IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 1 February
AIB to sue Oracle over 'wasted expenditure' | Labour announces broadband election plan
The Irish Times reports that AIB is suing two related international companies, claiming EUR84 million it spent on a new retail banking software system was "wasted expenditure". The bank claims Oracle's Flexcube product was "beset with serious technical problems" and only some 3,000 customers out of an expected 5 million were switched over to it in a three-year period. Justice Peter Kelly has granted an application by AIB to transfer to the Commercial Court the bank's action against Oracle Financial Services Software BV and Oracle Financial Services Software Ltd.
The paper also notes that Vodafone Ireland's strategy director, Gerry Fahy, is to step down in April. Fahy has been a senior member of the Vodafone Ireland management team for the past 10 years. "After 10 years with Vodafone and Eircell and a lot of interesting challenges, I feel it's time to take stock and review other career opportunities carefully," he said. Fahy said he will seek another full-time executive role in the telecoms industry.
The Irish Independent notes that cable TV and broadband firm UPC has named Dana Strong as Robert Dunn's replacement as head of Irish operations. The new chief executive is moving from Australian satellite television company AUSTAR, which is partly owned by UPC shareholder Liberty Global. Dunn is returning to Amsterdam, Liberty's base in Europe.
The Irish Examiner reports that a technology project designed to reduce the isolation that chronically ill children experience in hospital has won an award. The Solas initiative, the brainchild of Paula Hicks, a project manager from the Centre for Health Informatics at TCD, is a wireless virtual private network for children in the cancer unit in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin. Solas was among the winners at the Astellas Changing Tomorrow Awards.
The paper also says that, if elected, the Labour Party plans to launch a privately funded EUR2 billion broadband system. Labour wants to set up a new, privately operated company called NetCo, which would drive the roll-out of a new fibre optic broadband network into homes. It wants private companies like Eircom or state companies such as ESB to consider investing in the plan, but no money would come directly from government spending. The new connections would be 100 times faster than current broadband speeds.
The same paper reports that more than half of Irish businesses have invested in a customer relationship management (CRM) system in the past three years. In a survey of over 400 Irish businesses by Microsoft Ireland, 57 percent said they have invested in such a system in the last three years. One in every five companies questioned said they used a CRM system. In addition, 31 percent of companies said they use Facebook to interact with customers, while 23 percent used Twitter.
The paper also says that Ireland's equine industry will be boosted over the coming year by the tax collected from online betting, according to Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith. The changes being introduced in the Finance Bill follow an appeal to the department by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) chief executive Brian Kavanagh, who noted that the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund has been drastically reduced in recent years.
According to the Financial Times, Google's Android smartphone operating system overtook Nokia's Symbian to become the most popular platform in the last three months of 2010. Research firm Canalys said shipments of smartphones using Android surpassed those containing Symbian for the first time in the fourth quarter. Canalys estimated that 33.3 million smartphones featuring Android were shipped by handset manufacturers in the last three months of 2010, up from 4.7 million in the same period in 2009. Nokia shipped 31 million smartphones running Symbian in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The Wall Street Journal reports that chip giant Intel has disclosed a design flaw in a chip that will delay the rollout of new computers based on its latest technology. Intel estimated the cost of the error at about USD1 billion in repairs and reduced revenue -- the costliest mistake in Intel's history. Nearly 8 million of the accessory chips have been shipped since early January to hardware companies, which install them on motherboards in laptop and desktop PCs. Intel has halted shipments of the flawed chip and expects to begin shipping a new version in late February. The company is offering to repair or replace all of the affected boards and systems.
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