TechWatch: Local micro-cap firms continue to outclass international competition

Earlier this month, the company that runs theNasdaq Stock Market said it will reinstate a rule that requirespublicly held shares to have a $1 minimum closing bid price and acertain minimum market value on August 3.

TheNasdaq OMX Group Inc. suspended those rules in October, citingunprecedented turmoil in the market, and it moved to extend thesuspension in December and March.

Under the rules, a stock faces delisting if it fails to achievea $1 closing bid price for 30 consecutive business days. It has atleast six months to resolve the problem by having a closing bid priceabove $1 for 10 consecutive business days.

Companies whose shares fall below certain minimum market valuesfor 30 consecutive trading days are given three months to resolve theproblem.

This news strikes a delicate chord here in Israel asa number of local companies, including RadCom (RDCM), Metalink (MTLK),Top Image Systems (TISA), Better Online Solutions (BOSC), Mind CTI(MNDO) and ECtel (ECTX) are currently trading below the $1 red line.While share prices of these firms are currently low, most of thesecompanies have seen a jump in their valuations over the last severalweeks, and they all continue to announce new partnerships, customersand deals. This week's TechWatch takes a look at some of these recentannouncements.


Last week, Tel Aviv-based Radcom, a developer ofinnovative network test-and-service monitoring solutions forcommunications service providers and equipment vendors, announced thata leading telecommunications operator with a multinational WesternEuropean IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) deployment has selected RADCOM'sOmni-Q solution to monitor their IMS services. The deal is valued atover $1 million for RADCOM.

This tier-one incumbent operator, serving over a million IMSsubscribers, has been using RADCOM's troubleshooting and monitoringsolutions in several countries for many years. Throughout this period,RADCOM has demonstrated the ability to quickly respond and adapt tothis operator's needs, both for decoding and reassemblingvendor-specific implementations and for scaling RADCOM'S integratedtroubleshooting and correlation engine capabilities to support millionsof subscriber sessions and registration traffic.

RADCOM's unique knowledge of IMS-specific requirements andunderstanding of the required work-flow enables this operator toleverage maximum benefit out of the monitoring system. In addition, thelong-term successful business relationship with RADCOM was a key factorin deciding to deploy the Omni-Q solution to monitor the IMS servicesof their rapidly expanding customer base. This significant win inWestern Europe is one more in a series of important IMS successes forRADCOM, following considerable investment in this segment. RADCOM hasdemonstrated repeatedly that the company is a leader in the market,offering capabilities not otherwise available.

Better Online Solutions

Meanwhile, Rishon Lezion-based B.O.S. Better Online Solutions, aleading provider of RFID (radio frequency identification tags) andSupply Chain solutions to global enterprises, recently announced thatit has provided BOS - Waste management system, including over 1 millionRFID tags, to Otto, a leading provider of integrated solutions forwaste management in Europe and in the United States. Using BOS's RFIDsolution will enable Otto to manage and track waste collection, controlwaste-management subcontractors and offer better waste-removal servicesto the public.

Otto offers the full range of waste-handling-related productsand services, as well as residential carts, lifters, commercialcontainers, recycling bins and public-space containers. Otto is one ofthe first waste-management companies to understand the added value ofusing RFID to optimize the waste-collection process.

BOS, through its subsidiary BOS supply chain solutions (ODEM),has designed a unique RFID tag for the Otto's bins, and is alsosupplying Otto with the appropriate RFID readers and antennas. All thehardware operates in a wide range of climates and weather conditions,and is also appropriate for liquid-waste materials. In addition to theRFID tags, BOS is also supplying software to track waste-collectionroutes.


Finally, earlier this year, Rosh Ha'ayin-based ECtel, a leadingprovider of Integrated Revenue Management (IRM) solutions forcommunications service providers, announced that it has expanded itsbusiness operations in the UK and Singapore, upgrading itscustomer-interaction abilities and local support for its growingcustomer base in Europe and Asia Pacific.

The expansion of the company's business operations in the UKsupports ECtel's strategy to strengthen its presence in the region andoperate closer to existing and potential clients.

Singapore, one of the most developed business centers in AsiaPacific, will serve as a gateway to the region and position ECtel tomeet the region's growing demand for the company's innovative IRMsolutions.

With a presence in over 50 countries, ECtel's world-leadingrevenue-assurance products provide operators with modular, scalablesolutions to fight revenue leakage and fraud in order to ultimatelyincrease the bottom line. ECtel's revolutionary Integrated RevenueManagement (IRM) platform incorporates multifaceted solutions toaddress all revenue threats by providing operators with a 360-degreeview of all revenues and costs, equipping them with proactive solutionsfor increased efficiency and operability.

Matthew Krieger is an account supervisor at Ruder Finn Israel.