IDA and Microsoft team up to lure cloud computing firms
THE IDA has teamed up with Microsoft to launch a joint effort to attract US cloud computing companies to Ireland. The initiative is being launched in New York today and is the first time the IDA has teamed up with a multinational in this way.
Microsoft Ireland managing director Paul Rellis is in the US for the launch alongside John Dennehy of HR Locker, a Cork-based cloud computing company, and Kevin Mahon of US-based Kemp, which has its European hub in Ireland.
The occasion will feature a roundtable discussion of Ireland's cloud computing "ecosystem", which includes IT infrastructure providers such as Microsoft, Skillsoft and IBM, web brands like Google and Paypal and a host of niche and start-up businesses.
IDA head of emerging technologies Barry O'Dowd said partnership with Microsoft gives the IDA an introduction to Microsoft's huge number of US partner companies.
The initiative is not limited to users of Microsoft technology or services, he said.
"It's a very targeted way of promoting Ireland as a location for Foreign Direct Investment. Partnering with Microsoft means we are able to set eyes on high potential companies and spot the winners of the future."
Cloud computing -- which allows users to buy IT services from remote providers instead of investing in technology -- has been identified as a major opportunity for Ireland.
The IDA has identified cloud computing as a key technology trend. A report commissioned by Microsoft said Ireland can grab more than its share of the €70bn market by 2014.
At today's launch in the Irish Consulate, small and medium US technology firms considering expansion into European markets are being targeted. Many already work with Microsoft through its BizSaprk and Azure mentoring programmes.
The initiative offers new companies coming to Ireland access to a range of IDA assistance, including finance and practical help with recruitment and property. In addition, Microsoft will provide free training and technical help as well as networking and mentoring assistance.
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