The technology business week: Big Fish Games to close in Cork, cloud market to hit nearly US$20bn by 2017


26 Aug 2013

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

Jobs blow for Cork as Big Fish Games threatens to close operation in city

Big Fish Games revealed Wednesday it is planning to close its offices at CityGate in Mahon, Cork, subject to a 30-day consultation, resulting in the potential loss of 89 jobs.

The job losses are understood to be part of a restructure at Big Fish Games globally and come despite 2013 being the company’s 11th straight year of record revenues, profitability and a positive cash flow (in the company’s own words).

“The pace of change in our industry requires us to invest in the areas where we are growing and position us for the future,” said CEO Paul Thelen.

Thelen said the company had to make hard choices about its future and one of those choices was affected by the high costs of supporting streaming cloud delivery of premium games.

The company will instead focus more resources on its free-to-play casual and casino games and will invest in English, French, German and Japanese premium language games.

Big Fish Games is also letting go of 49 full-time employees at its operations in Seattle, Washington.

Cloud computing market to hit nearly US$20bn in three years

Cloud computing market revenue will jump at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36pc to just about US$20bn at the end of 2016. However, challenges still surround public cloud adoption, a study by 451 Research suggests.

“Cloud computing is on the upswing and demand for public cloud services remains strong,” said Yulitza Peraza, analyst, Quantitative Services, 451 Research, and co-author of the Cloud as-a-Service overview report.

“However, public cloud adoption continues to face hurdles, including security concerns, transparency and trust issues, workload readiness and internal non-IT-related organisational issues.”

Global clean-tech industries growing despite fiscal conditions – report

Global clean-tech industries are growing in spite of fiscal challenges such as bankruptcies, consolidation and lingering effects of the financial crisis, a report released by global advisory services company EY suggests.

Gil Forer, EY’s Global Cleantech leader, said there has been a rise in the performance of the 424 pure-play (publically traded) companies around the world, with growth in the Asia-Pacific region fuelling these increases.

Market capitalisation experienced an annual gain of 18pc to US$170bn last year, and the number of jobs in the clean-tech industry rose 12pc to 512,500 during 2012.

Kodak to exit bankruptcy – plans to move away from cameras to printers instead

Kodak, the one-time king of the photography industry, has won court approval for a plan to exit bankruptcy. The company will move away from making and selling cameras towards being a business-focused commercial printing company.

The bankruptcy exit plan cuts about US$4.1bn of debt. Secured creditors will be paid in full under the plan while shareholders won’t receive a thing.

Unsecured creditors owed US$2.2bn will be paid up to 5 cents to the dollar.

When the company began the bankruptcy proceedings in 2012, it had 17,000 employees. However, once it exits bankruptcy proceedings it will have 8,500 employees.

PC industry downturn hits HP, Q3 revenues fall 8pc to US$27.2bn

Technology behemoth HP has been hit by a fifth consecutive quarter of declining PC shipments and reported an 8pc fall in revenues to US$27.2bn, down from US$29.7bn a year ago.

Third-quarter non-GAAP diluted earnings per share came in at US$0.86, down 14pc from the previous year, in line with expectations.

“I remain confident that we are making progress in our turnaround. We are already seeing significant improvement in our operations, we are successfully rebuilding our balance sheet, our cost structure is more closely aligned with our revenue and we have reignited innovation at HP, with a focus on the customer,” said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer.

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Cork City image via Shutterstock