The new kid on the block – Cloud computing

I attended my last ever DICE conference however this experience with shared with many others as it was the National Conference on Cloud Computing and Commerce. To start off my day I set up my DICE research poster with my team member, followed by two sets of judges coming around to ask as a few questions. After this I made my way to the conference below.

Our first speaker was Professor Martin Curley from Intel. His view was that cloud computing has just started, and here was me thinking it was nearly a finished product. He made a valid point saying this is a new era, we have changed from the 20th century marvel of the flow of electrons into the 21st century where the flow of knowledge has become supreme thanks to Moore’s Law.

Since this conference was Get Digital he mentioned the three main trends in this area: digitalisation, sustainability and mass collaboration. For me the discussion on sustainability was eye opening, as he read the quote “There is no planet B”. However I was glad to hear the efforts being made by multinational companies like Intel in collaboration with the EU to strive for a digital and sustainable Europe for 2020. Where we will be able to meets present needs without compromising future generations by changing from resourced based to knowledge based.


He also spoke about shared value; where corporate performance is integrated with the development of communities in the area.  He left on a positive note as he explained Intel’s mission for the future: “This decade we will create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth”. Quite a challenge to say the least however the great determination and high expectations will as he said help Intel to achieve this goal.

Following this corporate view Dr. Constantine Grudgiev, gave the economic point of view. He stressed that cloud computing is only a platform as it has define boundaries. He also said that current economic systems are unable to handle the future shift from physical capital to human capital. He mentioned that major reforms will be needed if cloud computing is the way economies want to move forwards as the world will shift to disembodied services with issues like the fact you cannot collateralize human capital.


From his discussions I felt that he believes there are too many problems with cloud computing for it to truly move forward none the less he gave some steps that would have to be implemented for its success. Firstly to change the imbalanced tax system by pushing income tax down and corporate tax up. Also to increase the flow of skills and retain these by only developing the main cities: Dublin, Galway, Cork and possibly Limerick. Most importantly to stop trusting politicians. Finally a change in mentality is also needed according to him we must be more tolerant of success even if we are not. This outlook was a bit daunting to hear yet good to learn to start thinking about it now before it’s too late.

Next up was who I personally was waiting for; Microsoft and speaking on their behalf was Clare Dillon. The vision of cloud computing for them was revolving around this multi device phenomenon we are seeing in today’s society. She highlighted how much social technology has changed our life’s, to the extent that it has changed the way we live, the way we do thing and has in  my opinion invaded everywhere. There are no certain demographic groups anymore and this just opened my eyes to how quickly cloud computing could have the same impact.

A key trend she pointed out is that now computing is everywhere so the new trend is to make it an integrated experience. After a video of Microsoft’s vision into the future I realized how close we already are to this reality where 5D allows for everything we touch to be integrated. But I wondered where cloud computing came into the equation; to me she was just explaining the speed of innovation. However the answer came quickly, everything that allows for this 5D experience and further intergraded experiences it’s all on the cloud. You wouldn’t be able to do 5D without it. Having someone from your office in China send you a report to show at your meeting in Paris, only achievable through cloud computing.

I was shocked because I can actually see the baby steps of this: Google Drive that I have now become addicted to for all my course work. I can see how as Clare said Cloud computing will become an everyday thing like electricity. Finally she left us with a very entrepreneurial quote “The best way to predict the future is to invent it” Hopefully something I’ll be doing some day!

A great ending to a highly engaging university module that has taught me more than words can describe but most importantly I now feel capable of leaving after my degree and setting up my own company something I have a few hesitations about before taking this module. DICE has been a great experience and I would highly recommend attending DICE conferences in the future!

Canexican5 “Never be afraid to chase your dreams”


Getting your business started, a reality!

Getting Started – Business start ups

Going into this conference I was looking forward to hearing some tips and success stories of business start ups  as this is something I would like to achieve in the near future. After hearing 3 speakers: Micheal Kelly, George Boyle and Lucy Masterson I could tell that although most entrepreneurs achieve the same things the routes can be quite different. For example Micheal founded GIY (grow it yourself) from the simple realization that 3 billion out of the 5 billion euro Ireland spends on imports can be grown yourself in Ireland. After telling his story he gave us a few key questions to answer before you decide to start a company. Will you still be able to pay your bills? Do you have the skills required? Is there a support network behind you? But most importantly and what I connected with the most was: Don’t die with your music still in you!

Another Irish success story came from Lucy who along with a few students tackled unemployment in Ireland one job at a time with She highlighted the importance of marketing and getting your message heard. About trying to tell a story because people are more likely to connect with something that relates to them and therefore pass on your message. Her best tip came at the end as she said “all they can say is no” Something true but often forgotten about due to societies view on certain things.

On the other hand George wasn’t as lucky, she was in many ways forced to become an entrepreneur after the firm she worked in went bust. She spoke about the steps you go through as an entrepreneur. Impulse: the idea, plan and identity. Freedom: the space, time and continuum. However all this lovely planning and wishful thinking comes to an abrupt end with Guilt: when you face reality, the financing, competition and the personal responsibilities. After all this comes the light at the end of the tunnel you forgive yourself and you start to consider your dreams. From her experience I can tell that setting up my own business will be a challenging process but one I’m looking forward to and as George said once you’re going just keep going.

The following two speakers brought up one of my key concerns, make a profit or change the world? I have always wondered about this myself, whether I have to pick one or if there is some halfway between the two. Thanks to Seán Coughlan from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and John Fitzsimons from Camara Education I soon realized this half way thing is possible. Like in Camara they help bring technology and teach technological literacy to those who don’t have access but at the end of the day they make a profit as well. This put me to ease knowing you can have the best of both worlds.

There were two panel discussions during the conference. The first regarding Social Entrepreneurship and the SOLOMO (Social, Local and Mobile) trend that is going to be a major player for the foreseeable future. However it was in the second one I had my ears perked up as they talked about how to finance a start up  I was delighted to hear the amount of funding that is actually provided in Ireland. Something I think is necessary to keeping people in the country after college and a way to rebuild the economy. What I found most exciting was that DCU students were being offered a chance to start your own business risk free; at first it sounded too good to be true however UStart is a reality. All you have to do is make a group come up with an idea and if you get through the various stages they will fund the initial costs of the business as well as provide you with office space and accommodation. This is definitely an opportunity I’ll be taking up!

Towards the end the whole idea of stating up your own business was looking pretty good as we got to hear from DCU alumni who had succeeded. The one that connected with me the most was Conor Winders the CEO for Redwindsoftware. He was sure not the stereotypical CEO with jeans, a t-shirt and a mohawk. This just went to prove how things are changing for the better, away from the days where CEO where the hated people in suits who only had money on their mind. Conor told the story of his company, a process he said takes about 2 to 3 years. If you make it past this then you’re well on your way according to him. He also mentioned that if you are going to succeed your company can’t just be based on an exit strategy of getting it up and running only to then sell it on. From this also came the make or break factor of having a great team because under everything these are the people who make the company. When someone loves what they are doing this passion shines through their work and into the business itself. This emphasis on passion in business was echoed all throughout the conference by every speaker.

Especially from our last speaker Gerry Duffy, a 47 year old who has gone beyond all expectations and boundaries before him. He ran 32 marathons in 32 days as well as winning the UK decathlon ironman challenge. A truly inspiring person who believes that everyone has the ability to achieve super goals; simply by raising your standards to always be passionate and perform to the best of your abilities. His steps are to think about it, find your motivation, surround yourself with great people and have the correct mind set. In order to win a battle your mind must tell your body what to do. In my opinion developing yourself as a person would be the first step to be able to achieve the end goal of starting your company. He really gave me a lot to think about and a lot to aspire to with a moving video. He then left us with some final words of wisdom: You can’t fail if you learn from it!

From this conference I gathered you need to realistically look at your situation, be willing to dedicate yourself 100% as well as having the passion, ability and the right people to support you. I really will take a lot away from this conference and just below I’ll be putting the links to the various speakers and their companies also to the video shown by Gerry Duffy that truly shows nothing is impossible which left me in tears!


the video :

If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Canexican5 “When the going gets tough the though get going”

Just the Beginning – mobile from the past to the future

I could not have picked a better day to write this blog, the end of the year today we literally move from the past to the future. Something that is and will continue to happen with the mobile world we are submerged in. First of all the “Get Mobile” conference came straight after a 4 week group project to make our very own web app, thanks to Jampot. Once i heard that not only Jampot but Nokia and Microsoft would be speaking I was actually really excited for this conference. Opening the whole thing was Theo Lynn who informed our seminar that mobile is not solely confined to cell phones but that it is a whole eco system where cell phones are just a tiny component. After this short opening e dove straight into each speakers personal views of what mobile is and where it was going.

Dominic Muldoon the Business Developer/Sales Strategy and Execution for Púca saw mobile as the only way forward for business marketing. This was just reinforced with his statistics, 74% of the world have cell phones and 91% of these are smart phones. I found this quite shocking however it did highlight that marketing in the present and future would be done through mobile. Dominic mention two very successful mobile campaigns for Bulmers Cider and for West Coast Cooler. Both had used mobile to directly interact with their customers, Bulmers gave away prizes while West Coast Cooler gave away a free drink. I personally think these were perfect examples as everyone in the audience can relate to them. He ended on the description of ho far mobile has come in just a short period and it’s importance now a day. If you forget your wallet at home you’ll borrow some money, however forget your cell phone at home and you’ll turn right around to get it, so true.!

Eoin Cruise from Nokia spoke about how mobile is a really competitive market moving at, what I later learned was an alarming speed. What really impacted me were his questions, who had a cellphone? Almost everyone’s hand shot up. Who had ever owed a Nokia phone? Again most hand’s were in the air. I remember my very first cell hone was a Nokia and I’m pretty sure I share this experience with most of the students at that conference. However when he asked who owns a Nokia phone now it was only a few hand’s that were up. How could Nokia go from almost complete dominance of mobile, practically the Father of cellphones and now doesn’t even have 10% of market share. Extraordinary example of how fast things change.! however with their controversial  and new partnership with Microsoft this may turn around, at least Patrick Ward from Microsoft  believed so. A full demonstration of windows 8 on a tablet then phone proved to me that the Nokia Lumia in my opinion is a better smart phone than the Iphone. Hopefully others appreciate it so that Nokia along side Microsoft can carry on in mobile.

We then took a quick intermission to get a bit to eat, something to drink but most importantly to go see our apps. Every team’s app was on display upstairs in the Helix and I really enjoyed seeing how all my groups hard work had finally manifested into an amazing app.!

After the break Louise Phelan the Vice President of PayPal took mobile in a completely new direction. Paying for goods or services online and even trough your cell phone. I was astonished at the immense number of people who have used PayPal, although having said that I’ve used it at least 10 times in the past 6 months… times that by all people who buy trough mobile and then 2.3 millon is actually a reasonable figure. I can also see how mobile is the future almost everything can be bought on the internet and I have a feeling this is just the tip of the Iceberg.

Finally, what I had been waiting for, the panel discussion. Eric Weaver introduced the panel : Joe Drumgoole, VP Product Management for FeedHenry, James Howell, Operator Channel Lead for Microsoft, Michael Barr, CTO for JamPot Technologies Ltd (an amazing company), Conor Winders, CEO of Redwind Software (loved the mow nice to see that anyone can be a CEO not just “suits”), Sylvie McDermott, Mobile Manager for Paddy Power and Simon Rees, Sales and Marketing Director for Idiro Technologies. Then the questions began. However it was really hard to connect or even understand the speakers as they use terms familiar to people in the mobile business for some time not so familiar to students especially not to me. The only thing I gained from the talks was some sound advice for the future. Start a company after college and build something (an app) and put it out there (apparently employers like this) hopefully I’ll be able to do both.!

To conclude was a real heart warming, cheerful and pretty awesome talk from Johnny Walker the Founder & Chairman of Global Diagnostics Ltd, a medical diagnoses system that uses mobile to connect doctors from all over the world to provide help to remote areas. Despite his ozzie accent and the fact he spoke at about 15mph it was interesting to see how mobile had passed the boundaries of personal into the realm of global. The perfect way to end a great seminar from which I take a lot valuable knowledge that will help me in years to come when mobile takes over.



If you want a bit more info on the speakers the amazing people at DCU and TechSpectations have a page just for that



Feel free to comment or question








21st Century Phenomena – The Social Monster

This post is all about getting social. Something that has been born and has taken control over the world around us. I personally feel that you have to get on the train and not be left behind. Starting off our conference, Dr Theo Lynne played a dance video. A new viral video called “gagnam style” by North Korean singer Pys. It was a bit of an unusual opening however it helped highlight the astonishing impact social media has on today’s world. How did one seemly odd video spread all over the world in such a short time span? The power of the internet is truly amazing, once famous people started to talk, blog, Facebook and tweet about this video there was no stopping It.! All this online social interaction is what I call the Social Monster.

Next speaker was Mark Cahalane the Managing Director for Edelman Europe. They have developed a unique instrument called the Trustbarometer. Unlike a barometer measuring atmospheric pressure this measure peoples trust in different organisations. I was quite shocked when I found out that Ireland’s trust in most things like government, NGO’s, Business, etc. is very low. The one thing I could understand was the trustbarometer’s lowest every level of trust in banks 6% came from Ireland. Focusing back on social media I learned that despite our thinking we perceive things very well and can retain information with ease, we actually don’t. He explains that on average 64% of people have to hear a bit of information 3 to 4 times for it to actually stick. Then I began to realize the challenge for businesses and why we are constantly being bombarded by commercials. To end his short speech he said for a business to be trusted and be successful they must effectively combine business competence, public engagement and social purpose, a tip I’ll keep in mind for the future.

The following speaker rose to two key issues with the Social Monster. Her name is Claire Wardle the Director of News Services at Storyful. She firstly spoke about your identity on the internet. It’s so easy to be anyone, to be anonymous, you create your persona. Is the person behind the screen real? In my opinion this is the main danger of social media, you can pretend, lie and deceive. On the other side you also have to protect your online reputation. Something I will not forget is that once you upload it’s on the internet forever. A pretty scary concept if you ask me. None the less I have to admit I don’t think I could live without Facebook.

To talk a little more about Facebook was Catherine Flynn. First her presentation was not working properly, showing that no matter how good you are with technology it sometimes just doesn’t work. The main topic she touched was how to use Facebook from a business point of view to access a worldwide market. With 1 billon active monthly users worldwide it’s a pretty huge opportunity. She explained the do’s and don’ts of using Facebook to promote your business. Yet again it was all about striking a balance. Not posting too often or not often enough. I personally feel from what Philip Kelly the Digital Marketing Executive of Electric Ireland said his company has struck the balance. He explained how Electric Ireland used various social outlets like Facebook Twitter, etc. to effectively engage their customers. I can see how even the most boring of businesses (electricity suppliers) can effectively use the Social Monster to promote their business.

Following this Don O’Leary the Senior Sales Manager for Twitter the present king of social media gave his take on the Social Monster. For him Twitter was an unbeatable business asset to have it creates direct interactions with your clients, something that was very expensive before. He made the point that before marketing was an interruption, something silly on between your favourite soap that you didn’t really pay attention to. Now when you tweet, retweet or like, it’s the customer who is doing it and thus not an interruption. He also cleared up my question: Why are all the social media headquarters in Ireland? There are better countries, faster broadband, equally skilled staff, etc. He made the point that Ireland is in the top 5 in the world rankings of active social media users per capita. So despite being a small country we have made a huge part of the 21st Century’s Social Monster.

Finally my personal favourite speaker of the evening was Brian Herron a Community Manager for Google+. A former DCU graduate he was someone I could relate to; whose job seemed fascinating. I think I got the most valuable information from his talk. He put forward different methods to use in order to succeed in this “dog eat dog” industry. His main tips get real life experience, know your stuff on whatever area you want to specialise in and do not fear the Social Monster connect with it and make it benefit you. Also prove that you know how to do the job before your hired and show you are self-motivated and have personal drive. All and all I picked up some very practical tips on how to face this new phenomena and succeed in the future. (Sorry for the lack of picture too busy taking down notes)


Favourite quote of the afternoon was: “It’s ok to fail but learn something from it”


Please comment and question



Lateral Thinking – The Edward De Bono Foundation

Just to be clear from the start, this has nothing to do with the U2 singer Bono. The real superstar I’ll be talking about today is Dr Edward De Bono, a highly intriguing lateral thinker. To inform me and my fellow classmates about this foundation Nigel Newman had the courtesy of coming to DCU to speak at our “Get Creative” DICE module. He firstly explained a bit about The Edward De Bono Foundation; a charity founded in 2007 aimed at teaching creativity and constructive thinking skills. He then got into the details of how to “get creative”. We were all taught how to generate, manage and implement new ideas, by just thinking less.! I know it may seem silly but the psychology behind this proves itself.He explained there are two main ways of thinking; the rabbit and the turtle. The rabbit is the fast thinker the one we use on a daily basis, that does before it thinks. Then you have the turtle. He is more calm, he really takes his time when thinking, something we must all learn to do. By slowing down and even thinking “less” we can generate more new ideas that have the potential to become amazing.!

At the moment, to make life easier our brains remember patterns. These patterns can be as simple as brushing your teeth in the morning or getting on a bus. No one really has to think about how to brush their teeth it’s just something the brain knows how to do. Now these save a lot of time however when you are trying to be creative these patterns become the problem. It’s hard to think “outside the box” when that is what your brain is use to. To Highlight how narrow-minded we can all be Nigel gave us two challenges. First we were asked to position the three separate images so that the riders were on the horses correctly. As you can see from Picture 1 I didn’t get very far. Next each person was given a normal A4 piece of paper. He asks us to cut a hole in the paper big enough to fit our whole body through. Now my best attempt was getting it over my head. After much confusion the answer was so simple. First cut the paper into a swirl then cut a hole at the top and cut through the middle to form a paper strip that was still connected. A ring that is essentially a “hole” in the paper, cleaver..! This really proved to me how hard it is to think creatively.

The main point about his whole talk was lateral thinking. Lateral thinking as defined by is a way of solving problems by rejecting traditional methods and employing unorthodox and apparently illogical means. Just for anyone who wants a bit more knowledge on this here is a link to a very informative article I read on the topic. Nigel then introduced everyone to a new way of team thinking using a De Bono method; The six thinking hats. Each hat tackles a different issue that may arise when dealing with group thinking. The red hat is emotion and intuition. The green is possibilities and alternatives. The blue is the process & overview. The white is information and data. The yellow positivity and benefits. And last the black is all the precautions and negatives. Using all these thinking hats a group can come up with new ideas or manage an existing one. This particular method of teamwork thinking has proven to be highly successful around the world. I’ll just link my personal favourite success story, however the list is endless.

To gain a bit more insight on lateral thinking and creativity I traced these back to their roots. Neurological science, the study of the brain, because this is where our ideas come from. I read Robert Winston’s book The human mind. In this he proposes interesting theories about where creativity develops in the brain. According to him creativity comes from the right side of our brain and our frontal lobes. This is why children are seen as more creative because as we get older these become congested with more and more patterns essentially inhibiting creativity. However every person has the ability to train their brain to accomplish extraordinary things. Creativity is not something you are born with, it’s something you learn, develop and train. So therefore in today’s busy world there is o room for our old primitive reactive minds full of engrims that inhibit the production of new ideas. What I take away with me is a deeper knowledge on creativity and it’s origins. The key to creativity is to train your brain.!

Picture 1

The goal is to position the riders correctly on the horses

Here is the link to the book I referenced:

I hope you’ve found this post engaging please feel free to comment. That’s all for now I’ll leave you with the quote of the day :

” The future depends on what you do today” – Mahatma Ghandi


Hello world!

I’ve created this blog, to discuss just some of the fascinating people I have met in university. I plan on introducing these people. Telling you what they had to say, and what knowledge I gained from them. I hope you find the various topics engaging and fun..! Please don’t hesitate to make any recommendations or just comment and ask questions.

Peace & Prosperity