Deals done this past week

5 Jul 2010

An overview of the week in deals in the Irish technology sector, including a major contract for Eircom to provide the new Aviva Stadium in Dublin with communications facilities.

Eircom wins multi-million euro deal to fibre up Aviva Stadium

Eircom has won the lucrative contract to install the communications facilities at the new Aviva Stadium in Dublin 4. The infrastructure includes the latest fibre internet and voice services.

The three-year contract is the largest communications contract signed by the Aviva stadium to date.

Eircom was involved in a competitive tender process and was awarded the contract because of its cost-effective, flexible and innovative solution.

This deal adds to Eircom’s stadium footprint, which currently includes a three-year contract with Croke Park valued at €1.4m.

The value of Eircom’s deal with the Aviva Stadium was not disclosed.

Google is now a force in global travel industry

Very soon you’ll be Googling up your boarding pass and automatically switching flights via your smartphone. Perhaps that’s the vision driving Google’s US$700m acquisition of ITA Software which was confirmed on 1 July.

What the acquisition will enable Google to do for the man on the street is put all travel knowledge, documentation and capability into their hands.

In the same way that Ryanair took the buying power away from the travel agents and put it straight into the hands of the consumer, Google could make the travel business more transparent and functional.

Amazon buys online gadget thrift store Woot

Online store Woot has been bought by Amazon for an undisclosed sum.

The company, which will operate independently of Amazon, announced the news via a rap video.

Woot is an electrics wholesaler and offers one piece of discounted technology product every day, such as an iPod, until that stock runs out. Buyers are limited to buying three of the particular item on sale that day. Its one-deal-a-day business model has been emulated by scores of websites in the US.

Woot’s irreverent marketing style – embodied in the tagline ‘I Want One!’ – often mocks the products on sale and includes daily podcasts about that day’s sales with a humorous song, rap or skit.

The company also conducts Photoshop contests among forum users for cash prizes or a Monkey prize for an item of little or no value.

Fiat collaborates with Irish company on solar cars

Italian car manufacturing giant Fiat has entered a partnership with Irish energy technology company SolarPrint to develop solar panels that can be incorporated into the roof surface of vehicles as a means of generating alternative sources of energy by converting light to power.

The new ‘smart roof’ will incorporate low-cost photo voltaic (PV) – or solar – cells and lithium batteries that will in turn be used to power on-board devices in cars.

SolarPrint has begun working with the Centro Richerche Fiat (CRF) – the innovation and research arm of the car manufacturer – as a key part of a consortium working on the €3m project, which has been titled the ‘SMARTOP’ initiative. It also includes scientists from University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and Imperial College in the UK.

Financial services giant buys Dublin-based Percana

Dublin-headquartered outsourcing services and software provider to the global life and pensions industry Percana – which employs 250 people in the city – has been acquired by International Financial Data Services (IFDS).

IFDS is a financial services outsourcing joint venture between State Street Corporation and DST Systems Inc. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Percana manages a wide range of life and pensions products throughout the full policy life cycle via an integrated front- middle- and back-office solution.

IFDS acquired an initial interest in Percana in September 2008 in recognition of its outstanding technology, strong existing client base and successful growth record. This is evident in Percana’s signing of major new client Pearl Group in January 2010.

“The purchase of Percana represents the next phase in IFDS’ growth plans,” explained Paul O’Neil, chief executive of IFDS.

“We are committed to expanding our product scope and market reach throughout our existing investor record keeping and transfer agency solutions hand-in-hand with increasing our presence in the life assurance and pensions market.”

Call 11890 signs multimillion euro contract with UPC

Irish directory enquiries company Call 11890 Ltd has signed a multimillion euro contract with UPC Business, which will see the cable company hosting all of Call 11890’s services, including providing bandwidth for internet and data traffic and the trafficking all 11890 directory enquiry calls across UPC’s network.

Call 11890 Ltd has also located its new headquarters at UPC Business’ facility at Eastpoint Business Park in Dublin.

Post.Trust signs desktop security hardware reseller deal

An Post subsidiary Post.Trust has signed a security hardware deal with Kilross Network Protection. Kilross will provide Post.Trust with the security hardware required for Post.Trust’s new desktop document signing solution Post.Trust I.D.

The hardware, manufactured by SafeNet, is a USB encryption token called the iKey 2032. In conjunction with the client software, Post.Trust I.D. uses the iKey to verify that the signatory is the person they say they are.

Post.Trust I.D. enables individuals to digitally sign Adobe PDF documents without the need to print and physically sign them with a pen. What’s more, digital signatures created using Post.Trust I.D. are legally recognised in the court of law.