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Roundup-New Dublin startup
Tuesday, 26th June 2012 08.24am

Speech technologies firm Nuance Communications is to officially open its Dublin office today, locating its international headquarters in the city.

The new operation is bringing 40 jobs to the city, with the roles spread across finance, human resources and sales.

Nuance, which has its worldwide headquarters in Boston, develops speech and imaging technologies that are used in everything from customer services to healthcare. The firm is famous for its voice recognition software Dragon, which is available across a range of platforms, including mobile.

Neil Weston, senior vice-president of Nuance EMEA, said the company was finding the talent it needed in Ireland. "There are so many multinationals here, running everything from finance to telesales, it's unlikely we wouldn't find what we need here."

The facility is about two-thirds of the way through its recruitment drive, and Mr Weston said the firm expected to reach its goal by the end of this year or mid-way through next year.

He praised the "tremendous talent" in the country.

The use of voice-enabled interfaces has increased dramatically in recent years, with popular handsets such as Apple's iPhone 4S and Samsung's Galaxy SIII developing digital assistants controlled by voice commands.

More than six billion mobile phones using Nuance's technology have left factories. Mr Weston said applications like Apple's Siri have helped raise consumer awareness of what was available in the mobile world. The Irish Times XXXX The High Court has made orders winding up a company of developer Sean Dunne arising from its guarantees for E262 million in loans made to another company to buy the Berkeley Court and Jurys Hotel sites in Dublin 4. Ulster Bank, represented by Declan Murphy, petitioned the court on behalf of a syndicate of lenders to appoint a liquidator to MJBCH Ltd after the firm failed to honour guarantees governing repayment of E262 million loans advanced to purchase the sites. Ms Justice Mary Laffoy appointed Declan Taite of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks as official liquidator to the company, with a registered address at Merrion Square, Dublin, after finding it was hopelessly insolvent and unable to pay its debts. The company was established in 2006 as Mountbrook Merrion Road Development Ltd before changing its name to MJBCH in October 2007. Its directors are Sean Dunne and Ross Connolly. MJBCH's sole shareholder is Padholme, an Irish-registered company with a registered address at Merrion Square. The Irish Times XXXX RTE IS dragging its heels on changes to its advertising methods and the government is standing by and letting it happen, the head of TV3 has said. RTE last year was asked by the Competition Authority to make changes to its advertising sales methods, known as "share dealing". The practice saw RTE demand that advertisers spend a minimum percentage of their advertising budget with them -- in some cases up to 65pc -- or they would be charged more for buying airtime. RTE has until July 1 to stop using share dealing but the head of TV3 David McRedmond said the broadcaster was only taking the steps slowly, and the department of communications was letting it happen. "What we have in Ireland at the moment is market failure. You have a dominant, state-backed player that can run a deficit of E50m-plus, which would not be sustainable for any commercial enterprise. It's not sustainable even for RTE. "The government needs to step in but they aren't doing anything, and they don't really seem that interested in it either," he claimed. That lack of action by the department has left the Irish television market in such an uneven fight that jobs will be lost in the sector because of it, he added. Mr McRedmond emphasised that his beef wasn't with RTE per se, but rather with the department for its inaction in dealing with an issue that, he believes, could be resolved quite quickly. TV3 and RTE have both collaborated on a number of projects, most recently the digital switchover coming up at the end of this year. The Irish Independent XXXX Small businesses are being driven to the wall by big businesses which are intentionally delaying paying them, according to the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Isme). Isme released the Summer SME Credit Watch Survey which found that the average payment period in Ireland for SMEs was 69 days, against the previous quarter at 71 days. Isme has been calling on the Government to introduce legislation that would enforce a mandatory 30-day payment time frame with no exceptions. Isme chief executive Mark Fielding said that state agencies and big business delays in paying continued to put pressure on SMEs. "The latest figures aptly demonstrate the effect that late payments are having on SMEs, in that the main victims are small businesses, caught in a vicious cycle of non-payment. "While the main government departments have improved their payment days, the main offenders are the state agencies and big business where delays continue to put massive pressure on SMEs." The figures released in the Credit Watch survey reveal that Ulster businesses waited longest, at 78 days, while Dublin had the shortest wait at 66 days. Businesses in Munster waited on average 73 days while those in Connaught waited 74 days to be paid. In a breakdown by sector, the construction fared the worst, waiting on average 73 days, with the services sector the best performing with a waiting period of 66 days. Isme has claimed that the Government is ignoring the problems being faced by small suppliers in favour of the bigger companies. The Irish Examiner

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