Sybase is unveiling its Sybase Mobility Platform, a framework for bringing business applications and services such as banking and analytics to mobile devices. Many of those applications leverage SAP products such as SAP Business Suite, although Sybase executives are not saying how SAP's recent $5.8 billion acquisition of Sybase will ultimately affect the Sybase Mobility Platform's future roadmap. The Sybase Mobility Platform involves several components, including mobile servers, mobile applications, and mobile services.
Sybase unveiled the Sybase Mobility Platform, a framework
for bringing business applications and services such as banking and analytics
to mobile devices, on May 20. The platform features mobile servers,
applications and services operating in tandem. The more
prominently featured initial applications include Sybase Mobile Sales for SAP
CRM and Sybase Mobile Workflow for SAP Business Suite, reflecting the close
partnership that eventually led to SAP's recent bid for
During a briefing in New York City with
analysts and reporters May 18, Sybase executives declined to comment on
how that acquisition would affect its mobile strategy going forward. That $5.8
billion acquisition, announced May 12, allows SAP to consolidate and expand on
its mobile offerings, where some analysts have seen the company as lacking. It
seems inevitable that SAP-branded functionality will become a key offering in
the Sybase Mobility Platform.
"Mobile devices are becoming the preferred interaction point
with business applications, whether the user is a factory supervisor, a retail
manager or an entrepreneur in a developing nation," Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEO
of SAP and a member of the SAP executive board, wrote
in a May 12 statement announcing the acquisition.
Sybase Mobility Platform's mobile servers will provide
application middleware, email and workflow capability, data storage, and
reporting and analytics power. Many of the Sybase Mobility Platform's services
seem to focus on financial transactions, including mobile payments and
remittance. Sybase 365 President Marty Beard told
assembled analysts and reporters during the May 18 briefing
that customer demand for such services "has surprised us a bit, moving more
quickly than we thought." The company has seen massive demand for mobile
banking services internationally, particularly the Middle East and parts of
Asia, and anticipates a similar uptake to begin in the United States at some
Part of the overall demand for mobile applications, Beard
said, comes from the rising popularity of smartphones as consumer items.
"Market always drives the need," Beard added. "Consumers are
slamming the enterprise with the need to work through mobility. IT has had to
look at this trend and say, -Okay, I need to provide this.' The consumer is
forcing this change back on the enterprise." While the smartphone environment
is likely to remain heterogeneous for some time to come, with workers demanding
mobile enterprise functionality on a variety of devices ranging from Google
Android to BlackBerry phones, Sybase aims with its platform to give those
workers easy access to mobile sales and workflow applications.
"Despite significant developments in mobile device
functionality and performance and the widespread usage by consumers, enterprise
mobility is still very complex and costly as a result of siloed systems and
device interoperability," Stephen Drake, an analyst at IDC, wrote in a
statement included a May 20 Sybase press release. "Software suppliers
delivering an integrated platform capable of bridging the consumer and
enterprise mobility divide will demonstrate the most success in this market."
Sybase plans to announce a number of partners on this new
initiative, which its executives have touted as the culmination of the
company's supposed decade in the mobility space. Cost for the Sybase Mobility
Platform will vary on the installation.