Sybase Inc. took a giant step toward expanding the reach of its mobile device capabilities on Friday by agreeing to purchase mobile device management provider XcelleNet Inc. for approximately $95.2 million in an all-cash deal.
XcelleNet will be integrated into Sybases mobile-focused subsidiary iAnywhere Solutions once the transaction closes in the second quarter of 2004, according to officials at Dublin, Calif.-based Sybase. XcelleNet is owned by investment firm Francisco Partners Management LLC in Menlo Park, Calif.
Acquisitions are not uncommon for XcelleNet. The mobile enterprise enablement company was purchased by Columbus, Ohio-based Sterling Commerce Inc. in April 1998 and was re-branded as the companys Managed Systems Division. However, the marriage was short-lived. Just two years later XcelleNet regained its name and independent operating status after it was sold by Sterling Commerce to Francisco Partners.
XcelleNets mobile security and remote management technology should significantly boost Sybases mobile infrastructure breadth of offerings, which feature a mobile database and mobile middleware, said analyst Stephen Drake at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC.
"(XcelleNet) allows Sybase to plug some holes and add management and security at a time when organizations are deploying these mobile solutions—its starting to creep up as a priority," said Drake. "I think Sybase is in the drivers seat within this market."
The analyst said Sybase and its president and CEO, John Chen, are carefully plying complementary pieces to leverage and build a mobility-enabled enterprise, spanning data management, development and delivery. A huge component of that, noted Drake, will be pushing out XcelleNets security features including password protection, device lockdown, and administrative policy controls.
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