SAP to Buy Sybase in $5 Billion Deal – impact on mobile business scenarios?


Image via Wikipedia


Most people will associate SYBASE with their database product, which by the way was at the core of the creation of Microsoft SQL Server:

The code base for MS SQL Server (prior to version 7.0) originated in Sybase SQL Server, and was Microsoft‘s entry to the enterprise-level database market, competing against Oracle, IBM, and, later, Sybase. Microsoft, Sybase and Ashton-Tate originally teamed up to create and market the first version named SQL Server 1.0 for OS/2 (about 1989) which was essentially the same as Sybase SQL Server 3.0 on Unix, VMS, etc.”

(source: Wikipedia)

However, Sybase has developed an impressive portfolio of mobile services/apps in the last couple of years. Beside being responsible for handling the SMS services for more than 4 billion phones, it also links different message systems of different phone companies. Sybase also is the owner of Afaria, software for remote management of mobile devices.

SAP AG will undoubtedly make their products run on the Sybase database products and as such widen their platform to run SAP ERP software on; but I think that SAP was more interested in the mobile capabilities of Sybase.

Yvonne Genovese, an analyst at Gartner, described this mobile technology as “a big deal.” Large companies already started to push their standard business software out to mobile phones, and now they are trying to do more with the data that returns from the devices.”


Using the technology and knowhow of Sybase, we will see an extension of SAP in the mobile business arena. They will be able to connect the shop to the office, using the context aware capabilities of mobile devices and extent this into the consumer arena.

Having said all that, it is probably also very necessary to own a database technology in order to make the vision of an “in-memory-database” a reality. This technology has been pitched by Hasso Plattner (co-founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SAP AG), but has been dismissed by Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation. Mr. Ellison has suggested that SAP does not have the capability to make this vision a reality (and that is just a polite translation of his actual comment – see the video, the question/answer starts at 46:46).

With the acquisition of Sybase, SAP now has an in-house database technology that may help them actually develop this in-memory capability.

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Courier killed

03-05-10courier News:

Microsoft executives have confirmed that the project around the development of a touch and/or stylus based 2-screen tablet “Courier” has been stopped.

Microsoft Corporate VP of communications, Mr. Frank Shaw:

At any given time, we’re looking at new ideas, investigating, testing, incubating them. It’s in our DNA to develop new form factors and natural user interfaces to foster productivity and creativity. The Courier project is an example of this type of effort. It will be evaluated for use in future offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time.”

I feel disappointed. Courier bundled a lot of new and innovative ideas and the available information on the device showed great potential for a mobile workforce.

I blogged several times about it and promised myself to be an early adopter as soon as the device would be launched.

Maybe something secret is still lurking within Microsoft, but an iPad (without the current shortcomings) looks to be the most innovative device at the moment and worth a second look (maybe….).

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Apple Buys Siri

Image representing Siri as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

On February 10, 2010, I blogged about Siri and called it “the next chapter of the web”? Well it seems I was not alone in thinking this was a big thing. On April 28, 2010, Apple announced they bought Siri for a undisclosed amount of money (educated guess? between 100 and 200 million dollars).

Some will say this is about Apple going into the ‘search business’ – but I believe it is not that what interests Apple. Their strategy is to create platforms that integrate the web and Siri does exactly that. I have seen the term API-broker or info-orchestration. This kind of strategy allows Apple to build the best platform and have the information infrastructure to make it profitable. With so much experiences in online stores with mini-transactions, we can see a new business model emerging.

In fact, is there really a lot of difference in bringing entertainment content or any other content to a web store? Buying a new song, movie, theater or restaurant reservation is basically all the same. The combination, presented in a very user-friendly way to the consumer brings added value and access to millions of users will reinforce the value.  

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BPOS roadmap 2010 – 2011

About two years ago I started working on building a relationship with Microsoft and their BPOS offering. Last week we have been informed on the roadmap for the next 2 years. Because it is now published on the Mary-Jo Foley weblog, I can share it also with you.


Note that BPOS is available in a ‘dedicated’ and ‘standard’ way of delivery. In ‘dedicated’ the customer gets its own set of hardware in the Microsoft datacenter. In ‘standard’, the service is run from a shared hardware platform in a Microsoft datacenter. Both versions are available through a reseller or directly from Microsoft, however Microsoft will not integrated BPOS with your existing application platform. This is the responsibility of your own IT department or system integrator. Selected SI’s will be able to provide BPOS in a reseller construction, allowing for the SI to deliver and invoice BPOS through a single vendor construction.

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