The number of requests for hi-tech workers dropped dramatically in August due to the effects of the war in Lebanon, human resources company MIT said, citing results of its monthly survey of the help-wanted advertisements in the Hebrew press. MIT said its Manpower Index dropped 6.4 percent from July to 98.3% based on an index average of 100 from 2002. The index dropped some 19% compared to August last year when it stood at 121.3% MIT CEO Idit Padan said the index had been on a downward trend since May, but intensified in July due to the war in the North. "The hi-tech slowdown is a result of a global decline in the demand for hi-tech personnel," he said. "In Israel, however, the situation has worsened because of the war." Information Technology services provider Matrix IT has bought Effect CRM for NIS 10 million, Matrix said Monday. The acquisition will give Herzliya-based Matrix entry into the CRM (customer relations management) market. Effect CRM, also located in Herzliya, will operate as a Matrix subsidiary specializing in customer relations management based on its Microsoft CRM systems. Effect CRM is a strategic partner of Microsoft in the CRM arena. It implements projects using Microsoft's 3.0 Dynamics platform, developing products and solutions around it. Following the acquisition, Effect CRM will operate under the same management. SanDisk Corporation has launched its Sansa c200 series flash memory-based MP3 player. The new product will be sold in two capacities, 1 gigabyte and 2GB, and come loaded with high-end features, including a bright LCD color screen and a microSD expansion slot. The company announced the launch at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. It said the 2GB device would be sold for $99.99, while the 1GB MP3 would be sold for $79.99 and be available in the US, Europe and Israel next month. Internet provider Bezeq International has won a tender to provide Internet service to the academic track at the College for Business Management. Bezeq International said the contract, for which all Internet providers bid, was for three years at an estimated NIS 1m. NDS, a Jerusalem-founded provider of solutions for digital pay-TV, has introduced the new DRM capabilities to its VideoGuard solution, which will allow pay-TV operators to securely provide content across any platform to any type of device. The company said the solution ensured that subscribers would be able to access their desired content whenever they wanted to watch it over any network and device of their choice. Finally, on the international front, Nortel has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for the sale of its UMTS access business to Alcatel for $320m. Nortel said the deal would enable it to simplify its business and strategically focus its investments in key markets, while ensuring its customers' UMTS access requirements would continue to be met. As part of its business strategy, Nortel intends to increase investment in key areas, partner in others and divest where there is no path for it to lead or realize attractive returns, the Toronto-based company said. The three core elements of Nortel 's strategic focus include next-generation mobility, enterprise transformation and services and applications.