Tuesday 16 January 2018

Dell Ireland's banking business expands lending to 19 countries

Dell's Irish bank offers loans for the purchase of Dell technology
Dell's Irish bank offers loans for the purchase of Dell technology
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Dell's Irish bank has expanded into 19 countries.

The lending company, set up two years ago, which gives loans for the purchase of Dell technology, is now managing 19 different markets from Ireland.

The company has also begun lending to Irish start-ups, providing loans for the purchase of Dell technology even to start-ups who have not yet generated any revenue.

Dell only obtained its commercial banking licence from the Central Bank in 2013. It was the first new banking licence to be awarded since the beginning of the recession.

It is not, however, the only technology company to apply for an Irish banking licence; Facebook applied for one last year, which experts linked to its desire to move into the payments business, though this has not yet been awarded.

The expansion of its Irish vendor financing business globally is part of the company's transition from a PC maker to a wider technology solutions business following its $24.4bn buyout by founder Michael Dell.

The company was once known only for building computers but has changed its business model in the face of stiff competition from companies like Apple and IBM.

It now provides hardware, software and IT services to business, as well as still manufacturing tablet and desktop computers.

The company employs around 2,800 people split between Dublin, Limerick and a smaller office in Cork.

It has not yet recovered the 1,900 jobs lost when it transferred its manufacturing business from Limerick to Poland.

The company's president of Europe, Middle East and Africa is Irishman Aongus Hegarty.

It recently appointed a new general manager for its Irish business, Dubliner Niamh Townsend (35).

Townsend was appointed to the general manager job in July, taking over from Liam Halpin, who has moved on to the role of executive director of Dell Client Solutions for western Europe.

Among her new responsibilities is the well-being of 35,000 honey bees.

The roof of Dell's Limerick office recently became home to a huge swarm of them. The hive is monitored by hundreds of sensors, tracking the insects' movements. The information is then passed on the university researchers who are examining the decline of the honey bee - a creature vital to Ireland's ecosystem - and looking for ways to ensure its survival. The company calls the project "the internet of bees".

Ireland is emerging as a global hub for Dell's development of "internet of things" products, where everyday items are equipped with sensors and hooked up to the internet to improve performance. Its "internet of things" lab in Limerick was its second in the world after a Silicon Valley outpost.

As well as its honey bee project, the hub has developed products like a tablet computer specifically designed for a bingo company - the device is hardy and splashproof, and switches off immediately if taken out of its home building to prevent thefts.

Sunday Indo Business

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