The digital business week


7 Nov 2011

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

Dublin Aerospace to create 150 jobs

One hundred fifty jobs are up for grabs with Dublin Aerospace at Dublin airport over the next two years, the aircraft maintenance company has announced.

The company is looking to hire skilled technicians and labourers, with 45 positions available immediately.

The new jobs will bring the company’s workforce to 300 within two years, while the investment doubles its capacity to maintain Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s.

Fortune names IBM No 1 global company for leaders

Fortune magazine has named technology giant IBM No 1 in its 2011 Global Top Company for Leaders study, making IBM the first company to ever earn this recognition two consecutive times.

The Global Top Companies for Leaders is a comprehensive study of organisational leadership in the world.

An expert panel of independent judges selected and ranked winners based on criteria including strength of leadership practices and culture, examples of leader development on a global scale, impact of leadership in communities in which companies operate, business performance and company reputation.

IBM topped a list of 470 global companies that are committed to building leadership capabilities within their organisations.  

Apple to bite back with Siri and take a chunk out of Samsung

Samsung is going to be knocked from its throne at the top of the smartphone market in the coming year if Apple and its Siri feature have anything to do with it, according to analysts.

Data from leading mobile analyst firm Juniper Research shows that Samsung has taken the lead over Apple during Q3: 22pc of 115m smartphones shipped were from the Korean giant, compared with Apple’s 15pc.

While Apple continues to find success with its premium iPhone range, its main rival is finding success with handsets at a range of price points.

Daniel Ashdown, research analyst with Juniper Research notes: "While the (Apple iPhone) 4S is essentially an iPhone 4 with hardware upgrades, Siri is going to be a killer app for Apple. And the continuation of the iPhone 4 and 3GS in effect positions the company’s handsets at a range of price points, without losing their premium image."

UPC hits 241,400 Irish broadband customers – up 31pc

Cable TV and telecoms provider UPC reported a net gain of 32,000 new subscribers in Q3. The company’s broadband subscriber base now stands at 241,400 subscribers.

UPC’s parent company, Liberty Global, reported revenues of US$2.6bn, up 4pc. However, Liberty Global reported a net loss of US$333m.

Liberty Global’s fastest-growing countries in terms of revenue in Q3 were Ireland, Poland and Germany, which delivered rebased growth of 12pc, 9pc and 8pc, respectively.

UPC said it now has 858,500 general service subscriptions, up 13pc year-on-year. It has 241,400 broadband subscribers, up 31pc year-on-year. Digital television subscribers now stand at 384,900, up 3pc.

The company added 56,600 home phone subscribers over the last year, representing a growth rate of 65pc and achieving a total of 143,800 phone customers, which it attributes to the introduction of new call rates.

SkillPages hits 2m users in just 10 months

Perlico founder Iain McDonald has revealed his new venture SkillPages has notched up 2m active users since January this year.

SkillPages is a free service that brings together friends and social connections to help source skills from “trusted individuals.”

SkillPages has so far attracted close to €4m in venture capital investment.

In recent months, SkillPages has gone from strength to strength and the company recently launched a new feature that allows members to create an ‘Opportunity’, detailing what skilled person they are looking for.

Other members of SkillPages can then view these opportunities, get presented with those that are relevant to their own skill sets and/or forward opportunities to someone they know who might be interested.

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