so that you know what the deal breakers are when it comes to considering potential employees. Here are some points to consider: • What level of experience do we require? • What are the existing skill sets within this team? • How will our new starter compliment these existing skills? • What are the day-to-day activities this person will be doing? • What is the budget for this hire? Is it relative to our existing staff? • Is this role a permanent position or could we hire a contractor?
Internal referrals: Ask existing employees if they know people with certain skill sets who would be suitable for the position. Many companies run referral programmes, rewarding staff members for recommending their friends. This can be a very successful and costeffective way to recruit. Recruitment companies: A good recruiter will have access to a bigger pool of candidates and can cast the net further by approaching individuals who may not be actively looking in the market at that time. Advertising: A well-written advertisement in a national broadsheet or trade-specific magazine can often prove extremely effective in targeting the passive jobseeker. Online job boards and your company website can also provide effective solutions. Social media: Post the job on your company social media accounts to ensure it reaches a wider target audience. Internal applicants: Consider whether an existing employee is suitable to move into the role. Developing a culture of promoting from within aids staff retention and provides career progression for existing employees.
CANDIDATE ATTRACTION There are numerous candidate attraction strategies available to employers:
THE INTERVIEW Hiring organisations are competing with each other to hire the best talent in the
market. Investing time in training your interviewers can make a huge difference to securing the best candidates. Prior to the interview, define the competencies needed in the role you are recruiting for and create a set of questions around these competencies, for example: Communications skills: Describe a situation where you had to relay a difficult message to a team member. Working under pressure: Tell us about a time in work where you were given a tight deadline to deliver a project. Teamwork: Describe the part you played in a team project that you have delivered recently. Screen candidates against skills, experience and competencies when interviewing, leaving any personal bias aside that may influence your ability to identify the best candidate for the job.
THE OFFER Once you have identified the best person for the job, give them a verbal offer of employment that details the salary package. This verbal offer should be dependant upon any references you require and once satisfied, draw up a contract without delay. Be prepared for counter-offer situations, which are rife at present as organisations attempt to retain their top talent. Discuss the situation in detail with the candidate to minimise the chances of them changing their mind. Offer support and constant communication throughout the resignation period, which can often be a stressful time. Once the candidate has accepted the offer, reject all other applicants verbally or in writing, thanking them for their time and giving feedback where appropriate. ONBOARDING Upon commencing employment, it is critical that the new employee is given support and guidance. Structuring their first week, comprehensive induction training and clear communication around objectives is essential. People are the lifeblood of a company. Getting the hiring process right is crucial to building a successful business and key for companies seeking to grow their employer brand and maintain a competitive advantage.” n For more information: e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: +353 1 673 0811
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COMMERCIAL FEATURE | EMPLOYEE WELLNESS SPECIAL REPORT: VANTAGE RESOURCES
The IT crowd Vantage Resources – specialists in the delivery of quality candidates within the IT departments of Ireland’s largest companies – has joined forces with UCD Smurfit Business School.
antage Resources specialises in providing the very best IT talent to work on projects within Ireland’s leading domestic and global companies. With extensive IT experience, the Vantage management team are entirely focused on providing IT staffing solutions for our clients utilising a proven industry leading account management service.
The company has the industry knowledge and the extensive resources to provide businesses with the multiple skill-sets required throughout an entire project’s ‘life cycle’.
will be most in demand are Java (and related skills such as Hibernate, Spring, AngularJS, etc.), .Net (and related skills such as Asp, C#, BizTalk etc.) and mobile technologies.
IT STAFFING SURVEY The biggest threat to the growth of the IT sector in Ireland today is the ongoing shortage of skilled IT professionals at all levels. Vantage Resources has marked its first IT Staffing Survey in collaboration with UCD Smurfit Business School. The survey outlined a number of key trends in the hiring of IT staff by large and small, national and multinational, companies in Ireland in 2016. The report found that 87% of medium and 92% of large companies will hire IT staff in 2016 while the skills that
IN DEMAND Increase in demand for IT employees has increased over the last five years for 86% of companies and the 2017 Vantage Resources and UCD Smurfit IT Staffing survey will monitor this projected growth and the areas of IT that will be affected. n For more information or to take a look at the findings in full or register to take part in the 2017 survey, please contact: w: vantage.ie e: email@example.com t: +353 1 295 2850
WILL YOU BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION? Meet world leaders from fintech and six other key verticals in an intimate gathering of founders and influencers. Dublin’s Silicon Docks, 15th & 16th February 2017 dublintechsummit.com | @DubTechSummit
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | SUNGARD AVAILABILITY SERVICES
Hybrid IT solution specialists Sungard Availability Services is the engine powering some of Ireland’s most successful companies through its popular IT services.
S headquartered Sungard Availability Services is the Dublinbased company that provides critical IT production and recovery services to some of Ireland’s best-known, most successful names. These leading companies recognise that in today’s non-stop business world, without highly available IT, their organisations simply could not function or deliver the promises their customers demand of them. Sungard AS is the technology partner they rely on to enable them to keep those promises. Fujifilm, for example, must ensure the images at the heart of its business are always readily accessible. Its popular Imagine product allows people to print their digital photos on a variety of items including photo books, mugs, coasters, clothing and keyrings to make personal gifts and mementoes. If consumers were unable to instantly access their photos the service would grind to a halt and Fujifilm’s reputation would suffer irreparable damage. High availability around the clock is critical. Consequently, Fujifilm stores its images on a private cloud provided by Sungard Availability Services, which comes with a service level agreement-backed commitment to 99.99% availability. The technology platform also gives Fujifilm the scalability and flexibility it needs to 122
fulfil its worldwide expansion ambitions. Mobile marketing specialist Brandtone’s business centres on successfully exploiting the ubiquity of mobile phones to promote its clients’ brands and produce a measurable return on their marketing investment. As this involves engaging with over one billion consumers worldwide Brandtone needed a secure, segregated and scalable cloud service to host the huge databases of shoppers’ details acquired through its campaigns. Brandtone relies on Sungard AS’ enterprise-class Managed Private Cloud platform, which provides a robust environment for its systems and extremely valuable data. Resilience is assured through global load balancing, multiple internet carriers, managed firewalls, two-factor authentication and DDoS attack mitigation solutions. The flexibility of Sungard AS’ cloud environment has been crucial in accommodating Brandtone’s phenomenal growth rate. Each component of the resource pool is individually flexible – from available processors, memory and storage to number of instances and bandwidth. As for online car parts supplier MicksGarage.com, its business is as much about technology as the spare parts it sells. With more than 6.5 million product
listings on offer and customers needing their spare parts urgently, the firm’s success hinges on the speed and reliability of its IT infrastructure and streamlined business processes. Sungard AS provides a resilient, multitenant cloud solution that gives the firm the high availability and scalability it needs to manage the complex logistics operation. Two enterprise cloud servers with load balancing and a redundant physical server ensure there is no single point of failure and enable the firm to cope with sudden spikes in demand. Other prospective providers were fazed by the difficulty posed by managing (and recovering if necessary) a hybrid IT environment consisting of both physical and virtual servers. However, Sungard AS’ heritage in recovery and continuity – amassing more than 35 years’ experience of keeping customers’ critical systems up and running – means whatever scenario customers face, we are likely to have seen it before. We take a business outcome-focused approach that starts with understanding the customer’s business and then working with what they have. It’s an approach valued by our many Ireland customers who also include multistore gift card One4All, the web-based Hibernia College and the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland. Sungard AS has recently extended its highly successful Channel Partner Program across Europe. The multi award-winning programme operates as a collaborative selling model in which Sungard AS works alongside its partners to provide joint customers with complete solutions, thus helping them meet growing demand for ‘as a service’ delivery models and Opex financing. Carefully selected partners have a choice of several tracks that allow them to offer Sungard AS cloud, cloud recovery and managed application solutions, plus a host of hybrid IT offerings to their customers and thus help them build an ongoing revenue stream. n For more information about how Sungard AS solutions can help your organisation, or to find out more about the Channel Partner Program, contact: w: sungardas.ie t: 1800 938 122
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | BRIGHTWATER EXECUTIVE
The digital revolution Anne-Marie Walsh, partner, Brightwater Executive reports on the ever-evolving landscape of the IT executive market.
recently attended an Ibec conference on â€˜Manufacturing for Tomorrowâ€™. As an executive search recruiter who specialises in IT, supply chain and engineering positions, my intention was to focus on the supply chain side of my desk at this event. In reality, I realised that today, technology pervades most things. The event spoke to Industry 4.0 or the 4th revolution. Technology and digital advances differentiate this revolution from previous revolutions with the Internet of Things, big data and 3D printing all being core to this new industrial dawn. I noted that Tim Leopold, project lead in Employment, Skills and Human Capital from the World Economic Forum, reported that the core skills required for a career in manufacturing and technology from present day to 2020 would be creativity, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility.
THE NAME GAME One of the key requirements of all senior IT professionals is that while they continue to boast impressive technical
backgrounds in addition they must be commercially savvy and well versed with strong EQ. In addition to the core personality skills alluded to, senior IT leaders now sit at the heart of business strategy and are often integral to both its definition and execution. It comes as no surprise then that we have seen a concurrent shift in the IT executive (or should I say digital!) titles.
GROWING MARKET If you were to have looked at executive digital titles two years ago, you would have frequently come across head of IT, CIO, CTO and IT director. However, looking to 2016, there is now a plethora of additional titles which really capture the spirit of a rapidly evolving executive market. The rise of jobs in big data and data science has been well documented. In the senior market we are now seeing jobs such as chief analytics officer (with a focus on leading out the predictive analytics and data modelling functions), chief data officer (with a focus on data quality) and other titles, e.g. head of data governance, head of data quality, head of data strategy.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND You tend to see a clear delineation of these titles in larger organisations now heavily invested in data and with sufficient resources to back this investment. In smaller to medium-sized organisations, these roles are often combined into one head of data or chief data officer function. In addition to data, the importance of cybersecurity as a significant threat to organisations, if not dealt with appropriately, has resulted in the emergence of a number of senior security positions. Chief information security officers (CISO) are in strong demand on the market at home and abroad and if the Irish market follows trends in the UK and US, these professionals will be likely to be financially rewarded in coming times. CORE TO BUSINESS So what of the CIO and CTO? Has the emergence of this crop of C-level IT positions impacted on the traditional functions of these professionals? Again, the size of the organisation and crossjurisdictional markets they operate in is key here. A number of multinational organisations have adopted a new role of chief digital officer. This is somewhat reflective of IT and marketing functions now being closer aligned due to an increasing focus on the value of data in organisations. This chief digital officer also nods to the previously mentioned engagement of IT at a strategic level across the business. MEASURED SUCCESS With the dawn of IoT, big data and the cloud, IT strategy is now core to the business strategy as opposed to supportive of it. It seems likely therefore that senior digital roles will continue to become increasingly specialised and impacts to the business will be a key yardstick by which success may now be measured. n For more information: w: brightwater.ie e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: +353 1 662 1000 September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | UNITED AIRLINES their destination refreshed. Customers in United Economy can enjoy complimentary beer and wine with a, high-quality inflight dining service, whilst United Economy Plus offers up to six inches of extra legroom. Pat Reede, sales manager Ireland at United, said: “Ireland and the US share a long history together. Our flights from Dublin and Shannon not only provide Irish customers with fast, convenient access to New York, Chicago and Washington, DC, but offer a top-quality product for business travellers.”
Experts in elevation United believes in providing a tailored travel experience and understands corporate travellers are looking for services to optimise convenience, comfort and productivity.
reland and the United States share a close bond both historically and financially, and with solid ongoing trade partnerships in place this offers great potential for new business opportunities. Airlines provide significant support for this relationship, creating a fast, convenient link between the two countries, facilitating successful deals and investments. With nonstop services from Ireland to New York, Washington, DC and Chicago – three of the top US business centres – United Airlines provides the best way of getting there. United has served Irish customers with direct flights to the US for over 17 years – operating nonstop services between Dublin and New York/Newark, Washington, DC/Dulles and Chicago, as well as nonstop flights from Shannon to New York/Newark and a seasonal Chicago service. Not only do United’s flights provide Irish business travellers with a direct link to some of the largest finance and industry hubs in the US, but also offer fast connections to some of the most exciting and vibrant tourism
destinations across the Americas via United’s unparalleled network, including Las Vegas, Denver and Los Angeles. From United’s New York and Chicago hubs, Irish business customers can easily connect to the dynamic destination of San Francisco, where, at the southern end of the bay you’ll find the tech giants of Silicon Valley, home to Twitter, Pinterest, Airbnb and Google, to name a few. Away from the office, San Francisco offers endless attractions including the Golden Gate Park, Japanese Tea Garden and the Chinatown district, the oldest in North America.
TRAVEL IN COMFORT The airline offers industry-leading premium products including a BusinessFirst seat that reclines 180 degrees into a lie-flat bed and features a personal on-demand entertainment system as well as laptop power and USB ports. Premium customers can enjoy a multi-course meal accompanied by sommelier selected wines, duvetstyle blankets and cowshed skin-care products – letting travellers arrive at
IMPROVED DESIGN For business travellers time is a valuable commodity, so to allow customers greater control of their travel experience, United continues to invest in technology that puts flight information at customers’ fingertips, with apps that enable mobile bookings, status updates, check-in, boarding passes and much more. Interactive indoor maps for United’s Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington hubs are also accessible via the United app (for iOS devices), making navigation through the airport simple and allowing customers to make the most of their travel time. United’s new-look united.com, has a sleek, modern and touch-friendly design and with improvements that mimic popular features found in United’s mobile app. Customers can easily find the best flight options and can filter results based on nearby cities, preferred connecting cities, aircraft type, onboard amenities such as wi-fi and other favoured attributes. United also helps business travellers hit the ground running at their destination by keeping them connected inflight via smartphone, tablet and laptop. United was the first US carrier to offer onboard satellite-based wi-fi and with installation of the technology and now has wi-fi on more than 700 of its mainline aircraft. n For more information: w: united.com t: 1890 925 252
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | VIATEL
The connected era Is Internet of Things a fad or the future? Ian Hayes, presales consultant at Viatel wonders.
n an industry overflowing with acronyms and new buzzwords, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become only the latest example. One definition of this phrase provided by Cisco Systems is ‘the intelligent connectivity of physical devices driving massive gains in efficiency, business growth, and quality of life’. Much of the discussion of this trend has involved machine-tomachine communication or industrial control systems but for most of us the IoT represents more subtle and personal interactions. We will find IoT on the motorway or car park and increasingly more in our car. Examples include Audi and BMW who now offer two-way communication, with their new models capabilities for remote upgrade and service planning, in addition to integrated satellite navigation and on-board wi-fi. IoT will be part of our homes from our alarm system to our televisions. How we use IoT is often through an app on our smartphone where we can answer the door or turn on the house heating for example. The components making up this new infrastructure include the ‘things’ (thermometers, switches, cameras, buttons, pressure sensors
and accelerometers, etc.), displays and applications, network connections (3G, 4G, wi-fi, DSL, fibre, licensed radio, etc.), the internet, network security devices, servers, storage systems and complex database software systems. Cloud service providers such as Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure are used to provide the storage and compute platforms by IoT makers, as this allows them scale easily and avoids the initial costs of building data centres and buying servers. This use of cloud service providers helps drive the selection of the public Internet as the connectivity option for the things capturing the data to the servers storing and mining the data.
INCREASED CONNECTIVITY Security is one of the key risks for both providers and users of IoT systems. Data from the point of capture through network transmission and on to storage and data modelling needs to be protected and secured. With cloud platforms it can be more difficult to know where the data resides. Amazon for example has data centres in Dublin, London and Frankfurt supporting western Europe. Data can move seamlessly between these centres but is retained within Europe at least for now.
In July this year a New York Circuit Court in the so-called ‘Irish Warrant’ case, brought by Microsoft against the US government, ruled that the prosecution could not use the 1986 Stored Communications Act (SCA) to retrieve messages on a Microsoft server in Dublin. This was a case brought by Microsoft to overturn an earlier decision which required them to hand over data stored outside the US to a US court. In refusing to provide the requested data and taking this legal action Microsoft knowingly placed itself in contempt of court – would other firms go to such lengths? It is simplistic to see an IoT company as the maker of the end device or sensor. For the IoT company, the real value is generated from the back end systems. IoT delivers data to data warehouses about what is happening in our world in realtime. The challenge for IoT companies is not making the sensors or building a network – it is taking the data from those devices, storing it, mining it and creating useful information and insights allowing further value to be generated. Various values have been associated with IoT – some which seem beyond belief. One expert estimates IoT will consist of 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020. The diverse nature of the connected devices will mean that data will enable insights that we cannot yet imagine will be available. Almost all of us now carry a device of this nature with us today – our mobile phone. This tracks our whereabouts, records our interactions with others by voice, video, email and apps. As individuals we should know what information will be gathered, where it will be stored and mined and what use will be made of such information. I suspect many of us do not know what details we currently share with our phone manufacturers. IoT devices in our homes and transport will generate a new level of information for companies. What those companies use and share that information for will be virtually impossible for us to understand or control. n For more information: w: viatel.com e: email@example.com t: +353 1 256 9200 September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | IBEC
Demanding talent Paul Sweetman, director of ICT Ireland and the ISA (soon to be Technology Ireland) in Ibec discusses talent in the tech sector.
he tech sector in Ireland now employs over 115,000 people in a multitude of business and technology roles, up a staggering 53% from 2010. It continues to be the case that where one company finishes a recruiting round, another has a major jobs announcement. Talent is in demand. Focusing for the moment on tech skills, it is not just in the tech sector itself that we see a growing skills demand. ICT skills are increasingly needed in other sectors such as retail, food, manufacturing, hospitality, pharma and medtech. In total, Ireland employs over 80,000 people in ICT roles. In fact, tech talent is the fastest growing skills demand in Ireland. Figures from the IDA show that over the period of 2013 to 2015, demand for tech professionals grew by 83%, compared to the previous period of 2010 to 2012. Looking to our indigenous sector, Enterprise Ireland recently announced that the indigenous software sector grew exports in 2015 by 32% to reach €1.9bn. That is huge growth in itself, but importantly, it is the comparison to other sectors that is most telling. The average export growth in 2015 for all Enterprise
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Ireland supported companies was 10%. Over the past number of years, our team in ICT Ireland and the ISA (soon to be known as Technology Ireland) has tracked the job announcements in the tech sector. Since 2011 over 27,000 jobs have been announced by tech companies. If these growth levels continue, we could soon see over 100,000 people employed in tech roles alone, and that is not including all of the other non-tech roles that will be inextricably linked to those positions. It is an incredibly positive story, and by no means at the end. But, we must be vigilant and ensure we tackle pressing issues in order to continue the great economic and social growth that comes from a burgeoning tech sector. It comes as no surprise that the single biggest challenge for the tech sector is access to the right talent – talent that matches the creativity and boldness needed by tech companies. In Europe over 700,000 ICT practitioners are needed. That’s about 10% of the current employee numbers in the European ICT sector. Demand for tech skills is expected to grow by 3% both in Ireland and Europe every year in the short-to-medium term.
However, the skills challenge is not simply about science, technology, engineering and maths abilities, but other equally needed skills such as business acumen and savvy, critical communications skills, team work, project management and the ability to embrace and be comfortable with ambiguity. We can design and build the best country in the world, but only the creativity and talent of our people can make it a reality. Students must be provided with constant information on opportunities open to them. We also need to develop students’ mindsets from automatically thinking that ‘there is a job for you’ to ‘create a job for yourself’. A number of the companies today’s graduates will go to work for, did not exist two decades ago. Any failure to develop critical minds and critical thinking will undermine our ability as a society to adapt to a fast-changing workplace and world. The 2015 Flux Report, detailing employers’ expectations of new graduates across a number of sectors, throws up some interesting concepts. What the report points to is change and uncertainty of the working environment. However, I don’t mean this to be negative. This is actually of great advantage to those who can see how the world of work moves. Employers now are looking for those who can work hard and are entrepreneurial, but also those who can embrace ambiguity, cope and thrive in change, and have the ability to face their mistakes. To deliver the needed outcomes for Ireland and technology sector employers, ICT Ireland and the ISA (soon to be Technology Ireland) have drafted the Technology Manifesto. The Manifesto contains 30 clear actions for Government to make Ireland a global technology powerhouse. Many of these actions are now underway, raising Ireland’s competitiveness. We must keep our shoulder to wheel. The technology sector will grow somewhere – let’s make sure it is in Ireland. n For more information: w: software.ie t: +353 1 605 1500
Business & Finance September 2016
COMMERCIAL PROFILE | BLUEFACE decommissioned worldwide. Retiring the PSTN means that IP-based telephony is now the standard for organisations, who must choose whether a cloud/hosted setup or on-premise deployment better fulfils their needs. It’s estimated that 95% of phone systems worldwide, including PSTN based systems, are on-premise with the remaining 5% in the cloud. Given current levels of migration, these figures will likely be reversed within ten years.
Call forwarding Brian Martin, general manager of Blueface discusses how the cloud phone system is becoming an essential business tool.
t is hard to believe that the two most famous Steves in the world – Jobs and Wozniak – began their commercial activities with illegal phone hacking and their infamous Blue Box. Perhaps it was frustration with the limitations of the phone service that drove Jobs to invent the iPhone and revolutionise the mobile phone industry. The telephone networks of the 1970s, which the famous duo hacked, hadn’t changed much over the previous 100 years and provided almost no functionality beyond plain telephony. The iPhone however was much more than a phone. It was the internet in your pocket. It gave rise to multi-billion dollar industries in app development, business services and all sorts of ancillary products which weren’t possible without the power of the iPhone. The range of sophisticated services demanded by businesses today are light years from 1980. There’s no doubt that the business communications industry is in the midst of fundamental change. The invention that changed the business world like almost no other – the telephone -– has evolved. The first thing which enabled this change is the concept of the cloud phone number. The old phone network tied a number to a copper wire delivered
to a specific address. Moving this number, although possible, was problematic. The advent of IP-based telephony has changed that. The number is now stored in the cloud, meaning any call to that number arrives into a cloud platform with connectivity to the entire planet through the internet. Any variety of logical rules and procedures can be applied to that call before it is directed to a telephone anywhere in the world. Applying business rules to inbound calls is enormously powerful. The call can be directed to a certain person or department automatically, based on caller ID, without having to answer it first. An interactive voice response (IVR) system can answer and process the call dynamically. Calls themselves can be joined, refused, redirected or recorded depending on the time of the day, the person calling or being called, or on any other definable rule. The cloud phone system is becoming an essential business tool and adoption is driven by the exponential increase in functionality it provides, along with massive flexibility and dramatic cost savings. The second thing accelerating the move from the old world to IP technology is the shift in underlying infrastructure. Traditional phone lines, known as PSTN lines, are being
FUNCTIONALITY The Cloud Communications Alliance, which counts almost all of the global market leaders amongst its membership, reported growth rates of 20%-30% per annum in June of this year. Blueface is a founding member of the Alliance and hosted the global conference in May this year. Some of the statistics on that day were truly impressive. The consensus is that due to modern reliability and security standards, sophisticated functionality and ease of use, cloud communications will continue to grow at a similar pace for the foreseeable future and rapidly replace onpremise equipment – i.e. the traditional PBX/phone system. This, of course, means massive opportunity for cloud communications service providers. Blueface have just released the latest version of our cloud communications platform. It has taken over 100,000 development hours to produce, accompanied by 12 years of pioneering experience in the industry. This is in addition to an international expansion with operations in progress in the United States, Germany, Spain and France, complementing existing setups in Ireland, United Kingdom and Italy. If your organisation’s phone system is not hosted already, it’s likely the next iteration will be. Even if it’s not provided by Blueface, it’s an exciting time to be part of the cloud communications industry. It has come a long way since Steve and Steve’s Blue Box. n For more information: w: blueface.com e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: +353 1 524 2000 September 2016 Business & Finance
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COMMERCIAL PROFILE | DUBLIN INFO SEC 2016
A new age of technology By any measure, the digital threats that businesses and organisations of all sizes face are increasing.
n the last year, global security incidents have risen by almost 40% according to research from PwC. That includes some 400 million personal records that were exposed through breaches across the financial, business, education, government and healthcare sectors. This comes at a price. Industry figures show that the average cost for each lost record is €122. And many organisations don’t feel they’re getting on top of the situation. According to a recent CyberEdge report, over half of companies worldwide think that a successful cyber attack against their network will happen within the year.
GATHERING OF MINDS Dublin Info Sec 2016 will look at some of the critically important issues that threaten businesses and organisations in Ireland and abroad. It takes place on November 15th in the RDS, Dublin. Featuring experts in a variety of security fields, including Adrian Weckler (technology editor, INM), Rik Ferguson (Trend Micro), Sarah Harrisson (Wikileaks journalist), Terry Greer-King (security for Cisco) and more, the event will also 128
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deal with some of the most important emerging challenges in IT security.
AREAS OF FOCUS Here are some of the areas that Dublin Info Sec 2016 will deal with in detail: Ransomware: Ireland is in the grip of a ransomware wave, with businesses, public bodies and ordinary citizens being attacked relentlessly. Ransomware attacks are becoming a preferred cybercriminal tool because they are very difficult to overcome once a computer system has become infected. Typically, ransoms are paid in the bitcoin cybercurrency and start at around €500 upwards. Dublin Info Sec 2016 will hear from a number of experts about how best to battle ransomware attacks. Internet of Things: Industry experts predict the number of connected devices to jump from billions to trillions in the next decade. Everything from your kitchen appliance and your watch to lampposts and traffic lights in smart cities will ‘talk’ to one another as the world’s infrastructure adds intelligence to inanimate things. But the utility benefits of such expansion in our new world of an Internet of Things also poses
unprecedented challenges to security. Already, incidences of malware attacking smart TVs are causing policy makers to consider how best to protect crucial civic and corporate assets from being exposed. Dublin Info Sec 2016 will feature one of the world’s leading authorities on securing devices in era of the Internet of Things. Attacks on public sector bodies: Over the last number of years, government bodies and public sector organisations have increasingly come under attack from cyber criminals. From the transitioning of operating systems and backend servers to malware, ransomware and phishing attacks, sovereign governments are being tested as never before. Dublin Info Sec 2016 will map out strategies for public sector officials to prepare against and prevent IT attacks on their systems. Content will focus on local government agencies, semi-state bodies and central government departments. Artificial intelligence in today’s business systems and how to deal with the rise of robots: AI and robotics are two of the most focused areas of advancement in IT today. From online customer service systems to machinery being deployed in our factories and offices, a new age of technology is giving rise to fears of enhanced security threats. Dublin Info Sec 2016 will look at the range of vulnerabilities likely to arise from increased automation and artificial intelligence. Virtual payments security: Across the world, payment systems are rapidly changing. From the rise of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay to blockchain technology on the cusp of being accepted by central banks, virtual payments are set to become the biggest new area in moving money. But while such systems are designed to be more secure, organisations still want to know how vulnerable they may be when deployed commercially on a wider scale. Dublin Info Sec 2016 will look at the latest issues around virtual payments security. n Dublin Info Sec 2016 takes place on November 15th in the RDS, Dublin. For more information: w: independent.ie/infosec2016
Business & Finance September 2016
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