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As we start the new year amidst fears that the global recession will continue to worsen, TechWatch takes this opportunity to remind its readers that Israeli technology companies are continuing to prosper, signing new deals, completing large M&As and winning prestigious international awards.
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, an internet security company, announced last month that it has signed an agreement to acquire Nokia's security appliance business. The two businesses have collaborated over the past decade to deliver industry-leading enterprise security solutions. Building on this collaboration, Check Point will provide an extended security appliance portfolio developed, manufactured and supported by Check Point.
Check Point, based in Tel Aviv, and Nokia have long provided customers with a range of best-of-breed security solutions, proven in high-performance, mission critical environments. Nokia's security appliance business provides purpose-built security platforms optimized for Check Point firewall, virtual private network (VPN) and unified threat management (UTM) software. About 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies have bought Nokia's security platforms. More than 220,000 Nokia appliances have been installed with over 23,000 customers worldwide.
Check Point has a broad range of security gateways, available as software as well as Check Point's UTM-1 and Power-1 dedicated appliances. More than 700,000 Check Point security gateways have been licensed with over 100,000 customers worldwide. The Check Point customer base includes 100 percent of Fortune 100 and 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
The agreement between Check Point and Nokia is expected to close in the first quarter of 2009 subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., a provider of satellite networking technology, announced last week that the lengthy negotiations with the Ministry of Communications in Colombia have led to the signing of new agreements for the provision of services under the Compartel I, Compartel II and Telecentros projects which were awarded to Gilat's Colombian subsidiaries in 1999 and 2002.
The new terms to the agreements include the removal of thousands of telephony sites which are no longer needed or used by the rural population in Colombia, the upgrade of technology, primarily in existing sites, entailing additional capital expenditure by Gilat, modification of the terms of the agreements, the release of approximately $24 million from trust accounts and a release by each of the parties from all prior claims under the previous agreements. Gilat, headquartered in Petah Tikva, expects that most of the amount in the trusts will be released during 2009, with the remaining amount to be released in 2010.
Petah Tikva-based ECI Telecom, a global provider of networking infrastructure solutions, announced late last month that it has received Frost & Sullivan's 2008 Global Product Differentiation Innovation Award for the World IPTV Access Infrastructure market. Frost & Sullivan awarded ECI for the company's Hi-FOCuS Multi-Service Access Node (MSAN), as well as its product differentiation and commitment to innovation and future-proof capabilities.
ECI's Hi-FOCuS platform is a key element of ECI's 1Net business framework, which provides an optimized path for network transition for carriers worldwide. The Hi-FOCuS' future-proof capabilities are attractive to customers, as they can gradually introduce new services, while guaranteeing support for legacy services.
As of August 2008, Frost & Sullivan expected that the world IPTV access infrastructure market is poised for solid growth at a robust double digit CAGR from CY 2008 to CY 2014 with revenues estimated to reach shy of four and a half billion dollar mark as evidenced by increased activity in fiber roll-outs. This was driven primarily by existing and potential consumer video services that are best delivered via a high-bandwidth fiber infrastructure, and the intense competition among communication service providers.
ECI will be formally honored with the 2008 Global Product Differentiation Award at Frost & Sullivan's 2009 Excellence in Information & Communication Technologies Awards Banquet on January 22, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas.
Jerusalem-based Digital Fuel, a provider of IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions, recently announced strong momentum with strategic partner amasol AG, a leading European IT management firm focused on business service management for companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Since amasol selected Digital Fuel less than a year ago as its standard Business Service Management (BSM) solution provider, the partnership has experienced intense interest from leading service organizations, landing strategic engagements with companies such as Volkswagen (VW), METRO Group, and other such prestigious companies. This customer success underscores a rapidly growing demand for software solutions that cut business service costs and improve the business value of those services.
amasol AG is experiencing rapid and growing demand for its services and expects to see a 30-40% increase in its business in 2009 despite the global economic downturn. amasol AG attributes this demand to an intense need for service management solutions that simultaneously decrease costs and improve services, while delivering a very high return on investment. amasol AG sees Digital Fuel as a key foundation for these solutions.
By combining the power of the Digital Fuel ServiceFlow solution, the industry-leading ITSM software suite, with expertise and 'on the ground' client service, Digital Fuel and amasol AG have forged a highly valuable partnership that is driving value throughout central Europe. amasol AG is part of Digital Fuel's thriving ecosystem of IT service providers that have standardized on the company's ITSM software for managing customer relationships and creating value within service organizations by cutting costs, improving efficiencies and improving overall services. In addition to recent customer wins, amasol AG has a strong and growing pipeline of global leading brands seeking to implement Digital Fuel as their standard platform for managing IT and business services.