SAP outlines Sybase strategy

Frankfurt, Germany, 20 May 2010
Read time 2min 10sec

The acquisition of Sybase, which cost $5.8 billion, is SAP's second-largest acquisition, following the purchase of Business Objects by the company last year.

So said the business software firm's co-CEOs, Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott, speaking at the SAP Sapphire Now conference, in Frankfurt, Germany, this week.

They outlined the company's reasons for the acquisition, and discussed SAP's strategy going forward.

“We always said we would acquire market share or consolidate legacy. The acquisition of Sybase is no exception to that rule. With this acquisition, we will launch ourselves very strongly into mobility, which is one of the three cornerstones of our strategy,” commented Hagemann Snabe.

The company's “three cornerstone” strategy refers to on-premise, on-demand, and on-device software. The Sybase acquisition will bring value to SAP's on-device offering, it says.

Hagemann Snabe said market research pointed to a massive mobile workforce. “In some countries the mobile device is the infrastructure, so the demand is very high.”

McDermott agreed, saying that while the acquisition was hefty in price, he believed the need for mobile business solutions was great. “When we talk to CEOs in major companies around the world, we find they are trying very hard to connect the virtual boardroom. They want to manage their business in real-time that will allow the man on the shop floor to connect to the office and the board.”

Hagemann Snabe offered another reason for the acquisition: “We believe in-memory technology will change the way data is captured and stored, and that the experience and market Sybase represents in this area will give us the opportunity to bring those innovations much more rapidly to market.”

McDermott emphasised the companies would share their “crown jewel” technologies and work together. “The Sybase database, side-by-side with in-memory from SAP, will improve analytics capabilities and offer real-time business management,” he reiterated.

SAP won't waste any time in its go-to-market strategy, noted both CEOs. McDermott said Sybase will run as a separate company and that SAP together with Sybase will find synergies for the market to grow Sybase's core abilities.

“I want to make it really clear that as the acquisition relates to the eco-system there will be no change in the way SAP goes to market. We will remain totally open to the vendors in our eco-system and those who can compete with Sybase today,” McDermott concluded.

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