Software firms sign landmark US deals


19 Sep 2005

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Three Irish software firms have signed multimillion-euro deals with US firms. The deals were announced during a trade mission by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to the US last week.

Probably ranking among the most lucrative contract announcements ever by Irish software firms in the US, the deals may serve to answer the critics who allege that Ireland’s software sector is unable to compete on the world stage.

The first involves Dublin-based Information Mosaic, which has signed a contract with America’s oldest and largest partnership bank, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) worth up to US$12m. The seven-year contract involves deploying Information Mosaic’s Converg-e middle and back-office software as the platform to support BBH’s Private Account Service, an outsourcing service aimed at global institutional investment managers, banks, financial intermediaries and service providers. Information Mosaic will provide round-the-clock support from its technical services centre in Dublin.

Secondly, Standard Chartered Bank’s has decided to install Norkom anti-fraud software to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing in its branches in more than 50 countries. Norkom’s anti-money laundering and watch list management solutions will be installed across the bank’s operations to provide real-time transaction monitoring and sanctions filtering, helping the bank to detect, analyse, intercept and report suspicious and criminal activity. The value of the deal was not disclosed but is believed to be very sizeable given the nature and scale of the implementation.

In the third major deal, Compuware Corporation is to integrate Dublin-based SteelTrace’s project definition software with its own application development system, QACenter.

In addition, Galway-based Porto Media has announced it will partner with IBM to develop Porto Media’s new digital content distribution infrastructure and then operate it as a managed service. Porto Media has developed a high-speed flash memory tool, which can download and store a 120-minute, DVD-quality movie in just 18 seconds. Porto Media is working closely with IBM research to protect such content from unlawful copying and duplication. This partnership is predicted to result in multimillion-euro sales for Porto Media in the next three years.

At an Enterprise Ireland-hosted lunch in New York last Friday, where he met a number of successful Irish exporters, the Taoiseach said: “The US is a key export market for clients of Enterprise Ireland. It is a powerful global economy with strong links to Ireland. It leads in many industries and as a key innovator, consumer and industry leader, the US market needs to be a priority for Irish companies seeking strong global competitive positions.”

Marina Donohoe, Americas director for Enterprise Ireland, said: “Irish companies have steadily been increasing their business to the US market and winning deals with household names such as Intel, Pfizer, Compuware and IBM. There are now more than 270 Irish companies with offices throughout the US employing some 50,000 people, a number that has steadily increased over the past couple of years.”

By Brian Skelly