A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.
Enterprise Ireland’s new strategy to tap into multi-billion euro emerging markets
Enterprise Ireland has established a new clustering programme aimed at ensuring Irish firms target the billions of euros worth of opportunities in emerging markets, particularly those funded by international financing institutions like the World Bank and European Commission.
The clustering programme called ConsultingIreland will help Irish exporters tap into these emerging markets through a nine-month training and mentoring programme.
The programme will have both a national and international dimension and as part of this drive the first international agreement will be signed at the launch between ConsultingIreland and Alsace International, which is one of the most ‘internationally-active’ of the French regions. Further co-operation agreements will follow with other national and regional associations involved in international projects.
The programme will kick-off in September and applications from interested parties are welcome right now.
Salesforce.com to acquire ExactTarget in a US$2.5bn whopper of a deal
Cloud player Salesforce.com has entered into an agreement to acquire sales and marketing platform ExactTarget in a transaction valued at US$2.5bn.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.
The plan is to combine ExactTarget’s digital marketing capabilities with Salesforce.com’s business and social marketing tecnologies.
However, no sooner had the acquisition of ExactTarget been announced than an investigation on behalf of shareholders into the deal was launched by New York law firm Bernstein Liebhard LLP.
The firm is investigating whether ExactTarget’s board breached its fiduciary duty to shareholders by agreeing to sell the company to Salesforce.com.
Under the terms of the agreement, ExactTarget shareholders will receive US$33.75 in cash for each share they own.
Zynga to lay off 18pc of workforce – restructuring to focus on mobile and multiplayer
Farmville creator Zynga is to lay off 18pc of its workforce – approximately 520 people – as part of a dramatic restructure to transform the company from a web company into more of a social and multiplayer operation. While the company’s New York, LA and Dallas offices are to bear the brunt of the cuts, the company’s CEO Mark Pincus said the impact of the layoffs will be felt across every group in the company.
San Francisco-headquartered Zynga employs 2,900 people worldwide in offices across the world. The company employs around 100 people in Dublin but it is not yet clear what the impact of the cuts will be there.
The cuts will save Zynga US$80m in payroll costs and the company aims to complete the layoffs by August.
In a blog post Pincus said the company needs to restructure and focus on being the leading social gaming service on mobile and multiplatform and not just on the web.
SSE claims to have invested €2bn in Ireland since 2008
Energy utility SSE has marked its fifth anniversary in Ireland, with the company claiming that it has invested the equivalent of €1m every day for the last five years, bringing its total investment in Ireland to over €2bn since 2008.
SSE, which owns the energy supplier Airtricity, now employs more than 1,500 people in Ireland, according to outgoing chief executive Ian Marchant. Of this figure, 400 employees are currently working on the construction of a 460MW gas-fired electricity generation unit in Great Island, Co Wexford, that is due to be commissioned in early 2014.
The energy provider has also acquired a five-storey building at South County Business Park in Leopardstown, Co, Dublin, where it will house up to 650 employees.
An Post launches Admailer.ie with 50 free marketing campaigns up for grabs
To help promote its new marketing service, Admailer.ie, An Post is putting 50 free campaigns on offer, which it claims could attract up to 100,000 new customers to small businesses in Ireland.
Admailer.ie is a new service from An Post that lets registered users create direct mail postcards online for delivery within days. Users can choose from template designs or upload their own and select the streets and areas they want to target using a unique mapping tool, and their postcards will be printed and delivered by An Post in three to four working days.
An Post claims that each direct marketing campaign has the potential to attract up to 2,000 new customers and, with that, has launched a nationwide ‘Big Push for Small Business’ with 50 free campaigns on offer for businesses that register and prepare a postcard for delivery. More details on how to win will feature in local press and on The Sunday Business Show on Today FM.
For those that don’t win a freebie, these campaigns will require a minimum order of 200 postcards at a cost of 58c each (not including VAT).
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