SAP has announced its intention to acquire relational database provider Sybase for $5.8 billion.
The applications vendor emphasised the acquired company’s mobile technology when announcing the deal. Sybase’s iAnywhere division sell a product called SQL Anywhere, whic allows database applications to run on a range of platforms including smartphones and tablet PCs.
SAP will use this product to port its own business software onto these devices, the company said.
"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,” said co-CEO Snabe following the deal’s announcement. “The combination of SAP and Sybase will give users the option of running their operations from leading mobile devices and will unleash the full power of mobility, including messaging interoperability, content delivery and mobile commerce services, across all companies and roles and in any location."
However, iAnywhere represents only around a third of Sybase’s business. The company’s flagship product is a relational database server product called ASE, which allows multiple transactional databases to be managed from a single environment. SAP’s ownership of Sybase ASE draws yet another point of competion with its arch-rival, database veteran Oracle.
Sybase’s database and analytics technology could be applied to a number of SAP’s products including applications and business intelligence systems, but equally it could be said to overlap with existing SAP tools.
The acquired company’s revenue grew by 3% to $1.17 billion during 2009, a result CEO John Chen attributed in part to its "key mobility partnership with SAP".
SAP’s share price fell from $44.90 to $44.50 following the announcement.