As the new year and new decade begin, we’re very much looking forward to the technology PR news opportunities ahead at Comit HQ. While there are some clouds on the horizon, most of our clients are optimistic for growth and continued success.
It’s certainly a very different landscape from the beginning of the last decade, when the full effects of the crash were hitting home. However, due to the courage and ingenuity of so many Irish businesses – particularly in the technology sector – we’ve seen our economy and employment levels rebound and flourish. Long may this last!
Before we focus on the year ahead, we’d like to take an opportunity to recognise many of the excellent achievements across our client base in 2019. It was fantastic to work closely with them as we announced their successes.
Growth and Investments
We started last year with a very exciting round of growth and investment news. First up was Expleo who announced an €8M investment in its Irish business as well as 150 new jobs in Dublin and Belfast. At the launch, Phil Codd, managing director of Expleo Ireland, spoke about Ireland’s rich ecosystem and that it, “plans to be an even greater diving force at the heart of that ecosystem, reinforcing Ireland’s position as a major player in the global digital economy.” This was quickly followed by AMI, the Irish leader in secure IT recycling, who announced 30 new jobs as part of a €4M investment in its growth strategy.
In March, we helped to communicate the great news that Diaceutics, an Irish company helping patients get access to potentially life-saving precision medicine drugs, had floated on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Another client with a global growth strategy is Comtrade Digital Services. It launched a new dedicated travel and mobility division called Voyego to help airlines improve the passenger experience. The new entity quickly proved to be in demand as it helped Aer Lingus to accept a much wider range of digital payments.
In May we announced a €2.5M investment and 80 new jobs for OpenSky, the Govtech transformation specialists. The launch took place at its headquarters in Naas with some leading national and local government representatives in attendance. Minister of State for Trade, Employment and Business, Pat Breen T.D. said “Innovation and digitisation are key to Ireland’s continued economic success and so I very much welcome OpenSky’s ambitious plans for expansion.”
Another big investor was Strencom which acquired Baker Security in June. This will position the company very well to capitalise on cloud infrastructure and cloud security opportunities that are continuing to emerge.
Innovation and new services
At Comit, we’re fortunate to work with some truly innovative technology companies who are launching transformative products and services in both Ireland and abroad. In 2019 there was no shortage of exciting new product announcements. At either end of the year, we were involved in two great launches for PayPal. First up was Money Pools, which allows over one million PayPal customers in Ireland to ‘chip in’ digitally for group purchases. This was followed just recently by PayPal’s launch of Xoom in Ireland, enabling people to quickly and easily send money to friends and family in more than 130 countries.
With artificial intelligence and robotics set to become a part of our daily lives, Comtrade Digital Services launched a new AI pop-up labs service in Ireland to help businesses here to understand and leverage the AI opportunity. This move to digital can revolutionise the way people work, particularly by removing repetitive manual tasks. Dublin-based, Envisage Cloud, successfully launched its Connections solution into the UK market. It drastically reduces manual data entries helping retailers to efficiently manage back-office tasks. It expects to implement the software in 3,000 store locations in the UK by 2022.
Earlier in the year, Cadoo launched an exciting new free messaging app primarily targeted at schools and universities. The Cadoo app enables educational institutions to send unlimited free messages such as school closure alerts, notifications of events and appointment reminders to an unlimited number of contacts.
GIS leader, Esri Ireland, continued with its successful efforts to close the digital skills gap by encouraging young people to consider careers in STEM subjects. In February, it announced the launch of ArcGIS for schools in Northern Ireland, making £100M worth of digital mapping software available to every Northern Ireland primary and post-primary schools. This initiative has already made a positive impact on school children from across the sectarian divide in Lurgan. So successful was their project, that three children and their teachers from different schools presented their findings to more than 15,000 attendees at the world’s largest digital mapping conference in San Diego in July.
Using digital mapping technology to better serve businesses and communities is also integral to Gamma Location Intelligence, who launched its Perilfinder service in the UK. Perilfinder is a risk assessment and accumulations reporting tool delivered as a SaaS solution. It includes integrated environmental risk models for flood, subsidence, crime and fire.
Milestones, deals and awards
Key to the growth of many high potential start-ups, is the involvement of business angels and mentors. In October, HBAN announced that it had passed the €100M angel investment milestone in Ireland. John Phelan all-island director, HBAN said, “With syndicates located and engaged across the island, and internationally in New York and London, our HBAN angels are supporting local economies and entrepreneurship.”
Underlining its commitment to bringing high-speed broadband to people and businesses across Ireland, Pure Telecom announced a €12M deal with enet, giving it access to SIRO’s fibre network and 242,000 potential premises in regional towns across Ireland. In another significant client partnership announcement, Equinix agreed a deal to support Goodbody’s digital transformation. Maurice Mortell, Managing Director Ireland at Equinix, commented “as the country's financial services ecosystem continues to grow, digital transformation remains the catalyst for firms adopting a cloud-first strategy to accelerate their reach and fuel their growth.”
Novi, the secure IT and cloud provider, reached a huge milestone, by celebrating its 20th birthday. It also announced that it is helping Mater Hospital to reduce its carbon footprint by over 80,000 tonnes with a cloud solution. The green project will also cut imported electricity from the national grid by 77% and deliver €26 million in guaranteed energy and operational savings.
Granite Digital was also on the acquisition trail. In early December, we helped them announce the acquisition of Apps Made Easy, the Galway founded app development company, in a deal which will, according to Granite’s Robert Carpenter, enable it to be a, “one-stop-shop for every aspect of our clients’ digital presence – whether that’s Digital Strategy, UX Design, Applications Development, SEO or App development.”
There were also so many award wins and elevated accreditations for our clients in 2019 that we couldn’t possibly list them all here. However, a few worth highlighting include Datapac becoming Sophos’ partner of the year in Ireland for the fifth time. Logicalis Ireland joined an elite group of just six partners from around the world to achieve Cisco Global Gold Certification and Paradyn once again was named as one of the fastest growing technology companies in Ireland.
Ricoh Ireland was awarded the Business Working Responsibly Mark for the third time from Business in the Community Ireland, an achievement that recognises Ireland’s leaders in corporate responsibility and sustainability.
Making a positive impact in our local communities is something that’s incredibly important to us at Comit and among our clients. There are so many examples that could be mentioned, but one that we announced very recently was DataSolutions’ successfully raising €25,000 for Focus Ireland, from a wide range of fund-raising initiatives, to help secure a home for one of the more than 1,700 homeless families in Ireland..
Let’s hope that as Irish businesses are setting their targets for 2020, that supporting those less fortunate remains high on their list of priorities. We believe that technology companies in Ireland have the abilities, resources and the goodwill to make a really positive difference. Together, let’s make it happen!
For more information about how Comit can share your good news through our specialist technology PR and content marketing services, contact us today.