Security Partnerships

By Brian Fonseca  |  Posted 2004-05-20 Print this article Print

In the Sybase portfolio, you have the ASE [Adaptive Server Enterprise] database, NEON [New Era of Networks] for integration, AvantGo for delivering information to mobile users, iAnywhere Solutions mobile database and middleware. Any gaps? I think the security world is going to explode quite rapidly. At one point, I was looking at digital signatures. The way we do encryption [is interesting], other areas such as natural language parsing. There are many areas, and some of those major areas were more likely to partner with.
And more closer to the middleware areas we probably look to own, either organically or inorganically. Were getting into messages, synchronizations, encryptions; we have quite a bit of those already today.
But there are areas I know that we can augment, like the security and biometrics areas, to make that a key component of our middleware offering. Other areas of interest are mobile apps. In this space, I would prefer that development is done by my partners. I would prefer to encourage the VC [venture capital] community to build it, obviously on my platforms. But in some cases, we would probably prefer to take an ownership stance. [Mobile applications could] probably get into transportation, the whole banking space, credit-card fraud, prevention and detection. If the right opportunity comes around, we would like to get into it. Where are customers priorities today? Today, [our] priority, because we dont have an unlimited amount of resources, is most likely focused on the mobile and wireless side. We have middleware technology—we just embedded JMS [Java Message Service] bus into the database, so you have a real-time database that allows you to publish and subscribe, for example. Its a very critical component of your back-end data store to publish and subscribe and then communicate directly with a server—a mobile server, for example. So, youre talking about natural language and making things easier on the development side. Where is that coming from? Our PowerDesigner [data modeling and collaborative design software] is a very powerful designing tool. Its one that has gained a lot of respect in the market. Pocket PowerBuilder [an integrated development environment for mobile applications] is also an area we will develop ourselves. We will probably spend some money on creating more VAR channels. That implies that we can organically grow more VAR channels by providing software and marketing expertise in various areas and technology. But also, I would not rule out the fact that we would buy a company with exceptional VAR channels. How important is it to make it easier for developers? We flagged VARs as the No. 1 critical success factor. And VARs are big and small. We know a five-person VAR that helps a paper company [improve] their automation. There are VARs as big as SAP. The second one we believe is important for us is the embedded space. We must be king of the embedded. We are one of the leading players, but I say that one, two and three [players in the market] are no more than two points apart. The embedded will actually drive more VARs; thats a very interesting combination. The third one is the application developers. Thats where we have plans to put a lot of effort. Next Page: Feeling the heat from MySQL.

Brian Fonseca is a senior writer at eWEEK who covers database, data management and storage management software, as well as storage hardware. He works out of eWEEK's Woburn, Mass., office. Prior to joining eWEEK, Brian spent four years at InfoWorld as the publication's security reporter. He also covered services, and systems management. Before becoming an IT journalist, Brian worked as a beat reporter for The Herald News in Fall River, Mass., and cut his teeth in the news business as a sports and news producer for Channel 12-WPRI/Fox 64-WNAC in Providence, RI. Brian holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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