Dot-Com Deaths Pave the Way for Sybase

By John Taschek  |  Posted 2001-04-09

One positive thing to emerge from the dot-com disasters is that there is much less traffic congestion along the San Francisco peninsula. My commute may get even easier. A new report by Rosen Consulting, a real estate research company, shows that 80 percent of the dot-coms in the San Francisco area may implode within the year, leaving Multi-media Gulch deserted.

Hey! You live fast, die young and fade away. That is the Internet way. The rest of us, meanwhile, would rather work at a slightly more boring company.

Just across the bay, in Emeryville, lies Sybase, a once high-flying company that was the king of the database industry. The innovations that Sybase created are now part of every database.

Sybases good fortune didnt last. Oracles domination began as Sybase sold to Microsoft a version of its database that became Microsoft SQL Server. Sybases founders went on to start Commerce One and Inktomi, and Sybase came under the control of Powersoft, a company it had purchased just a couple of years before.

Sybase, meanwhile, has never stopped producing.

I recently met with Chairman, CEO and President John Chen.

The first thing Chen did was to build up Sybases engineering staff and train its sales force. He then set upon ways for Sybase to move beyond the database while still understanding that the database was the core product behind anything new that Sybase did.

Sybases Enterprise Portal was one of the first products based on this strategy. And although most of us think portals are a tad dry, they are extremely practical, and Sybase is making money from them.

Chen also realized that to make portals a reality, enterprise integration is key. Sybase therefore bought Neon, a former high-flying company that had a stake in the financial industry. Meanwhile, Sybases mobile solutions are going gangbusters, commanding some 80 percent market share.

So while dot-coms die, and while Oracle—now 83 times bigger than Sybase—copes with dead dot-com deals, and while Larry Ellison builds himself a $100 million house, Sybase is moving along quite well, and its exactly where it wants to be.

Rocket Fuel