Mobility Tail Wags the Sybase Database Business - InformationWeek

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8/13/2007
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Mobility Tail Wags the Sybase Database Business

Specialty DBMS vendor counts on secure delivery of data, messaging and intelligence as a boon to financial institutions and a key to long-term growth.

When Sybase CEO and President John Chen offered his opening keynote address at the company's Techwave user conference in Las Vegas last week, some were surprised he made nary a mention of the database business. After all, Sybase's Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) database is a standard in many high-demand deployments at banks and Wall Street brokerages. And the company's specialized Sybase IQ database is used by more than 1,000 customers as a platform for high-end analytics. Nonetheless, Chen's talk was all about mobility, mobility, mobility.

There was news on the ASE and Sybase IQ fronts last week (more on that later), but the main focus was on what Sybase calls "Information Anywhere," an umbrella term for a growing portfolio of mobility products and the third leg of the company's strategy — the other two being "Trusted Infrastructure" and "The Intelligent Enterprise" (we like that one).

Why mobility? Well, more and more information is being distributed in laptops, phones, PDAs and even RFID tags with tiny embedded databases. "It's truly the Wild, Wild West out there on the digital frontier," says Kaltheen Schaub, a vice president with the company's Infrastructure Products Group. "We're a little bit ahead of the market in our vision, but we're creating products that distribute information, protect it, synchronize it and secure it, and we've also gone into device management and device security markets."

The lead product is the Sybase Information Anywhere Suite, which combines mobile e-mail, collaboration, device management and "enterprise-to-device" security. It also extends back-office applications to mobile devices and, in a capability highlighted last week, it can also be used in virtualized environments. The latter is a boon to providers of hosted applications as it ensures data security for managed services in multi-tenant environments — shared infrastructure, good; shared data, bad.

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