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The on-line gambling market is proving to be profitable not only for site owners but also those recruiting on their behalf since Internet casinos have launched generous incentive programs for people bringing new gamblers to their sites, a research project at Tel Aviv-based Derby University revealed. Derby said businesses have beefed up their recruitment activities and are paying agents as much as 50 percent of their intakes from the new client.
Israeli site www.kingsolomon.com has even set up a separate marketing company called Wager Junction, which is working with three different sites helping them recruit agents. Among other things, Wager offers programs for agents to provide on-line marketing and other tools to help them bring in new recruits.
Derby said King Solomon is paying agents 30% of customers' losses of up to $4,999; 35% on up to $200,000 loss; 40% if the gambler loses up to $1m. and as much as 50% if he passes the $1m. mark.
Cable company HOT has launched a new marketing tool to boost each of its Internet, television and telephone businesses, allowing customers to avoid the hassle of renegotiating pricing terms when their contract period ends.
The company argued that most service providers offer deals for a set period of time and upon expiry raise the price, often without sufficient notification, causing the customer to call in to renew the terms of the old contract.
To avoid this "unnecessary" step, HOT has committed to keeping the same rates when the time frame runs out, extending the service to all three of its triple-play services.
A number of Israeli companies have won contracts from overseas vendors increasing their presence in the international arena.
Among these, visual communications provider Radvision has won a five-year pact from the United States General Services Administration (GSA) for the sale of its equipment and services. The agreement enables US government agencies to procure Radvision products and services through authorized resellers at competitive, pre-negotiated rates. Radvision said the contract was part of its strategy for developing long-term relationships with government agencies in the US.
Wireless broadband solutions provider Alvarion won a contract with Polish telecommunications company Netia to deploy its BreezeMAX 3600 product in 20 cities in Poland. Tel Aviv-based Alvarion developed BreezeMAX 3600 as an extension to its flagship BreezeMAX solution to cater for cities with higher frequencies of 3.6 to 3.8 GHz available. As a customer of Alvarion's MGW solution for multi-residential voice and data services, Netia began this WiMAX deployment after receiving the nationwide WiMAX license along with three other Polish carriers.
Lipman China, a subsidiary of Rosh Ha'ayin-based Lipman Electronic Engineering, has received an order for 20,000 point-of-sales units from China Union Pay (CUP). CUP, a financial services company in China, ordered Lipman's NURIT 8320 POS terminal and the NURIT 222 PIN Pad to facilitate its migration to EMV-compliant payment systems - a standard set for electronic smart card payments. The deal is expected to be carried out by the end of the year.
Tel Aviv-based cVidya Networks will supply German telecommunications company freenet.de AG with its assurance solution, Money Map to enhance freenet's internal revenue assurance capabilities in its ADSL business.Market sources said the deal is worth NIS 1.5m. cVidya said the agreement will boost its presence in Europe and is the first phase of future deals with freenet that will extend beyond the high-speed Internet market.
Finally, research company Gartner said companies are overspending on their IP telephone systems and are expected to continue to do so despite the limited gain from the new applications.
"Many companies are replacing old phones with fancy, screen-based IP phones and IP/PBXs with related hardware, however, most users continue to use the new phones like their old phones, only with a few new capabilities, such as viewing missed calls or for directory dialing," said Bob Hafner, managing vice president for Gartner.
The company said that businesses will needlessly spend $20.3 billion on expensive IP screen phones from 2005 through the beginning of 2010. In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, it will amount to more than â‚¬5b.
Hafner suggested that with the money saved on staying with lower-cost IP phones, companies should purchase UC applications that would enable the user to improve productivity by integrating communications applications with other services such as instant messaging, unified messaging, presence, personal agent, conferencing and mobility to create a converged desktop with the voice communications on the phone. These applications are far more productive than the screen on an IP phone and are about the same cost, Gartner noted.
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