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The insideEdge: SAP, Sybase, and the Future of Enterprise Mobility

by John Chen | SAPinsider

January 1, 2011

SAP's acquisition of Sybase foreshadows a revolutionary change in the enterprise mobility space. John Chen, CEO of Sybase, discusses what the company has to offer as a new member of the SAP family, including exciting technology developments that position Sybase and SAP to lead this mobile revolution.

John Chen

CEO, Sybase Inc., an SAP company

Mobility is sweeping across the enterprise. Consider a company like Kindred Healthcare, which has boosted the productivity of its rehabilitation therapists and the accuracy of its patient records through the use of mobile devices. Kindred Healthcare is not alone: The worldwide mobile worker population will reach 1.2 billion in 2013, predicts IDC, up from 1 billion workers today.1

Until recently, application platforms dominated the enterprise mobility story. Vendors like Sybase sold them and corporations bought them — to build mobile apps in-house.

SAP’s acquisition of Sybase, however, foreshadows a change. Packaged mobile apps will soon replace custom-built ones as the predominant deployment model inside the enterprise. This will not only slash the cost and time needed for organizations to roll out mobile apps, but will also kick-start a new phase of rapid growth for enterprise mobility. We’ve seen it happen before, with on-premise applications. In the 1980s, during the early client-server era, enterprises mostly built their business applications painstakingly in-house. By the 1990s, the market shifted to prebuilt apps — and then it exploded.

Sybase is out in front of this trend as it revolutionizes the mobile space. In addition to my other duties at SAP and Sybase, I oversee the effort inside SAP to bring our formidable family of business applications to the new 21st-century edge — mobile devices. This effort will democratize access to these apps, putting power into the hands of organizations and their employees. And it will help put the mobile enterprise market on the fast track for growth.

Our leadership is not a recent phenomenon. Sybase has been helping companies transform themselves into unwired enterprises for the past eight years. That’s longer than many of our competitors have been around. We not only possess the expertise and experience to deliver the unwired enterprise today, but also the vision and engineering talent to deliver the next generation of enterprise mobility.

And while we push toward mobile apps, we will continue to invest heavily in our mobility platform, which remains ahead of the competition in terms of enabling employee productivity as well as driving engagement between enterprises and their customers. This customer engagement includes key mobile commerce (mCommerce) services, such as mobile marketing and mobile banking. We enable this enterprise-to-consumer engagement through 900 operator connections that reach 4 billion mobile phone subscribers and process 1.5 billion mobile messages per day.

When you combine our mCommerce services with our SAP mobile applications, our unwired development platform, and our market-leading device management software for securing employee smartphones and tablets, you quickly see that Sybase, now an SAP company, delivers the industry’s most comprehensive set of mobile enterprise solutions.

Simply put, we want to become the mobile ecosystem’s preferred platform, enabling channel partners, developers, and IT departments to step up and transform the enterprise. As a new member of the SAP family, I look forward to working with you, our customers and partners, to propel us into this bright new era. I encourage you to join us at the SAPPHIRE NOW conference this spring, where we will show off our new apps and the Sybase Unwired Platform software developer kit.

1 IDC, Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2009-2013 Forecast, Doc #221309 (December 2009). [back]

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