Once upon a time a map was something that you took on holidays or that you kept on the back seat of the car. Now a map is not just a map – it’s a digital map:  an interactive tool for research and analysis, for data visualization and for key business planning.

And yet while many websites happily adopt the old idea of a map to highlight where certain types of business are located – shops, cafes, etc – they overlook the rich potential of using an interactive map.

Missing map

Let me give you an example. Each week, I check a certain website that highlights all the best travel deals on the internet. When I go to the website, I am presented with a list of offers. To find out more details, I have to click on each individual offer.

embedded map

The interactive map has more immediacy and is far more inviting than a list or spreadsheet

Putting all that information on a map – on the same page – would be so much easier. All I would have to do is click on a mapped point and a pop-up information box could tell me everything that I wished to know about an offer – as well as showing me where in the world it is!  Not only is this a faster way to access key information, it is also more engaging to me as a viewer.

Perceived obstacles to interactive mapping

I can only assume that sites such as the above resist taking the interactive mapping route due to a perceived belief that it is too complicated.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. As the technology has moved from the world of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to free online mapping placing a map on a website is no more difficult than copying and pasting one line of code. You don’t even need knowledge of HTML coding to do that!

5 Reasons to embed a map on a website

(1) It’s data visualization! The phrasea picture is worth a thousand words” has converted into the term data visualization in recent years. You can hardly open a newspaper or read a web page, without finding an infographic of some sort. A map is a type of infographic, but it doesn’t require in-depth graphic skills to produce…as the next paragraph explains.

(2) A map can be created in minutes. Mapping software now allows you to upload spreadsheet data containing a location element (address, postcode, etc) and then automatically plot it on a map. If the software is built on Google Maps, then you can have a high level of trust of the locations plotted.

(3) You can get an awful lot of information on a map For instance, eSpatial allows up to 100,000 items to be plotted on a map – per day! That’s an awful lot of lines to scan on a spreadsheet or in a list, when you’re in a hurry. An interactive map – just like maps throughout history – directs your eye to exactly the information you want at any given time. You avoid sifting through irrelevant data.

(4) A map can indicate scale and reach of operations Imagine you are a business that needs to impress by suggestion of scale. For instance, you could be a parts distributor and you want to communicate that those parts are available nationwide, through various outlets. Yes, a long list of names can be impressive – but not as useful as a map, because the viewer can instantly discern how near or far you are from them.

(5) A map can connect people and motivate them Never has this been more obvious to us than when we speak to non-profit clients. In this case, a map becomes a point of unity for initially disparate elements: volunteer, sponsors/funders and beneficiaries. The map in itself also can show key policy makers where the highest need for a service exists – or indeed where there is a complete absence of that service

This blog post was written by Patrick Butler from eSpatial info@espatial.com.   For more information on creating a map and embedding it on your website visit www.espatial.com.



Two new Product Management Programmes for the software sector (grant-aided through the ISA Software Skillnet) were launched last week.
Scala CEO exclusively for a dozen CEOs and founders combines individual advice, mentoring, and in-company workshops as well as select group peer-learning to provide specific individual guidance for software CEOs who are interested in driving the adoption of revenue-driving product management best practise into their companies.  http://www.isa-skillnet.com/scala-ceo–product-management/

Scala Exec are aimed at a range of functional managers and product managers and provide one-day programmes in product-management practitioner topics like Quickstart Product Management, Product Pricing, Product Roadmapping, and Customer Requirements.  http://www.isa-skillnet.com/scala-executive/


Bank of Ireland are partnering with Google to help businesses maximise the opportunity of online sales. Google will highlight three case studies and Irish SME’s that have successfully adopted an online sales model at a seminar on Monday June 24th at their Foundry facility (see details below) . It’s an opportunity for businesses that are actively looking to increase online sales to see what the lessons learnt are and benefit from the unrivalled expertise Google have in this space.

This is part of Bank of Ireland’s focus on enabling enterprise to grow. Both Richie Boucher ( Bank of Ireland, CEO) and John Herlihy ( Head of Google , Ireland) will speak at the event. Fifty of the companies attending will be eligible to participate in a 90 day Google program (sponsored by Bank of Ireland) on using the internet to grow revenues. This type of dedicated access to Google is not readily available so we think it will be of real interest. You do not need to be a Bank of Ireland customer to attend , the event is open to all companies that broadly fit the following criteria :

1. Digital Readiness: The company will have a fully functional website

2. Marketing Readiness:

  • · A digital marketing budget for 2014
  • · Have a member of team who is responsible for digital marketing
  • · The ability to outline their digital marketing ambition by participating in the programme (see details below).

3. Export: Whilst not mandatory it would be preferable that the delegates have an export opportunity / strategy for 2014


Bank of Ireland & Google: Enabling Enterprise Seminar

Topic: Growing Revenues Online

Date: Monday, 23rd June 2014 7:45am – 12:00pm

Venue: Google Foundry , Barrow Street, Dublin 2


Richie Boucher, Group CEO, Bank of Ireland

John Herlihy, Head of Google Ireland & VP SMB Sales

Hear how three business’s are growing their revenues online: Customer Testimonials facilitated by Fionnuala Meehan, Managing Director, SMB Sales North and Central Europe, Google

Date / Time: Monday, 23rd June 2014 7:45am – 12:00pm

RSVP by: https://boigoogle.eventbrite.ie

Companies attending will be eligible to participate in the following Bank of Ireland sponsored program run by Google:

Bank of Ireland are sponsoring a program with Google targeting 50-60 SME’s that are seeking to increase their internet marketing capability . It’s a 90 day part time programme designed to teach them how they can use Google to develop their sales revenues and, in particular, through export markets. 




For many companies, the route to export markets comes through some variation of sales and marketing partnerships locally versus a direct sales approach. Channel development – the recruitment of indirect partners such as distributors, agents, VARs, etc – is an essential part of the overall export strategy.  This blog highlights the importance of planning before engaging in any channel development strategy and identifies 10 key questions for your company to consider before you begin this journey.   When used correctly, the answers to these questions can assist in decision making about which export markets are more/less suitable and indeed the sequence of your longer term channel development strategy:

1.     Do you understand the size of the market opportunity?
It’s easy to gather macro-economic (eg. GDP) or demographic information (population figures) but very few products and service opportunities can be defined by such figures. The true measure of market opportunity needs to come from a clear understanding of the specific segments you are targeting and market value of purchases or spend for your specific product within this segment. This is especially true for B2B exporters where the number of target customers is often a far more reliable indication of opportunity than any measure of overall economic output.

2.     Who is your customer?
When it comes to channel development always start with the customer. It sounds obvious but do not assume that your customer in Ireland will be the same as your customer in export markets! They may require different product features, demand different levels of service, undervalue what you believe to be your key selling points and possibly even highlight a new opportunity you didn’t consider. There is no substitute for visiting the market and engaging with potential customers in advance of a channel development effort. It will sharpen your approach.

3.     What current channels exist in the market?
It is far easier to sell into an export market when you integrate with existing channel structures rather than seeking to create a new one. It is really important therefore to understand the existing purchase process for your products and services.   How does the customer buy similar products today? Do they use distributors, agents, systems integrators, or maybe they insist on dealing directly with the manufacturer? What are the typical customer and channel margins required to compete and will a channel structure be profitable for your company and products?

4.     Who is your competition?
It’s amazing how many companies engage in channel development strategies without a good understanding of local competition and yet, competitive knowledge is something we take very seriously in our domestic market. Even a comprehensive internet search is within the capability of every company and will highlight who the competitors are, detailed product/service descriptions, how they position themselves and their sales structures. Look up local tradeshows and events, industry directories and even Linked-In can provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your local competition and whether it is a market you can compete in.

 5.     What is your value proposition?
An extension of the previous question but you cannot define your “competitive advantage” until you first know your “competition”. Equally, your value proposition is the message you will promote to the local market which tells a customer and channel partners why they should choose you over anybody else.  Entering a new market has many challenges but the majority are secondary to the lack of a clear value proposition.

6.     What barriers to entry exist to doing business locally?
Barriers to entry are defined as obstacles which will make it difficult to sell your product or service in a given export market. These can vary greatly from one industry sector to another and include local regulatory requirements, certifications, local laws, taxes, degree of government involvement, etc. Other barriers can include culture, time/distance from you to the market and language. The list is different for every company but the identification of key barriers is a great way of prioritising export market potential.

 7.     What is your ideal channel structure and why?
This needs a lot of thought and must be driven by your knowledge of the local market – in particular your customer (2), current sales channels (3) and competition (4).  Your channel structure should define the type of partners you need (eg distributor, agent, etc), geographic coverage (national or regional) and sector focus (all or specialist) and even how many partners.

 8.     What will the role of the channel partner be?
Channel partnerships can vary greatly from simple stock/resell relationships to detailed sales and marketing partnerships. The first step is to determine what skills, resources and service levels are necessary to sell your product in the local market and then look for partners who can match this requirement. Having a good idea of this before you start can save a lot of time and also provide clarity in early stage channel discussions. Be prepared to sacrifice a greater amount of margin in line with the degree of service and support expected from your partner.

 9.     What level of commitment can you give on an ongoing basis?
It would be a mistake to view the recruitment of a local sales partner as the finishing line; in fact it is only the start. It is typically accepted that the first 6 months in any new channel partnership are key. Early customer success or even the creation of a healthy pipeline of opportunities is critical to channel confidence and the time they invest in your products and services. Be prepared to invest, above all else, your time in supporting your new channel.

10.  What internal alignment will be necessary to support your sales channels?
Most companies fail to align their internal structures to support export sales channels. Marketing, Customer Service, Finance and Engineering all need to (a) understand the role of the channel partner and (b) adapt to support the export market. One of the best suggestions is to bring your new channel partners to Ireland and hold meetings with your team so as an organisation you can understand the support required to achieve mutual success.

In summary, channel development is very time consuming and often far from straight forward. When carefully planned your chances of success are much higher, so take the time to understand the customer, market and channel structures required before beginning any formal partner recruitment process

This blog was written by Kevin Moran, Managing Director of IMS Marketing. IMS Marketing specialises in the planning and implementation of marketing and export development strategies to assist companies in growing their businesses in Europe.


EuroSTAR Conferences introduces a free software testing masterclass with internationally renowned software testing trainer Michael Bolton (developsense.com). Open to software testers, developers and test managers, this half-day workshop takes places at the National College of Ireland, Dublin (from 08:30-12:00) on June 27th.

The workshop, entitled ‘How to Get What You Want From Testing (for Testers, Developers, and Managers)’, examines the role of skilled software testers and the relationship between testers and test managers while addressing the following questions:

- What’s the difference between testing and quality assurance and quality control?
- What can testing do for you?
- What kind of questions should you ask your testers?
- How do you get the best value out of testing?

This event is organised by EuroSTAR Conferences with the support of ISA Software Skillnet, Irish Software Innovation Network and SoftTest. It takes place in the Kelly Theatre at NCI on Mayor St, Dublin 1.

EuroSTAR Conference
The annual EuroSTAR Software Testing Conference is Europe’s premier software testing event since 1993 and this year takes place in Ireland for the first time (Nov 24-27).

Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton is a software tester, consultant, and trainer from Canada with 20 years of experience around the world, testing, developing, managing, and writing about software. He is the co-author (with senior author James Bach) of Rapid Software Testing, a course that presents a methodology and mind-set for testing software expertly in uncertain conditions and under extreme time pressure.

Click here for further details and to register

Contact: Lorraine Banks, General Manager, EuroSTAR Conferences

(091) 514470, lorraine@eurostarconferences.com



Under the sponsorship of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is jointly organising a Seminar on Intellectual Property to showcase WIPO’s offerings in the IP area. The aim of the event is to link this into the areas of greatest relevance to the Irish enterprise base. The principal target audience is the innovative industry sector be that indigenous or in the foreign direct investment area and with an element focussing on technology transfer opportunities between academia and the enterprise base.

Intellectual Property, and Intellectual Assets in general, are gaining increasing importance in enterprise development and growth as knowledge-rich innovation continues to drive competitive advantage globally. This event is therefore of significant relevance to clients of Enterprise Ireland.

Register here for the Dublin event on 16th June 2014

Register here for the Limerick event on 18th June 2014

For more information, please email ipu@djei.ie


0830 – 0920 REGISTRATION


Welcome addresses by:
Anne Coleman-Dunne, Director of IP, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Yoshiyuki Takagi, Assistant Director General, WIPO
Dublin 16th June: Professor Vinny Cahill, Dean of Research, Trinity College, Dublin
Limerick 18th June: Paul Dillon, Director of the Technology Transfer Office, UL

0940 – 1000 Topic 1: Introduction to WIPO:

Development of the International Legal Framework;
Major Intellectual Property Economic Studies
Speaker: Christopher Ruggiero, Senior Legal Officer, Transition and Developed Countries Division, WIPO

1000 – 1045 Topic 2: The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

Introduction and Future Developments
Speaker: Matthew Bryan, Director, Innovation and Technology sector & PCT Legal, WIPO

1045 – 1115 Topic 3: In-house Innovation:

Capturing Creativity through Intellectual Asset Management
Speaker: Joe Doyle, IP Manager, Enterprise Ireland

1115 – 1130 BREAK

1130 – 1150 Topic 4: Global Intellectual Property Systems:

(a) The Madrid System for the International Registration of Trade Marks
Speakers: Debbie Roenning, Director, Madrid Registry, WIPO

1150 – 1220 Topic 5: Global Intellectual Property Systems:

(a) Practice and experiences of the Madrid System for the International Registration of Trade Marks
Speaker: Niamh Hall, Partner, FR Kelly & Co, Patent and Trade Mark Agents

12:20 – 13:00 Topic 6: Collaborative Innovation with Industry:

Technology Transfer and Access to Higher Education IP and Know-How
Speaker: Alison Campbell, Director, Knowledge Transfer Ireland

1300 – 1400 Networking lunch

1400 – 1430 Topic 7: (i) WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (ADR):

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Speaker: Matthew Bryan, Director, Innovation and Technology sector & PCT Legal, WIPO

1430 – 1455 (ii) Using Mediation to Reduce Cost in IP Enforcement – Possible Case Study
Speaker: Yvonne McNamara, Barrister at Law

1455 – 1515 (iii) The Unified Patent Court – A New Court System for Defending European Patents
Speaker: Anne Coleman-Dunne, Director of IP, Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation

1515 – 1545 Topic 8: Global Databases for Intellectual Property

Platforms and Tools for the Connected Knowledge Economy
Speakers: Yoshiyuki Takagi, Assistant Director General, WIPO
Fergal Brady, Patent Examiner, Patents Office [TCD]
Karen Ryan, Patent Examiner, Patents office [UL]

1545 – 1615 Q&A, SESSION CLOSE


ProductCamp is a collaborative, user organized unconference, focused on Product Management and Marketing topics. 

Product Camp provides you with a chance to hear first-hand experiences from your colleagues in the product management, marketing, and sales trenches. It’s free to attend and is organised in a highly dynamic, attendee-driven way on the day itself which ensures that the topics discussed throughout the afternoon in the various parallel tracks represent the topics of most interest to those in attendance.

At Product Camp Dublin everyone is encouraged to participate in some manner: This means you can propose a topic to present on the day, lead a roundtable discussion, or simply share your experiences, and of course volunteers to help in the organisation of the event are always welcome.

Product Camp Dublin is a great opportunity for you to learn from, teach to, and network with professionals involved in the complete product delivery process.

This year Product Camp Dublin will be held on 5th June 2014 in DIT Aungier Street.

You can register for free  to attend this year’s event.

Follow us @ProductCampDub on Twitter or check out our website here: http://www.ProductCampDublin.com


The annual EuroSTAR Software Testing Conference is Europe’s leading software testing conference & exhibition and this year it will take place in the Convention Centre in Dublin from 24-27 November 2014.

Since 1993, the EuroSTAR Conference has been recognised as the premier software testing event on the European testing calendar and presents an unrivalled learning and networking opportunity for software testing professionals.

The four day event centres on an exceptional conference programme featuring intensive full-day and half-day tutorials; active workshops; over 40 track sessions and thought-leading keynote presentations from some of the world’s leading software testers.

Recognised international testing experts will present their ideas on a wide range of topics including: Agile Testing; Test Strategy; Big Data; Mobile Testing; Security Testing; Test Automation; Test Design and Test Management.

The conference also features a vibrant Expo where companies showcase the latest tool and service innovations in testing. This year the Expo is set to include the biggest ever Test Lab – a live testing environment where attendees can learn and demonstrate their testing knowledge.

The EuroSTAR Conference presents Irish IT companies with an excellent opportunity to learn from the very best the global testing industry has to offer as well as the chance to network and discuss with over 1000 like-minded professionals from across Europe and around the globe.

Please click here for more details on the 2014 EuroSTAR Conference programme



This seminar will provide companies, researchers and policy-makers in the telecommunications sector with essential information on the advantages of participation in the development of standards. Standards experts will explain the operation of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and how to participate in ICT standardization through NSAI.

Industry speakers will present how participation in standardization can be used as a basis for achieving technology leadership, competitive advantage and company growth. The seminar will pay particular attention to new and emerging technologies and will be of benefit for SMEs.

The seminar is free to attend however registration is required.  Click for full programme and to reserve your place

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 | 8am – 1pm
Venue: Grand Hotel, Malahide, Co Dublin.

Inside eCommerce has partnered with online retailers, MicksGarage.com, to share their experiences in Building for Scale Internationally. This one day event will provide invaluable insights into the strategy, innovation and technical implementation behind creating a successful eCommerce offering. Six speakers from the company’s top management team will give masterclass sessions focusing on key areas of business. Attendees will learn over the course of the day how all these functions fit together to form a well oiled machine.

 “This no nonsense approach to a tech conference aims to give attendees an invaluable insight into how building an online business for scale is achieved,” said event organiser John Walsh.  We’ve skipped the jargon and fluff and designed content driven by real data and examples that anyone building an online business can relate to and apply, while focusing on eCommerce specific strategies, campaigns and considerations.” Walsh said.

Hosted by the Gibson Hotel, this event will also provide breakfast, lunch and post-event networking opportunities, with additional food & refreshments being provided for all attendees.

 Key Take-Aways:

  •  Considerations around shipping 1000+ products per day
  • Manage 300,000 Ad groups
  • Build from 0 to 350k SKU’s
  • Localise for Europe and ship to 70 countries
  • Build a Multichannel eCommerce business to include eBay / Amazon marketplaces
  • Design for eCommerce – Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • Manage & create effective content
  • Create an eCommerce P&L and identify the key metrics
  • Raise Capital and plan for scale.
  • Build Infrastructure for scale, and manage security
For more information please contact: John Walsh
Phone: +353 87 6681183
email: john@insideecommerce.ie
Website: www.insideecommerce.ie 

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