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Friday, March 30, 2007

Hope IBM does it better this time around

IBM will be upgrading the computers Israeli Post Office, something that hasn't been done in a long time. The cost for the project is said to be in the range of NIS 13 million.

IBM will be installing SAP, presumably on the Post Office's mainframe.

Hopefully IBM will have more success this time around than they did with their white elephant at Mamram. While they got a huge hardware sale out of that deal, it is considered by some insiders to be a "less than efficient" SAP and OS implementation.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Talk about convoluted

Aeronautics is a defense company that makes UAVs and airborne based surveillance cameras.

Aeronautics was purchased by Avi Shaked for his children who want to get into the other family business (not gambling).

But who in the world did he actually buy it from?

Talk about convoluted

Aeronautics is a defense company that makes UAVs and airborne based surveillance cameras.

Aeronautics was purchased by Avi Shaked for his children who want to get into the other family business (not gambling).

But who in the world did he actually buy it from?

Bye Bye Bezeq

Bezeq's CEO is going on a 2 week vacation while his fate is decided by the board. While he's away the board will be busy looking at ways of covering their own behinds after their rather lax oversight of some of his major questionable decisions. Now that Bezeq is privatized, they are actually answerable to someone for their failure to safeguard the shareholders.

Keep watching this spot for details (probably after the Passover holiday).

No-fee Transactions - Perks or a Right

The Mizarchi-Tfachot takeover of Bank Yahav (the government retains partial ownership) had/has some interesting side deals going on, such as an attempt sidestep a tender regarding loans to civil servants.

The Histadrut is running yet another general strike today (of all government services) because the government is refusing to alter the terms of the Bank Yahav tender.

Currently, civil servants don't pay bank fees at Bank Yahav and can get cheap loans. This tender may end those perks.

The costs of these loans and transactions are covered by taxes.

Of course it raises questions. Why should civil servant lose no-fee transactions, as opposed to all Israelis gaining the option of no-fee transactions? Why can't the banks cover operational costs like other banks around the world?

Agassi exits early - won't go to finals

Shai Agassi, once considered to be in line to be CEO of SAP, is leaving to explore private ventures in the alternative energy sectors. Rumor has it Agassi is looking into electric cars.

Shai (39) may have thought the timetable for his becoming CEO was too far in the future.

SAP was in the news this week for other reasons. It is now defending itself against an Oracle lawsuit which is claiming some serious corporate espionage charges on the part of SAP.

Living off the Pork

While women make up the majority of civil servant and public sector jobs, the government has reported that their average salary compared to their male counterparts is less (by some 30%).

There is still no reason to complain though, as the average female or male civil servant/public sector salary (except, of course for teachers) is still above the national average compared to the private working stiff.

As an aside, 25% of the country is said to live at poverty levels.

Bank Robbery

Last year, the top 5 Israeli banks grossed over NIS 10 Billion from... bank fees (a 6% increase over the year before).

Their overall net from all sources was over NIS 8 Billion (a 38% increase from the previous year).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Shakeup at Bezeq

The government isn't the only place where questionable activities occur.

A big shakeup happening at Bezeq. The Bezeq board is examining the activities of their CEO Yakov Gelbard, some deals he made and a bonus scandal. A secret midnight meeting was held to discuss his fate.

Retalix in the Running

Despite or amidst the constant rumors that Retalix is going to be sold, British Petroleum signed a contract to license their retail management software for tens of thousands of gas stations and restaurants in 18 countries.

Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Here is list of some hi-tech CEOs and their salaries.

Name ............Title.................~Annual Salary USD
Moty Gutman........CEO Matrix..........$1,030,000
Yossi Savir.....CEO Malam Subsidiary..... $778,000

Amos Shapira.....CEO Cellcom.....$614,000
Ravit Barniv.....CEO Netvision.....$473,000
Doron Sapir.....CEO Taldor.....$504,000
Levi HaLevi.....CEO Malam.....$400,000
Gidon Kimchi.....CEO TesNet.....$392,000
Dov Paer .....CEO Babylon.....$316,000
Benny Rothblatt.....CEO Taldor subsidiary.....$292,000
Yigal Geser.....VP Netvision.....$240,000

Isracard examining the future

The Isracard credit card company (which Bank HaPolaim is selling off part of it shares in) is running a pilot program at the Herziliya Interdisciplinary Center campus, allowing students and faculty to make purchases with a smart card/disk-on-key instead of a credit card.

Microsoft Trumps Google in .Gov.il

Once again, the Israeli government is pushing for Microsoft solutions before and ahead of all other alternative providers - no matter how qualified or appropriate.

This time the government has chosen Microsoft over Google to supply the .gov.il site with search engine capabilities!

What dah...?

Mizrachi-Tfachot Gaining Ground

Bank Mizrachi is working hard to position themselves as a serious lender in the Israeli market.

It began with their purchase of Bank Tfachot, for their mortgage department. Now they are going to acquire 50% of Bank Yahav from Bank Hapoalim- hoping to acquire a government tender to supply loans to civil servants.

Bank Yahav is a widely used bank for civil servants.