The tech business week: Ireland stands out and Eircom gets connected

8 Jun 2015

It was a good week for Ireland's digital economy

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, including, Ireland among world’s top digital economies.

Ireland named a ‘standout’ country among world’s fastest-moving digital economies

Ireland has been listed alongside Israel and Singapore as a ‘standout’ country by the Harvard Business Review — one of the economies where the digital economy is moving at its fastest.

The Harvard Business Review defines ‘standout’ countries as those that have shown high levels of digital development in the past and continue to remain on an upward trajectory.

Singapore tops the standout league because of its sophisticated digital infrastructure and has continued to entrench its lead position by investing in infrastructure. Other countries cited as standing out include Switzerland, Hong Kong, South Korea, New Zealand and the UAE.

Eircom to connect almost 2m homes and firms with fibre broadband by 2020

Eircom is ratcheting up its high-speed fibre broadband rollout and will increase its footprint from a targeted 1.6m homes and businesses by 2016 to 1.9m across Ireland by 2020.

The operator said the additional 300,000 homes and businesses are spread across 1,070 communities in all 26 counties, and include 300 communities not currently served with high-speed broadband.

Speeds of up to 1Gbps will be available through the use of ‘end-to-end’ fibre to the home (FTTH) technology. This expanded footprint means eircom will invest €400m in fibre over the next five years.

Cisco management reshuffle – CTO Padmasree Warrior to leave in September

Even though he is not CEO until July, the incoming CEO of Cisco, Chuck Robbins, has already reshuffled the decks at the networking giant, appointing 10 new executives to key management positions.

It has also been confirmed that Cisco’s celebrated CTO and strategy officer Padmasree Warrior will be leaving Cisco in the coming months. It is believed she intends to pursue a CEO role elsewhere or join a venture capital firm.

Robbins was announced as CEO of Cisco in recent weeks and will pick up the reins on 25 July. Former CEO John Chambers will become executive chairman of the famed Silicon Valley company.

SunGard files for IPO after being owned by private equity for a decade

Enterprise software player SunGard has filed for an IPO – 10 years after it was acquired by a private equity consortium for US$11bn.

SunGard, which acquired Irish data centre company Hosting365 in 2010 for an undisclosed sum, is targeting the US$190bn-a-year IT services market.

The company, which is being advised by JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, is pursuing the IPO to repay debt.

Twitter’s Jessica Verrilli is leaving for Google Ventures

Jessica Verrilli, Twitter’s director of corporate development and strategy, is leaving the social network to join Google Ventures as a partner, Fortune has reported.

Verrilli has been in her current role since last summer, though she is a long-time Twitter employee, having served in a variety of business development positions since joining the company in April 2009. Over the years she has played a role in Twitter’s acquisition of more than 25 different firms, including Periscope, Vine, Crashlytics and Zipdial.

Pinterest’s Buyable Pins will bring e-commerce to a whole new level

In the coming weeks, Pinterest users in the US will be able to buy their favourite Pinterest finds directly through the app. The e-commerce breakthrough will be powered by platforms like Stripe, Braintree, Demandware and Shopify.

Instead of just pinning items of desire, users will be able to acquire products on the spot.

It emerged in February that Stripe, the Silicon Valley e-payments company founded by Limerick brothers John and Patrick Collison, was working with Pinterest to enable users to purchase goods they discovered on the online scrapbook.

Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.