11 Oct 2017

Upcoming event: “Office of the Future: Empowering Digital Workplaces” at CHQ, Dublin on 09 Nov

Office of the Future: Empowering Digital Workplaces

Don't miss this special event organised by Digicom at the CHQ building, IFSC, on Thursday 09 November (from noon to 7pm).  Experience the world of unified communications and talk to professionals for advice on how to improve your workplace.

 

What's on:

We have partnered with the best manufacturers to bring you the latest technologies for your business such as Crestron, Sony, Polycom, Avocor and Ricoh.

Discover best-in-class digital solutions such as:

  • Make Meetings Better with Crestron Mercury: your all in one meeting and collaboration solution
  • Easily manage and display live video, PC files and web content in a variety of layouts for smarter presentations and interactive discussions with Sony Vision Presenter
  • Create interactive workspaces with Avocor interactive touch screen
  • Rethink conference phones with Polycom and Skype for Business

 

John Small, 3 time All Ireland winning Dublin GAA player, will also demonstrate the power of video collaboration via interactive screen technology.

Expert speaker at 1pm: Skype for Business presentation by Murtuza Viramgamwala, Senior Channel Business Manager, UK&I Microsoft Channels at Polycom (light snack included).

Click here for further details and to register

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20 Jan 2017

Digital pivot pays dividend

Greg Clarke tells Sean Gallagher how he swapped fruit and veg, and fax machines for high-tech office success

Not very long ago, having a fax machine was seen as being ahead of the curve when it came to using technology in business. Today, faxes have largely been replaced by photocopiers with integrated scanners that speed up the transfer of documents while eliminating waste and reducing costs.

Similarly, advances in video conferencing have greatly reduced the time and cost associated with staff having to travel to face-to-face meetings with other colleagues or customers located in different parts of the country or indeed the world.

One company at the forefront of helping firms keep up to date with such advances is Dublin-based Digicom. Set up in 1997, it employs 36 and has an annual turnover of more than €8m.

“Our business can largely be divided into two main areas,” says managing director, Greg Clarke at the company’s headquarters in Dublin. “Firstly, we specialise in office print technology which includes supplying, installing and servicing everything from printers, and photocopiers to scanners and document management systems and software. These take care of the needs associated with running a modern office facility from capturing and importing documents to managing, storing, indexing, archiving and delivering documents throughout an entire organisation. We also provide security systems that protect these documents against unauthorised access.”

Greg then points to recent research that shows that workers can spend up to 20pc of their time filing or searching through paper documents. They can also spend as many as 10 hours a week searching for documents that were incorrectly filed or recreating misplaced ones.

“By implementing document management in a digital format, employees can now instantly retrieve documents within a digital repository through a simple search function that allows companies allocate a lot more time to using information and a lot less time trying to find it,” he says.

“The second part of our business involves the supply, installation and servicing of all things audio visual from large format LCD displays used for video conferencing and unified communications to digital signage and digital room booking systems,” Greg says.

His customer base includes large firms in the finance, tech, professional services and pharma sectors, such as Bank of Ireland, Northern Trust, HP, Indeed, Matheson, William Fry, Mazars and MSD. In addition, he works with a variety of local government clients including Cork County Hall and Roscommon County Council as well as a wide variety of small and medium-sized businesses.

“While most of our work is in Ireland, we also carry out work abroad, primarily in the UK and Europe, and usually on behalf of companies that are based in Ireland but who have staff and operations in other countries,” he says.

From Dun Laoghaire in Co Dublin, Greg spent his teenage years helping out in the family’s fruit and veg wholesale business. There he would regularly be called upon to do everything from unload bags of onions to mucking out fruit that had gone off. “It taught me a valuable lesson about the challenges of dealing with products with a short shelf life where you had to either sell it or smell it,” he says.

After school, he completed a degree in marketing in Trinity College before returning for a time to join the family business. However, he quickly came to the conclusion that his future in the business was limited due to the emergence of supermarket chains with dedicated fruit and veg departments. With that in mind, he headed off in search of a different career.

He began by selling electric typewriters before progressing to photocopiers and faxes. In 1988, and driven by a desire to experience life outside Ireland, he headed firstly to the Isle of Man and then to Los Angeles, where he spent the next seven years selling IT and computer software.

By 1995, he was ready to return home and set about establishing his own company, which was officially launched two years later. “I could see that all technologies were going ‘digital’ so that’s why I called the business, Digicom, standing for Digital Communications,” says Greg.

At the time, his biggest challenge was learning how to manage his cash flow. This was because investment in equipment was usually upfront while payment from customers was often slow.

Having worked abroad for years, he joined the Dublin Chamber of Commerce as a way to develop contacts and new opportunities. It was a move that would turn out to be invaluable.

In 2001, Greg hired sales director and now shareholder, Peter Fox to lead the development of the audio-visual side of the business. Originally from Cabinteely, Peter had built up a considerable track record in sales from selling franking machines with Pitney Bowes, paging systems with Eirpage and telco and internet services with Worldcom.

“We could see that technology was developing at a fast pace and that the nature of work itself was also changing, with many people now opting to work remotely,” Peter says. “Companies had staff in multiple locations and across different countries who needed to collaborate with each other regularly and we believed that video conferencing and webcasting would be the next big thing,” he adds.

They began to target young companies with growth potential on the basis that if they got in with these early, they could grow with them. Their strategy worked. As did their decision to approach FDI clients and the recruitment companies and office fit-out businesses that helped them get set up in Ireland.

“Our key differentiator in the sector has come from the extensive range of print and audio visual brands we stock but more importantly from our genuine commitment to providing impartial advice on what solutions best suits are clients’ individual needs,” says Greg.

Looking to the future, Greg and Peter see huge opportunities in both print and the audio visual as companies continue to seek out more efficient and more cost effective ways of doing business and communicating with staff, customers and wider stakeholders. “We plan to continue to grow at home and abroad and are confident we can double our turnover over the next three years,” says Greg. “We are always on the lookout for suitable acquisitions to help speed up that process and are currently undertaking research into developing a whole new division within the company that we hope to launch in 2017,” he adds.

After using the expertise he developed abroad, Greg, who is committed to giving back, became President of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce last year. He is also a board member of www.bizworldireland.org, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches entrepreneurship skills to primary school students. “It’s my way of doing my bit to help develop the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs,” he adds.

Sunday Indo Business

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04 May 2016

The Future of Video Collaboration

Recently there was a talk about the future of video collaboration, at the UC EXPO 2016. Europe’s largest unified communications and collaboration event which took place at Olympia, London. Speakers included:

  • Anthony Blake:EMEAR Video Acceleration Lead, Cisco
  • Axel Albrecht:Senior Solutions Engineer, EMEA, Blue Jeans Network
  • Mark Richer; Chairman of the Board, Starleaf
  • Mike O’Boyle: Vice President Collaboration Solutions EMEA and APAC, PGi
  • Rob Bamforth: Principal Analyst, Business Communications, Quocirca Ltd and
  • Tim Stone: Vice President Marketing EMEA, Polycom

Foremost on people’s minds was the future of Polycom, with the recent acquisition announcement of Polycom by Mitel. It was too soon for Tim Stone to tell us much, other than the roadmap for the Microsoft products remain on course, despite the potential conflict of interest with Mitel services. More to be announced by Q4 for this year.

So how is the future for video itself? Well according to Cisco research 65% of Audio Conference delegates are doing something else whilst on a call. 9% are actually exercising’, said Anthony Blake. So video allows delegates to keep a check on engagement during a call. But why is video collaboration not happening more? ‘The lack of interoperability between video platforms ‘ according to Axel Albrecht of Blue Jeans. It’s ‘heartbreaking’ according to Mike Richer of Starleaf, that Apple and Facebook preclude other video platforms from interoperating with theirs. It is holding back the development of the video collaboration industry.

‘So the future is in the cloud’ is Rob Bamforth of Quocirca, ‘bridging enterprise and social network video effortlessly sharing data’ But all of this can only be achieved through wired connections. Mike O’Boyle believes the latency is too poor on Wifi. Do not use it. It will only frustrate you.

All said there seems to be a busy and bright future for video collaboration. It’s really a question about the strategy of the big companies and their acquisition trail. Mitel is another chapter in the story. We wait to see where it goes.

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27 Apr 2016

5 Tips for Running an Efficient Conference Call

Conference calls are a staple of business life, a necessity for organisations of all shapes and sizes. It might even be difficult for you to put a number on the how many conference calls you have participated in during your career. However, how many of those conference calls were run efficiently and were a productive use of the participants’ time? Here are 5 tips on how to do it:

1. Be prepared ahead of time
There is nothing revolutionary here. Being prepared for anything will probably make you more efficient at it, but there are a couple of basics to make sure are covered before call time. Send out an agenda in advance of the call to all participants. This will make sure that the call stays on topic, keeping the length down, but it will also allow people the time to prepare. Hopefully this means that they can bring their best insights and perspectives to the discussion. Send out conference room PINs and bridge numbers well in advance to all participants. The sooner everyone can get into the conference room without unnecessary delay, the sooner you can get down to business. For International participants, make sure you’ve given them a local number to dial into.

2. Keep statements short
As humans, we communicate best in person. Body language is a very powerful communication method. Of course, on audio conference call, we must rely on our voice. You need to tailor how you communicate to the medium you’re using. For voice only conferencing, keep your statements concise and to the point to avoid confusion. Instead of trying to remember what you said 4 sentences ago, or furiously scribbling notes, others can take your point on board and respond appropriately, leading to a better discussion.

3. Punctuality
Again, this is pretty basic, but at some point you have probably felt the pang of uncertainty or frustration that comes from sitting in a conference room by yourself 5 minutes after the scheduled start time. Obviously the quicker the call starts in earnest, the more the group can get through but how often does a person who has been waiting for other participants leave the conference room when the others are late because he or she has plenty of other work on their plate? There are three outcomes to this, either the call is rescheduled, cancelled altogether or there is even more delay getting someone to dial back in when the rest of the group are finally ready. Time is one of the more precious commodities, so if you are going to be late, notify the moderator or other participants. The call moderator should dial in early, to make sure that everything goes smoothly with the rest of the group joining the call.

4. Record the call
If possible, record the call. You’ll need to let everyone know that you are recording and confirm that anyone from another company is OK with this but it’s well worth doing. Nearly everybody takes notes at some stage during a conference call, but if they need to check another detail after the call, the recording will allow them to do so even if they can’t get in touch with another participant. A recording will also let you summarise the what was discussed, allowing you to action our final and most important tip…

5. Share outcomes of the call
Following on from the previous point, this tip works for in person meetings too. Sharing the outcomes of a meeting or call allows the participants to set about the action points assigned to them, or at least remind them to. They don’t have to double back to confirm what they need to do.

 

Via: www.dubchamber.ie

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04 Mar 2016

The Connected Workplace: Unlocking the Potential with Samsung Print

The way we work today is changing and our workplaces are having to adapt to the ever increasing demand for mobility. Mobile devices and cloud based productivity apps mean that employees are connected to their tasks and colleagues no matter where they are or what time of day it is. At the same time, businesses are embracing big data, and trying to figure out how they can integrate the Internet of Things into the workplace in order to improve productivity,
performance, customer interactions, critical decisions and revenue generation.

Becoming the Connected Workplace
Transforming an office into a Connected Workplace has moved on from the days of Bring Your Own Device and into the unlocking of staff potential. Successful IT teams will not just support, but anticipate the various applications and service needs as well as the devices to support the business requirements. Remote working, which has been one of the most successful trends over recent years, will be replaced with smart offices that will act more like creative villages to make staff more productive, healthier and happier. Innovative tech companies such as Google and Facebook are leading the way with this by building offices that bring their people together in a more innovating and effective way. By harnessing the power of the cloud and the internet, the Connected Workplace means that not only will your office be able to recognise that you are heading to work, through your mobile phone, smart watch or even your in-car system, but it will be able to get you completely set up for the day. The office will automatically turn on your desktop computer, inform you of your schedule for the day, and print off any documents you have been updating while working remotely.

Everything Can Be Connected
The ability to connect any number of things and applications together to improve productivity is round the corner and one area undergoing major change to be part of the Connected Workplace is printing. Whilst print does still remain a necessity for many businesses, particularly large enterprises, documents are undergoing a digital transformation from traditional paper to files displayed on-screen, on mobile devices, and shared by cloud services. At Samsung Print, we are seeing a huge demand from our customers and are working with a number of specialists such as Danwood who have already embraced this. Working closely with Samsung they are able to provide a consultative approach to the customer, blending decades of managed print experience with the ability to deliver digital convergence across screens, mobiles and tablet devices. Today’s mobile approach means that it is increasingly important that employees are able to print from any device they are working from. It’s also crucial to be able to scan physical documents into digital versions directly so that they are available on mobile devices via the cloud. Cloud printing including Cloud Connector for Samsung printers, and MFPs is an innovative mobile printing tool, which lets business users manage their print operation from any device, at any time and from wherever they are. Working closely with Samsung, partners are able to help clients rethink their approach to print and introduce them to the connected workplace in order to unlock the potential from digitalisation, mobility and the cloud.

The Connected Workplace
Smart technology is empowering the rebirth and rejuvenation of the office, making it an environment where we will be happy to work. The Connected Workplace will allow employees to communicate intuitively, face-to-face, to consult and collaborate to solve the increasingly complex work situations. As we see more innovation, such as smart systems that can handle the masses of data and scheduling that makes a modern office run smoothing, we will see less stresses and less overworked workforce. In return we will see happy, positive employees who have time to be more creative and productive, which will ultimately benefit the business. For more info on the Samsung Connected Workplace please call Digicom on 01 4600022

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03 Mar 2016

Samsung Printing Solutions Named As a Major Player in IDC Report

IDC MarketScape report cites Samsung’s app development, innovative solutions and focus on security as key strengths

LONDON, UK – January 12, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., has been recognised by global market intelligence organization IDC, as a major player, in its MarketScape report on the managed print and document services (MPDS) industry: ‘Western Europe Managed Workflow Services 2015 Hardcopy Vendor Assessment – Building on MPDS’.

“IDC’s recognition of Samsung Printing Solutions affirms our ongoing commitment to help organizations boost business efficiency by improving how they digitise paper and manage their printing,” said Paul Birkett, Director of Print Operation Sales and Marketing of Samsung Europe. “In the newest areas of mobile-first, cloud-first printing, Samsung is helping clients connect to the information they need, by merging mobile and printing technology in its Smart UX platform. This uses standard mobile apps to reduce repetitive or wasteful tasks through advanced machine-to-machine communication.”

The study is the first vendor analysis of the managed workflow services (MWS) market using the IDC MarketScape assessment tool. The report evaluates the capabilities and business strategies of leading hardcopy vendors in the Western European MWS market, and discusses the quantitative and qualitative characteristics that position vendors for success. The report also examines vendors’ capabilities of providing clients with a roadmap for higher-value workflow automation, and the optimization services required to deliver this effectively.

In particular, the IDC MarketScape report recognised Samsung’s use of emerging cloud and mobile technologies, as well as intuitive hardware products and value added services that extend beyond print. These include business process management, mobile print, mobile capture and digital signature services, which all extend Samsung’s IT portfolio. Samsung was also praised for the printing solutions partnerships and alliances it is forging worldwide.

IDC also remarked on Samsung’s ability to draw on expertise and innovation from other areas of its business, stating that its strength in consumer electronics is an advantage, because of the growing influence consumers now have in the world of work.

“Samsung’s key strengths are its application development and use of innovative solutions which include more than one Samsung product line,” IDC MarketScape reported. “Its focus on security alongside its rapid development helps the company gain traction with potential customers, while some competitors are still trying to dissipate security fears associated with solutions adoption.”

”Managed workflow services market players are continuing to develop their offerings to address challenging process workflows in their customers’ organizations,” said Jacqui Hendriks, Research and Consulting Manager, IDC European Managed Print Services and Document Solutions. “Established Western European market players have taken cautious steps and are more aggressively fulfilling customers’ functional and industry-specific workflow requirements,” she added.

For the MarketScape demonstration, Samsung focused on its new products and solutions incorporating mobile functionality and the intuitive interfaces common to multi-function printers, tablets and smartphones.

For more information on this press release including photos and related Samsung Newsroom articles, please visit news.samsung.com/global/samsung-printing-solutions-named-as-a-major-player-in-idc-report.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies that redefine the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. We are also leading in the Internet of Things space with the open platform SmartThings, our broad range of smart devices, and through proactive cross-industry collaboration. We employ 319,000 people across 84 countries with annual sales of US $196 billion. To discover more, and for the latest news, feature articles and press material, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at news.samsung.com.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. www.idc.com

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01 Mar 2016

Digicom Audio Visual

What is one of the biggest Challenges in your organisation?

Talent Retention

Your internal client is the most important asset in your organisation. You’ve taken significant time and resources to recruit the right talent. Now that talent wants to work in a positive work space environment with dynamic technology, that works seamlessly.

 

UIUX.

User Interface User Experience

The technology is only as good as the client’s use & experience of it. Digicom invest in experienced Certified Audio Visual Solution Architects, who consult with the client and design a solution that aims to exceed the user’s expectation

 

Project Management (PM)

Delivering the UIUX

Once the design is agreed in a written format through a bill of quantities, program of works and scope of works, the Solutions Architect is ready to kick off hand over to Project Management. PM manage the CAD Drawings & schematics with the client design team, through a series of site meetings. PM own installation, commissioning and programming of all the AV inventory, using certified engineers, up to the point of delivery to the client.

 

Service Support.

Maintaining the UIUX

On completion, PM hand to service support and training is scheduled with the client. Digicom provide ongoing dedicated service support with a help desk to schedule room bookings and dedicated Field Service Engineers. The responsibility for our solution remains with Digicom for the lifetime of that solution.

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26 Feb 2016

Three key trends that are changing the way we work and collaborate

The way we work is changing. Collaboration technologies are, in my view, more than just tools to allow us to cater for a mobile workforce, or to lower the costs of travel for our people. They are essential to enabling them to do their jobs effectively and efficiently – to share information and ideas with their colleagues, customers as well as with supplier organisations. Put simply, collaboration technologies make new ways of doing things possible.

With more advanced mobile devices, cloud based systems and the move to a more collaborative workspace environment, employees now have the freedom to work from anywhere. I believe that these trends will only continue to change the way we use our workplaces as well as the look and feel of them.

Understanding the long-term trends that are likely to shape our workplaces and their implications for the way in which we support our people to do their jobs will be a crucial challenge for facilities managers, as well as for senior managers in the HR and IT organisations respectively.

Here are three key trends shaping today’s workplace that I believe will transform how we work now and in the future:

The adaptive workplace

The future of business requires organisations to deliver fully integrated information and collaboration tools to employees. These tools should be designed around the needs of the individual employee and offer them direct empowerment and freedom to choose what is best suited for them. This includes, for example, mixing home and office based activity or making BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) a practical reality for everyone.

Meetings rooms eventually become a thing of the past

The way in which we hold meetings is evolving, partly in response to how new technologies continue to change the way we communicate. Better quality and easier-to-use collaboration solutions are making virtual meetings feel as natural as face-to-face ones, enabling users to have a common experience regardless of their location or device. I expect visual communications to be one of the biggest facilitators in next-generation team collaboration.

Open collaboration connecting to anywhere, from anywhere, at any time

Mobile devices, cloud computing and web conferencing technologies allow employees to collaborate even when they work remotely and in different locations, or while they are on the road. Obtaining and sharing knowledge 24/7 is becoming easier and faster, and this trend is accelerating with the ever increasing adoption of mobile devices in the workplace.

Moreover, the workspace itself is changing significantly. To reduce real-estate space and related expenses, some companies are moving from rows of desks to more open workspaces and offering employees flexible work arrangements. As a result, we are not governed by location anymore to define where and how we work. New technology innovations such as digital whiteboards, cloud-based video conferencing will help to support this transformation.

Via: Ricoh UK

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12 Oct 2015

Dublin Chamber of Commerce President’s Annual Dinner Speech – Greg Clarke

At the Dublin Chamber of Commerce annual dinner last night were: Greg Clarke, president of the chamber, Bernard Byrne, chief executive of AIB, Gina Quin, chief executive of the chamber and Jo Malone, the perfume entrepreneur. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

 

“It’s been a Great Year… For me within Chamber, on the road and in my business.

And it’s also been a great year for Dublin, and for Ireland …

Tonight on my left: the 6 Nations Trophy and to my even greater joy the Sam Maguire back safely to the Dubs! So we are in good Company …

And our companies and country are doing better than they have been for many years.

Private sector has put over 130,000 people back to work since our employment low point

We’ve grown our economy faster than any other European Union country.

We’ve cut our deficit faster than any other European Union country.

And, we’ve cut our debt faster than any other European Union country.

Yet we’re not in the shape we should be yet, but we can get there.

Let’s first welcome  An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, our Guest Speaker Jo Malone, and of course distinguished Guests. We are represented here tonight by all sectors including the Professional Services, Finance, Born on the Internet, Food Sector, Retail, Education, Telecoms and of course the many SMEs in the Room tonight and again I want to welcome you all.

Over the last few days as I considered my thoughts for tonight’s speech… many ideas came to mind but I felt it best to speak to you using my approach to coaching sports and my prep for cycling …
And that is the concept of Fit, Fast and Strong.  If we apply this thinking to our City and Businesses … what’s the outcome?

As a City are we fit, fit for purpose?

Just over 100 years ago, 13% of the world’s population lived in Cities, today 54% do and by 2030 70% will. So with this massive shift to city living, the question is what City will our children choose to live in? Will it be Dublin, or London, or Barcelona? I for one want to ensure my teenagers who are here tonight not only call Dublin their home but want to make it their home.

So to that point do we have a Strategic Plan for our City? With the resources to make things happen with a logical leader who will join the dots?

It appears not and this is why we as a Chamber are calling for a plan out to 2065 with 5 year milestones.

In Business are we fit? 

I find it interesting that up until a business trip to the US I considered myself a business owner but over there I was called a Founder, and then approximately 2 years ago I found myself described as an entrepreneur, which I naturally liked as it sounds sophisticated!

Today, the term Entrepreneur has gone mainstream. In fact 2015  appears to me to be the Year of the Entrepreneur.   We need to encourage more entrepreneurs , more start ups … they create jobs and wealth. Two thirds of new jobs come from start ups. The Entrepreneurial mind-set is one of optimism, hard working ethos, Doers that make things happen. Not afraid of risk or failure…

Last year alone we had over 20,000 people start new businesses

According to the Central Bank, younger firms are the largest contributors of new jobs due to the inverse relationship between growth and size.
So we must incentivise this Entrepreneurial behaviour and activity …  back these brave individuals …these job creators

I believe we need an entrepreneurial Flagship Policy that sends out the same message as our 12.5% Corporation Tax Rate. Just like David Cameron said he was ‘rolling out the red carpet for business’ we must do the same Taoiseach.  I think reducing the Capital Gains Tax from 33% to the 10% for entrepreneurs as in the UK would be an excellent first step.

But we need to do this as part of Budget 2016 so we do not lose any more momentum to the UK.

Next is our city Fast?

Well in 1971 the Dart Underground was first mooted, the 2nd Source of water for Dublin in 1996, the waste to energy in 1997 and the Children’s Hospital in 1993.

So it is clear we are not Fast! And I know in my World as I am sure in yours that if you know, really really know, that something is fundamental to your success – you will focus and make it happen, somehow. No action has social and economic effects.

And in terms of Housing I want to say 2 things –   Firstly Employers are increasingly worried about where their workforce are going to live and how much they have to pay to live.

In the Greater Dublin Area about 8,000 houses a year are needed; at present we are building less than half this number.

And secondly in terms of social housing we see a critical and immediate need … we clearly do not have the appropriate supports to cope with our homelessness in Dublin and it is unprecedented. I support the call of the Chamber’s charity of year Peter McVerry Trust to see quick delivery of the modular home solution. But we need to also address the housing problem to help those that want to work here but no place to stay. The impact is social and economic.

Hopefully this can be achieved quickly. We need to make sure that Dublin can act quickly in this and the other issues. As a Chamber we’ve a responsibility to continually play our part and keep focus on what this City needs to succeed.

We need joined up thinking and improved coordination by our leaders.

Is business Fast?

Are we nimble and able to scale businesses quickly?

Well, two-thirds of businesses are stuck and never go past having 10 staff…

I remember vividly in early days Digicom the concern and angst over taking on employee number 2 and the 3 and then 4 and then 5 etc. It is a very difficult time and delicate time for all fledgeling businesses.

So why are their additional tax barriers to hiring and growing businesses? If we remove the employers PRSI for new hires in small businesses we can grow companies, grow jobs and – yes – grow the overall tax take!

Finally, are we strong as a City?

Well the good news is that we now have our M50, our Terminal 2, our Port Tunnel, our Cross City Luas line and of course this lovely Convention Centre.

All very positive pieces of necessary infrastructure! But, they are all nearing capacity already.
So the question is, do we have the social and physical infrastructures in place to see our City into the future. The answer is no unfortunately.

We will have 400,000 extra people living in Dublin by 2030 and the lowest capital investment per capita of any region in Ireland is Dublin! Fact!

We must triple our investment to build the infrastructure needed for strength. Doing this by the way only will help us keep pace with our neighbours in the UK and other cities around the globe!
Last week’s announced capital programme offers hope that there is an appreciation of the need to invest. But the time frames still leave me worried for such strategic projects are 20 to 30 years away.

Is business strong?

We’ve a strong business community but often we don’t see those businesses growing to the global scale that they could achieve.

We need to remain ambitious, with a strong entrepreneurial mind-set and work harder to make business grow, Growth in business means jobs …

Here is the double benefit of the Capital Gain Tax change I mentioned that would help startups, if we do this right we’ll get successful business owners to re-invest in another Irish business and help mentor the next generation. As a business community, we can make a difference for each other and for the people of Ireland.

To conclude

A lot of the ingredients are finally coming together …

Our city is a lot fitter …

And of course let’s not forget that Dublin’s culture is absolutely unique and It is what gives this City its Character and it’s distinctive identity in our Globalised World.

Dublin is providing over half of the total tax revenue and the place of work for more than 2 in 5 workers in Ireland.

But It is clear we are not fast and this must be addressed – faster decisions, faster actions with regards our infrastructure improvements, education, health systems and business support structures are required….in order to continue the momentum.

We may be strong now in 2015, but have we invested enough so We will be strong in 2020 and 2025 and 2030?

I am not so sure.

Over the coming months we will be faced with a General Election, so we need to pick the partners for our Team!

This is probably the most important Election in the last 25 years. Will these partners make the Strategic Plan happen, create a Flagship policy to demonstrate we are pro business and pro small business, will they make the long term decisions necessary for our future and our kids and their kids future.

That decision is in our hands by encouraging everyone we know to exercise their right and get out and vote!

The narrative for 2016 should not just be about remembering our Forefathers and their bravery but capturing the spirit of hope and willingness to do …

And as your President I am asking us all to take action so that tomorrow can be better than today.”

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16 Sep 2015

Business Leaders Get On Their Bikes to Help Homelessness

Dublin Chamber of Commerce President and Digicom Managing Director Greg Clarke lead a group of 30 Irish business people on a five-day 800km cycle from San Sebastian to Barcelona in a bid to raise more than €30,000 for the Peter McVerry Homeless Charity Trust.

The group, which is also includes Liam Kavanagh, Managing Director of the Irish Times, Mick Sweeney, Director of Customer, Insurance & Investment Businesses at Bank of Ireland, Brendan Foster, Partner, Grant Thornton, set off on the cycle on Sunday morning and arrived at their destination in Barcelona on Thursday. All 30 cyclists participated at their own expense meaning that all money raised will go directly to the Peter McVerry Trust.

Pictured (l-r) were Adrian McGennis (Sigmar), Kieran Garry (Gordon MRM), Pat Doyle, CEO, Peter McVerry Trust, Niall Hayes (Contracting Plus), Dublin Chamber of Commerce President and Managing Director, Digicom Greg Clarke, Fr Peter McVerry, Kathryn O’Connor, Kevin James (Gardiner & Theobold), Simon Horsley (Bentley Systems). Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

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