Mature Israeli Internet--At Internet World Tel Aviv
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"Israel is number two, after the USA, in technology development", stated Mike Volpi, manager of the Business Development Unit at Cisco Systems, Inc., during his visit to the Internet World Exhibition held in Tel Aviv last week.
Volpi showered numerous compliments on the Israeli hitech industry, as he mentioned that Cisco has already invested $70 million in Israel.
The exhibition revealed a well-developed Israeli Internet, containing Hebrew language Internet portals that were rich in up-to-date information, as well as e-commerce sites that offered a plethora of merchandise for the Israeli surfer.
In addition, Israeli Internet offers a wealth of tools that places the Internet at your finger tips, as well as Internet providers offering hook up services at lower prices than ever before, he said. In general, we see that the Israeli Internet has matured and turned into a service that is readily available to every house and budget.
"The Internet will increase universality," said Bruce Nelson, Cisco's head scientist for the EMEA area. Information retrieval from a mobile telephone screen will lower costs. "Israel is one of the most advanced Internet countries, providing Internet services such as on-line banking by all of the Israeli banks, which is quite different from the situation in England," said Nelson.
The scope of investments from Israeli venture capital funds in 1998 stood at $567 million, a rise of 32.5 percent from 1997 stated Ran Zamir, manager of the growth company IDG, during a one-day seminar on the topic of venture capital held during the exhibition. Funds managed today have reached a record $2.5 billion.
Internet Zahav, one of the two major Israeli Internet providers, displayed its new portal that enables surfers to customize their own pages according to their favorite topics from a range of channels, such as news, sports, computers, Internet, occult and more. Each topic channel is updated daily with information received from different content providers contracted by Internet Zahav.
The portal contains an index of sites, operated in cooperation with another popular portal, Walla and in addition, offers merchandise through the e-commerce site 4Sale.
PCMedia announced the opening of its new site ZDNet Israel, by a license from ZDNet, planned to begin operation next month as a channel in the Internet Zahav portal.
This is to be an Israeli version of a well-known computer news site and will include, along with articles in English, translated articles and local reports in Hebrew. Another interesting service on Internet Zahav's portal will be Doar-tech or Mail tech, a cooperative service with the Israeli Mail Carrier and Internet Zahav, that will enable to send mail from every computer to snail-addressees that are not hooked up to e-mail. The message will be sent as a regular letter or as a telegram or as express mail, with in Israel or abroad, at the same price as regular mail and paid via credit card.
NetVision--the other of the two largest Internet providers in Israel, BroadVision and John Bryce products has announced the establishment of a new company called Broad-Net, that will concentrate on establishing electronic commerce and online banking in Israel. The company will provide BroadVision systems and products and expects to reach a million-dollar turnover during its first year of operations.
Dr. Pehong Chen, president and chief executive officer of BroadVision was present at the announcement, and said, "Israeli companies that have international dealings must work through the Internet, as both customers and partners expect this."