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SAP to Acquire Sybase, Day 3 Analysis

There have been several additional comments made in the past 24 hours that seem to shed light on the thinking behind SAP’s intent to acquire Sybase.  These statements seem to be highlighting three specific themes:

  1. A shift from desktop to mobile devices
  2. A goal to connect with billions of mobile users
  3. Support for all leading mobile devices

In a comment yesterday on the Linkedin group SAP Enterprise Mobility (you should all join), Sam Lakkundi, Sybase’s Chief Architect said, “Moving from the Desktop Computer to a Mobile Device is the new path for enterprise computing that I vision.”  In an email exchange between myself and Bonnie Rothenstein, Head of SAP’s Enterprise Mobility Communications, Bonnie said, “We’re excited about our intent to acquire Sybase, as we believe the acquisition will enable SAP to accelerate our plans to deliver SAP’s industry leading business applications and analytics offerings to billions of mobile users on any device.” 

Add these highlighted statements to SAP’s co-CEO Bill McDermott’s, “We see a huge emerging market for the real-time, unwired enterprise,” and SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe’s, “We want to make sure that SAP solutions can be accessed from all leading mobile devices.”

I see the fog beginning to rise.  The Sybase acquisition can ensure that a standardized way of integrating mobile devices and mobile enterprise applications with SAP systems is defined and available through Sybase’s mobile middleware and integration tools.  I spoke to an unnamed source in SAP who confirmed this statement with two taps on the table.  This same source said there will always be choices in how to integrate, but there will be a defined SAP way for mobile software providers to integrate.  SAP must have read my blogs.

I read and interpret that SAP believes mobility, mobile device support, and integration with mobile applications is too important to leave totally up to the discretion of partners.  SAP wants to bring order to the chaos and define a path, methodology, and strategy for their partners.

On the question of where SAP’s current mobility partners fit into this new world order, SAP’s Rothenstein provided this statement, “SAP’s intent to acquire Sybase will expand opportunities for our joint ecosystems and we believe our software and implementation partners can capture new opportunities by innovating on Sybase’s open and market leading mobile platform.”

The SAP statement above seems clear.  Mobile software companies that develop “rich or thick mobile clients” in the SAP ecosystem will want to seriously consider embedding Sybase’s mobile middleware, synchronization, integration, and device management technology in their future mobile software upgrades to better align with SAP’s future direction.

I have had a chance to talk to a number of SAP’s mobility partners in the last few hours who, after they digested the announcement, seem to have embraced it.  To summarize (as I will blog more on this soon), they see incorporating relevant pieces of Sybase mobile middleware into their solutions, but continuing to see themselves as the subject matter experts on complex, tactical, and industry specific mobile applications.

One last thought for today (as my irrigation system needs to be activated before I leave for Sapphire) is that SAP seems to really be emphasizing the “support for all mobile devices” theme.  This is very different than last year when there was a specific emphasis on RIM products.

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      Author's profile photo Stefan Koehler
      Stefan Koehler
      Hello Kevin,
      i am a techie, so i have not really an overview of the market and the corresponding SAP solutions.

      I always wonder in which industries such SAP mobile applications are needed?

      For sure we are also using hand scanners in our production and shipping departments, but the SAP applications are used with a Telnet Server and SAP console - absolutely sufficient.

      So in which cases do we really need a SAP GUI or any SAP application in the SAP standard layout on mobile devices?

      Is this just a manager nice to have "thing" or are there really any business cases where such stuff is strongly needed?

      Thanks and Regards

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Stefan, lets try & add a business case to your concern...

      I currenty reside in Africa. The business contraints here are significant. I'm referring to things like basic internet access where a minute portion (probably a single digit %) of the population has access to. Internet access is key to business growth in anyone's language. A large portion of the businesses here comprise of small & medium enterprises. On the flip side of the coin, the cellular/mobile penetration rate here is close to 100%. This kind of scenario holds true for many emerging market economies globally. Considering that emerging markets are probably the largest untapped market for businesses, you can start to see the huge business benefit of investment in mobile...

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      i think mobile is a train that cannot be stopped any more, both literally and figuratively speaking...
      i see the applications everywhere, cash transactions being the most coveted prize...
      what's unique about sybase vs oracle, db2, sql server, informix...?