Sybase Key to SAP's 'Unwired' Attack Plans

SAP has been fairly quiet about its mobile plans since the company announced its blockbuster, $5.8 billion acquisition of Sybase back in May. But today executives from SAP (NYSE: SAP) and John Chen, CEO of Sybase, detailed an ambitious "unwired" mobile agenda.

"The combination of SAP and Sybase is a significant game changer in the industry. Less than three months after this bold acquisition was announced, we are highlighting the first joint products that will transform the way people and businesses work," Bill McDermott, SAP's Co-CEO, said in a statement. "The product roadmap and go-forward strategy we are sharing today positions SAP to be the only company enabled to deliver a full suite of enterprise software and next-generation business intelligence on any device at any time."

Specifically, SAP said that within the next nine months the two companies -- Sybase will operate as an independent business under SAP -- will deliver an open standards-based mobile platform for business that will run on all of the major mobile operating systems and manages and supports all major device types.

Sybase already offers enterprise mobile support for a wide variety of devices, so the new offering will presumably build on the company's current portfolio.

Chen, who will continue to lead Sybase, said the company plans to leverage SAP's considerable resources to "take mobility to the next level," by extending its analytics offerings and going after additional vertical markets.

"With SAP's investment in Sybase's technologies, we'll be able to extend our existing solutions to an even broader audience, and more rapidly innovate as the market's needs continue to evolve," Chen said in a statement.

Financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing and government have been Sybase's four primary customer segments of Sybase to date.

The news comes at a time of booming sales of smartphones and other mobile devices, such as Apple's iPad, that analysts expect to continue for at least the next several years. For example, research firm Gartner predicts that by 2014, there will be a 90 percent mobile penetration rate and 6.5 billion mobile connections.

But the growth in mobility has also been accompanied by increasing enterprise concerns related to mobile management and security -- two areas that are right in Sybase's wheelhouse.

SAP also said it plans to tap Sybase to add mobile enhancements to its current product line including the SAP Business Suite and recently released SAP Business ByDesign, its software-as-a-service offering.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


mobile, smartphone, SAP, Sybase, mobile enterprise