A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.
Irish will spend €21bn online by 2017, but most will go to overseas competitors – Digital Hub
The Digital Hub predicts that by 2017 Irish people are expected to be spending €21bn online, but, without an effective national digital strategy in place, most of this expenditure will be lost to companies overseas.
Leonard Donnelly, chairman of the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA), says that a key challenge in the coming years will be persuading Irish consumers to make their online purchases with domestic businesses. “Ireland currently spends close to €4bn online each year, but 75pc of that goes overseas, mostly to the UK,” he said.
“The Digital Hub has projected that, by 2017, the online consumptive economy will be valued at €21bn in Ireland. If the trend for favouring overseas outlets for online purchases continues, however, the revenue loss to the domestic productive sectors will be immense,” he added.
The DHDA manages the Digital Hub in Dublin, where more than 70 digital enterprises are located, and Donnelly’s comments come with the publication of the DHDA’s annual report, which reports on the activities of the Digital Hub in 2011 and reveals plans for future development.
Join Ireland’s digital leaders who will gather at The Digital Ireland Forum to discuss the opportunity for Ireland to become a global centre for the creation and management of the digital content and services today’s connected consumer demands.
HTC closes South Korea business
Smartphone maker HTC has closed up shop in South Korea to streamline operations and improve efficiency after having struggled with low mobile phone sales worldwide and competition that includes handset giant Samsung.
HTC also said the closure is necessary to drive innovation, and ensure its ability to create strong products and solid consumer relationships.
The company’s withdrawal from the South Korean market will be gradual but HTC did not say how many employees are affected by the shut-down.
Cisco completes acquisition of NDS
Computer-networking equipment maker Cisco has finished up its acquisition of video software and content security solutions provider NDS Group Ltd for US$5bn.
NDS’ solutions are designed to enable service providers and media companies to securely deliver and monetise new video experiences.
The company’s software platform, customer segments and services model complement Cisco’s networked video offerings and enhance the delivery of Cisco’s Videoscape, Cisco said.
Videoscape is Cisco’s platform that enables service providers and media companies to deliver next-generation video entertainment experiences.
Under the deal, NDS’ employees join Cisco’s Service Provider Video Technology Group.
Oracle to acquire network virtualisation technology provider Xsigo Systems
Software maker Oracle has stuck an agreement to acquire network virtualisation technology provider Xsigo Systems for an undisclosed sum.
Xsigo Systems’ technology aims to simplify cloud infrastructure and operations by allowing customers to connect any server to any network and storage with ease and while cutting cost.
The combination of Oracle’s software, server, storage and network product portfolio with Xsigo’s software-defined networking products is expected to deliver a complete set of virtualisation capabilities for cloud environments.
Sony reports quarterly loss of US$316m, cuts earnings forecast
Electronics and entertainment company Sony has reported a quarterly loss of 24.6bn yen (US$316m) compared with a 15.5bn yen (US$197m) loss in the 2011 April-June quarter and slashed its earnings forecast for the business year through March 2013 to a 20bn yen (US$256m) profit, down from 30bn yen projected in May.
The company cited uncertainty in foreign exchange rates and global demand.
Operating profit for the quarter sank 77pc to 6.28bn yen (US$80m) compared to the same period last year.
Sony, in the year ended 31 March, had posted an operating loss of 67bn yen (US$855m) and a record net loss of 455bn yen (US$5.8bn). Its June-quarter net loss amounted to 24.64bn yen (US$314m).
However, sales, notably sales of cameras, mobile phones and professional broadcasting products, rose 1.4pc to 1.52trn yen (US$19.4bn).
Sony has been struggling with a strong yen that wears away overseas earnings, and fewer sales of video game devices and liquid crystal display TVs.
In an effort to bring the company back to profitability, Sony in June announced the appointment of its former head of its games division Kazuo Hirai as president and chief executive officer.
Ross Levinsohn leaves Yahoo! after CEO snub
Ross Levinsohn, who served as Yahoo!’s interim CEO between the departure of Scott Thompson and the arrival of Marissa Mayer, has left the company.
Levinsohn stepped into the CEO role after Thompson exited Yahoo! in May after allegations surfaced that he had added a fake computer science degree to his official biography and before former Google executive Mayer took up the post some two weeks ago.
Yahoo! is seeing Levinsohn off with handsome compensation. In an SEC filing, Yahoo! disclosed Levinsohn is being awarded an additional 67,000 shares of restricted stock and 250,000 new stock options priced at $15.80. That is the price Yahoo’s stock closed at on 26 July.
Levinsohn, who had previously served as Yahoo!’s global media head, had reportedly been a stronger contender for the permanent CEO job, and there is no indication at this stage as to what he will do next.
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