An overview of the week in deals in the Irish and global technology sector.
Microsoft officially confirms US$1.2bn Yammer acquisition
Microsoft has officially confirmed it has entered into an agreement to acquire social enterprise network Yammer for US$1.2bn in cash. Following the deal, Yammer will become part of the Microsoft Office division.
In recent weeks, rumours began circulating that Microsoft was interested in buying Yammer in order to enter the booming enterprise social space and was prepared to pay US$1.2bn.
Launched in 2008, Yammer now has more than 5m corporate users, including employees at 85pc of the Fortune 500 companies. The service allows employees to join a secure, private social network for free and then makes it easy for companies to convert a grassroots movement into company-wide strategic initiative.
“The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft.
Yammer will continue to develop its standalone service and maintain its commitment to simplicity, innovation and cross-platform experiences.
Moving forward, Microsoft plans to accelerate Yammer’s adoption alongside complementary offerings from Skype, Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.
Netwatch to secure stg£7.7m London Data Exchange
Carlow-based remote digital security player Netwatch has won a prestigious contract to provide security for the new purpose-built North London Data Centre, LDeX1.
LDeX1 is the new 22,000 sq-foot data centre facility of the London Data Exchange (LDeX), which provides co-location services to organisations looking to outsource their server and telecommunications equipment.
It is worth a reported £7.7m.
Netwatch will provide LDeX1 with round-the-clock high-tech, extensive CCTV systems which include virtual perimeter tripwires that link directly to the police when necessary.
The high-tech security specialist has developed a bespoke security solution for LDeX1 which can deliver all the advantages of intensive manned security solutions at a low cost.
NUI Maynooth, DCU and RCSI to pool academic and R&D resources
Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, and Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, TD, have officially launched a new academic collaboration called the 3U Partnership between NUI Maynooth, Dublin City University (DCU) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RSCI).
The idea of the partnership is to tap into the academic, research and education expertise at each of the institutes in order to forge more research and innovation opportunities, particularly around biomedical research.
New academic programmes are also being set up, especially at master’s level in areas such as health tech and humanitarian logistics. Plus, NUI Maynooth, RCSI and DCU will also be looking to attract more international students to come study in Ireland.
“Through collaboration we can achieve scale that allows us to compete more effectively on the global stage," said Kenny.
Sony and Panasonic join forces to manufacture OLED TVs
Sony and Panasonic, two rival TV manufacturers, have announced they will work together in manufacturing OLED television sets, forming a tough alliance for competitors Samsung and LG to beat.
The partnership between the Japanese manufacturers could see televisions with OLED displays become commercially available in the not-so-distant future, and the race is on between Sony and Panasonic, Samsung, and LG to see who will reach the consumer market first.
Reuters reports that Panasonic will invest about 30bn yen in its Himeji plant for a test production line of OLED panels and, together, Sony and Panasonic plan to develop the technology and establish mass production by 2013.
Both Samsung and LG have already demonstrated 55-inch OLED TV prototypes, but these sets are expected to have a price tag of up to US$10,000 when they go on sale later this year.
Social enterprise image via Shutterstock
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