Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SAP to Buy Sybase for $6 Billion - First Thoughts

I will have better analysis after pondering this announcement for a few days, but here is my first, off-the-cuff thoughts.  SAP will instantly be a leader in mobile middleware with this acquisition, but this acquisition does little to solve the needs of large enterprises today.  Sybase is not a mobile application company.  They have great mobile middleware, mobile databases, synchronization and integration technology and mobile device management.  However, none of these products provide a company with a mobile applications that solves their problems.  A database is not an application.  Synchronization is not an applications.  Mobile device management is not an application.  All of these solutions are just pieces that offer no value unless somebody builds something with them.  Who will that be?

Sybase does not have a SDK.  How can a large enterprise with custom mobility needs build an application?  Sybase tells them to go pick a programming environment of their choice.  That does not help make developing mobile applications easy!

Sybase does not make it easy for systems integrators to deliver mobile applications either, since there is no SDK.

Afaria is a huge, an even obese mobile device management system.  It can do anything and everything you can ever imagine.  I once had a consultant tell me that the training class for Afaria was like 3 or 4 days long and was overkill, overkill, overkill!  That is far more device management than 99.9% of the world wants in Afaria.  I love Afaria, it is just so very expensive and complex.

SAP now needs to explain how this acquisition will deliver mobile applications that provide ROIs.  Mobile application partners of SAP may want to start using some of the mobile middleware available through this acquisition and focus on the mobile business processes, mobile applications, mobile workflow and user experiences.  More later...

Kevin Benedict SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor,CEO Netcentric Strategies LLC
Mobile Industry Analyst, Author of the report Enterprise Mobile Data Solutions, 2009
Mobile Strategy Consultant and Web 2.0 Marketing Services
***Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant and Web 2.0 marketing expert. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles. ***************************************************