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OTI BUZZ - #3 Complete edition
A new year and a new beginning
sit back and take time to read the Buzz.
We celebrate the start of 2019, with a global collaboration incorporating the core values into our company lifestyle.
Shlomi COHEN – CEO
Dear OTI Global Team,
With 2018 behind us, the OTI group move into 2019 stronger than ever and have a stable positioning for the future. During 2018 we tripled our EBITDA (estimated), and we decreased our debt almost to zero. During last year despite all the challenges, we were able to present a revenue growth for the third consecutive year. Our sales strategy to increase recurring revenue was successful, and we already stand at a 24% increase! Recurring revenue as part of our total revenue – this strategy increases our gross margin, “stickiness” and long-term stability.
Our solid primary goals for 2019;
• More than 20% growth YoY.
• Positive GAAP – generating cash (for the first time)
• Presenting a non-organic growth (M&A)
During 2018, we started to adopt our five core values: Passion, Efficiency, Team Work, Creativity and Responsibility.
The process done with your involvement and I’m proud with your selection. The OTI’s core values are going to guide us in the coming years to be a better and successful company.
I’m sure that with your dedication, passion, and determination – all our goals will be overachieved successfully.
Happy and successful New Year
Exclusive Interview with OTI’s Japanese Partner
Akira Kurihara from Billing Systems.
Nehemya (Hemi) Itay
OTI’s Vice President of Hardware Engineering
Hemi Itay is an establishing member and has been OTI’s Vice President of Hardware Engineering since July 1995. He is also a founding member of the Joint Task Committee of the International Standards Organization on standards for contactless smart cards. Hemy in his spare time likes carpentry and Do It Yourself Home maintenance. He is married with four children, four grandchildren and has two on the way.
- Hi Hemi, how are you?
I’m fine thank you.
- What is your job, and do you enjoy it and why?
I’m VP of Hardware Engineering.
I do enjoy much more the technical aspects than the administrative aspects
New HW design and problem debugging are my favorites.
It is mind challenging (the more problematic the better) and its physical manifestations make it more interesting than, for example, SW problems debugging (my very subjective view…).
- What do you love the most about what you do?
In addition to the above I like close contact with people, regarding both the social and the technical aspects.
Since most of my daily tasks are not that technically fulfilling I draw my reward from small achievements (solving problems, getting jobs done and helping when asked for).
- How long have you worked at OTI?
As a co-founder, since Day one. January 1990 to my best recollection.
- Do you feel that OTI has a family feeling?
Very much so in most cases. One of the things I really cherish about OTI.
- Tell me about your team.
Kobi Harush, Many years with OTI. Vast experience regarding our C/L technology. Remarkable ingenuity, w/o it quite a few projects would not have reached its maturity. Amazing capability in performing unavoidable time consuming and exhausting tests.
Shony Sinay, A relatively recent recruit. Very experienced HW engineer, with expertise also in areas outside OTI previous experience.
Leads now our new HW designs (e.g. TIQ, Modified GOBOX and more).
- As a global competitor, how does OTI stand in today’s market?
One thing I can tell is that we have special HW solutions of certain functionalities which are superior over our competitors’ products.
- As OTI expands in 2018 where do you see Us in 2020+?
We have seen substantial improvement over the last 3 years, but we are still not in a stable position. I do hope that both our product segments, payment and petroleum, will reach the maturity and stability levels which will allow us to progress ahead w/o the need to struggle at each quarter end.
- What interesting stories do you have regarding the OTI HW department?
My recollections are mostly around dealing with various technical issues.
Additional memories relate to various persons I worked with in the HW department over the years.
Apart from Kobi who, as mentioned above, is with us for many years now, Shony is the last in a row of HW engineers succeeding George Kaplun, a Russian born and remarkable HW expert, who worked with us for many years until retiring at the age of 73.
We also had Slava, another Russian born HW engineer, for quite a few years.
Each person with his own special skills and temperament.
It was mostly very pleasant and rewarding interactions but with occasional challenging incidents.
- What does OTI Global mean to you?
After so many years it is almost like a second home!
It is the relationship with the people I work with which make it feel that way more than anything else.
- Explain to us the highlights of your career.
The 3 projects of development of antenna interfaces chip HW (for OTI, Samsung and HED).
It started late 1995 and ends around 2004. It was by far the most demanding and challenging work I have ever done.
Hemi’s dedicated Team consist of Kobi and Shony:
Kobi (on the left) has been OTI’s Practical Engineer for almost twenty-one years.
He is married with three children and enjoys photography and UAV drone flying in his spare time.
Shoni (on the right) our Hardware Engineer has been at OTI for over two years, he is married + 1 and enjoys studying history.
OTI Europa Sales Team
Alexandra Nevretdinova, OTI Europa’s – Russian Sales Director:
talks exclusively to OTI Buzz about the successful penetration of the huge Russian unattended self-service market.
A New Beginning
Toward the end of 2017 and in line with the new direction of OTI, it became clear the best path forward would come with a change of venue and a new team, built around the tenants of business, intrapersonal and technical excellence. This team would be charged with reshaping the US go-to-market strategy and the execution of a new charter to climb the value chain, increase sales and bring recurring revenue to smooth out the peaks and valleys of low margin and subsequently low value hardware sales in a commoditized market.
Accomplishing a major overhaul like this requires tremendous discipline and patience on the part of the management in a time when the OTI Investors and Shareholders demand both growth and profitability. It would be a daunting task, but in the end through perseverance, dedication and a lot of hard work emerged the new OTI America team with the right people with the right skills, experience and mindset. Let’s meet the team…
Bill Gostkowski leads the OTI America team (“The Apostles” John, Peter and Matthew) from the Austin, Texas corporate US headquarters. He is a native New Yorker and a US Navy veteran who first visited Israel in 1987 with his Naval squadron. After leaving the service, Bill began his civilian career as a field engineer and has held technical support, operations, marketing and sales positions in companies large and small with some notable references such as General Electric Aerospace, Martin Marietta, and 17 years with Gemalto before joining OTI. Bill and his wife of 25 years Susan moved to Austin from Philadelphia in 2007 and have two children, Benjamin and Nicholas. Bill is a pilot and enjoys all things outdoors, so in his spare time you will likely find him with his family camping, hunting and riding motorcycles both on and off road.
John Barrow, OTI America’s inside Sales Manager Lives in Austin with his wife Michelle and his Daughter Miranda. John is bilingual (English and Spanish) and originally hails from Laredo, Texas. He brings a wealth of sales experience to OTI having worked as a successful sales manager selling VOIP, UCaaS, and SaaS solutions into verticals such as healthcare, education, and government entities. This of course should not take anything away from John’s actual award as the 8th highest selling shoe salesmen in Texas. His previous employers are well known and include Rainmaker Services, KPI analytics and Mitel. If you need an entry point into an account, John is your man as the king of cold calling, and you can find him “smiling and dialing” with machine like efficiency at any point in the workday when he is not translating OTI documents into Spanish. On the weekend, you’re likely to find John the happiest with a fishing rod and cold beer in his hand continuing the patience and determination he regularly displays at the office.
No modern team is complete without a millennial and Peter Moreno brings the best qualities of his generation to bear as Integration Manager for team OTI America. One might notice if looking closely that Peter’s path crosses with two of his teammate’s as he is also originally from Laredo, Texas and worked for Gemalto before joining OTI America. Peter’s Bachelor of Computer Science degree from Texas A&M University elevates OTI’s local support to new levels for integrations and our customers appreciate his positive outlook and excellent attitude. With a heavy workload and his 9-month-old daughter Xiomara taking most of his and his wife Hannah’s attention, Peter can find it difficult to keep his axe throwing skills sharp. By contrast, it is good that Peter enjoys and excels at woodworking as there is always a need for new furniture when the family is growing.
Finally, Matt Buhler rounds out the team as our senior Sales Director with over 20 years of experience bringing financial and complex business solutions for the ATM, kiosk and banking industries working for noteworthy organizations such as E*Trade, Aptus Financial and VERO Inc. where he was a co-founder. Most recently, Matt joined us from USA Technologies where his company (Vendscreen) was acquired and so he brings extremely relevant experience and perspective to the team. Matt is the only OTI America team member not located in Austin, but if Austin had a sister city it surely would be Portland, Oregon where he lives with his wife Leslie and three children Andy, Lexi and Markos. Interestingly, Matt’s professional demeanor belies his rock and roll heart as he is as comfortable behind the podium as he is on stage with a guitar and he’s always happy to share his anecdotes on the subject.
All the pieces are in place and 2019 is shaping up to be the best year yet for the OTI America team. Each person has a job and each job is critical for the others to succeed. Feel free to reach out to learn more as they are always happy to help.
Corporate HQ Event
This year the Corporate HQ Event was held at the Gallion Hotel.
The Event was attended by OTI Israel and the Global Payment Sales Team,
The evening included Good food, drink and an excellent lecture about the meaning of happiness; good times were had by all.
OTI Q4 2018 Highlights
- DEC 6, 2018
- NOV 6, 2018
- OCT 30, 2018
which now allows Canadian businesses to integrate OTI’s secure cashless payment solutions into vending machines, kiosks and other unattended devices throughout Canada.
Our quarterly newsletter is designed uniquely and exclusively for OTI’s employees & subsidiaries; Including information regarding our projects, employees, and achievements throughout the last quarter. The primary target is keeping us all connected and up to date with each other across the Globe.
We hope you enjoy this edition and let us know if there are any topics you’d like to see included in future versions.
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With the start of 2019, we will try to include your requests: e.g., What would you like to read about in the next newsletter? Let us know by email to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org,
The OTI Buzz News Team