The digital business week

23 May 2011

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

LinkedIn IPO’s with US$4.5bn valuation

LinkedIn opened trading with shares rising above US$80 each last week. The world watched Thursday’s IPO of LinkedIn for two reasons: (a) it’s a compelling internet business valued at US$4.5bn and (b) it’s the first of the big US social media firms to go public.

While the other well-known social network, Facebook, may have a valuation that some say is approaching US$100bn in the private markets, LinkedIn’s gallop at the stock markets will be pivotal for potential investors in other social media plays that will no doubt follow.

The company will be valued at US$4.5bn, and was originally expected to raise US$274m on its first day.

UK e-government boost for Irish software firm

Dublin software company ABM Data Systems has been added to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMR&C) list of software providers for customs declaration management products.

During the week of the historic visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland, an Irish software company has received a major boost.

All major customs procedures required by HMR&C are now supported by ABM’s flagship product, CustomsWare.

CustomsWare provides manufacturing, logistics service businesses and software developers with an enterprise-class solution for customs declaration management.

In addition to NCTS (New Computerised Transit System), imports and exports, CustomsWare also supports the recently introduced EMCS (Excise Movement and Control System) and ICS (Import Control System).

Disconnected workers cost the Irish economy €472m

According to new research by Empathy Research on behalf of Damovo, €472m was lost in the economy last year because workers who were stuck at home for various reasons were less productive or just not productive at all.

The survey revealed that 35-44-year-olds (55pc) were most likely to have missed time from work, with those aged more than 45 years (40pc) least likely to have missed work for reasons beyond their control. It is likely that those in the 35-44-year age bracket have young children and may have needed to stay at home due to a child’s illness or school closures during bad weather.

Almost two-thirds (65pc) of office workers have limited or no access to their office computing and communications tools from outside the office, ie, restricted access to company network, work email, work voicemail, etc.

More than twice as many males (49pc) than females (24pc) surveyed have full remote access to the office. 

Damovo Ireland country manager Mary Bradshaw points out that the fact so many workers were unable to be productive is ironic when you consider a lot of them actually have broadband.

According to Bradshaw, few companies in Ireland have plans for unexpected situations like snow and ice so there’s no workflow or backup plan in place to keep the show on the road.

Novell and SUSE Linux go their separate ways

Novell and SUSE Linux are to pursue their own destinies, each with their own management teams following the US$2.2bn acquisition of Novell by Attachmate.

Software firm Novell, which employs over 150 people in Dublin and at its height was a major competitor to Microsoft, is to split in two, with the main Novell business returning to its home turf of Utah under the leadership of Bob Flynn, while SUSE Linux will operate as its own entity under the leadership of Nils Brauckman.

According to Novell, the new business unit will have a clear focus on the widely adopted core Novell solutions in the collaboration and endpoint management markets.

Dell triples quarterly profit as cloud and services deliver

Technology giant Dell reported its quarterly profit grew almost three-fold to US$945m from US$341m last year. Revenues were up 1pc to €15bn as strategic acquisitions in the area of cloud, services and security began to deliver.

Revenue for Dell’s commercial business improved 3pc to $12bn, with record profitability. Commercial services revenue increased 6pc.

Enterprise solutions and services revenue grew 5pc to $4.4bn in the quarter and represents 30pc of Dell’s consolidated revenue.

Servers and networking revenue increased 11pc.

Online betting boosts Paddy Power revenues

Irish bookmakers Paddy Power has benefited from a rise in the number of punters using their smartphones to make bets through its online service.

Group revenue is up 21pc in the year, according to the company’s interim trading statement, driven by a 33pc growth in online sales.

About 34pc of customers used their mobile phones to make transactions and amounts staked via phones were up a massive 298pc., the group’s UK and Irish online business therefore performed “particularly strongly”.

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