Mature Israeli Internet–At Internet World Tel Aviv

“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 following were some of the things that were said
and some of the services that were displayed at the exhibition.

“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.”

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