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The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is this year installing its first ever enterprise resource planning system.
Eldad Hershtig, CIO and head of operations at the exchange, says the business was looking for an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that was broad in scope and flexible enough to support “various processes in our organisation”. The introduction, from 2010 onwards, of ISOX – the Israeli equivalent of the US Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance legislation – has been a major ERP driver, he says.
Hershtig and his team went with Israel-based ERP supplier Priority Software, and used local reseller FBC Technologies for the implementation.
FBC began the first phase of the project in January 2016. Priority’s ERP suite has applications to serve the exchange’s finance, logistics and procurement needs, and further work is planned to support the exchange’s visitors centre.
Hershtig says he was impressed by FBC’s professional service and support capabilities, and that the reseller delivered the project on time and on budget.
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) has around 260 employees, of whom 160 are in an IT department that is also responsible for the core trading and settlement systems.
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Hershtig says: “We didn't have ERP before. We had local tools to monitor our overall budget, which is broken up into separate islands. Each department managed its own budget, and we used different tools to do different things.”
Several companies run under the TASE aegis, including two clearing houses for settlement of derivatives and other assets, such as bonds. The same ERP system manages them all.
The first stage of the project covered the daily operations of TASE. The second has been to generate financial reports for the board and the regulators – a process that was completed in spring 2016.
Hershtig says that though his team did look at ERP products aimed at small and medium-sized businesses such as SAP Business One, Priority is such a “big product in Israel that, in the end, it reflects much better the regulation of the Israeli market.
“Also, the number of reseller companies who know the product and how to integrate with it is very high in Israel. There are enough companies that can support the product, even our specific implementation.”
A demanding timeline
To get the system ready for January 2016 “was a very demanding timeline”, he says. “We wanted to be able to start in January. The first of that month is the end of the financial year in Israel. The last three months of 2015 were devoted to getting the first phase ready to go live.” They now intend to “add a business intelligence component to predict income and expense”.
Andres Richter, CEO of Priority, says his firm sees “an increasing demand for quick and easy ERP projects and for systems that are easier to implement and maintain.
“We are a 30-year-old company, with 7,500 customers, 80 to 85% of which are in Israel, and 1,000 are in the cloud. We are twice as big as SAP and the industry standard here in Israel. We offer a full and deep ERP, and we are most proud of the ease of use of the product.”
Priority is active in 40 countries, and Richter says the UK is one focus for future growth. British customers include furniture maker British Thornton, and trees and shrubs specialist Hillier Nurseries.
He says that, on his account, ongoing maintenance costs are one-tenth of those of SAP.
FBC CEO Tal Frankel says: “It is essential for TASE to have an integrative business management tool which is flexible to adapt and enables simple procurement and budget management, and advanced management control tools. As part of the project we provide interfaces to the trading platform in order to receive revenue data and give TASE centralised control over financial and operations processes, which were separate until now.”