Software AG interested in Israel's technology

Germany's second largest software systems developer is looking at Israel to help it exapand.

Software AG, Germany's second largest software systems developer, is positioning itself for growth and is targeting Israel to help accomplish that goal. "With the prospect of peace in the Middle East, a huge market will open up including Jordan and Egypt. This will be the time when Israel will take off as the dominant player in the region," said Karl-Heinz Streibich CEO of Software AG in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. Streibich said the company was interested in Israel's technology and planned to make further R&D acquisitions in the country. "We are here and we have the money to make acquisitions but we are not in a rush. We look for a matching opportunity - this is the secret of our success," Streibich said during his first visit to Israel. Over the past 18 months, Software AG has made four acquisitions, including the January 2005 purchase of Israeli integration software company Sabratec Ltd. for $7m. The former owners of privately owned Sabratec also are slated to receive further sales-related payments up to an overall ceiling of $4m., over the next three years. Software AG is represented in Israel by SPL, its exclusive local distributor. SPL specializes in developing information systems for the country's largest companies and government organizations including Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Migdal Insurance, Cellcom, and the Ministry of Defense. Software AG's products control the central IT processes of thousands of companies worldwide including Lufthansa, British Sky Broadcasting, Merck, Dresdner Bank, DaimlerChrysler, and BP. Last year, SPL signed a five-year, $10 million contract to provide Israel Electric Corporation with Software AG solutions including the Adabas and Natural database systems for product support and to upgrade services. The takeover of Sabratec was Software's first step towards implementing its acquisition strategy. Sabratec's list of customers contains some 200 companies worldwide including some located in the US, Europe, South America, and Australia. Sabratech, which was founded in 1997, has distribution partners in 14 countries. "The acquisition of Sabratec and its innovative ApplinX integration technology is highly synergistic with Software AG's Enterprise Transaction Systems and XML Business Integration portfolios," said Streibich. The ApplinX technology focuses on helping the great majority of mainframe customers, with applications written in COBOL, to cost effectively extend those applications to other business systems. Software AG specializes in high-performance databases, application development tools and integration technologies that allow different computer networks to mingle their platforms with one another. Its technology offers process driven integration and aims to help its customers achieve a competitive advantage through flexible and adaptive business processes based on fast and easy integration of existing information technology (IT) assets. Software AG, which was established in 1969 is headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, and is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization of over €1 billion. It has some 2,500 employees and 3,000 customers in 80 countries. Its distribution and technology partners include market leaders such as IBM, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, as well as innovative IT solutions providers like Extensibility, Softquad and Instranet. "I travel around the globe to meet customers throughout the year. Being in Israel for the first time, I feel very comfortable. I like the business culture, it is a global business culture," Streibich said.