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Is Sybase a foothold into banking for SAP?

by Davin Wilfrid

May 14, 2010

By Davin Wilfrid, ERP Expert

During a conference call with the media announcing his company's proposed acquisition by SAP, Sybase CEO John Chen made an interesting remark about the company's database business. Despite being a relatively tiny player in the global database market (compared to Oracle, IBM, etc.), Chen boasted that Sybase does very well in certain industry verticals.

"Where we play, we play very well," he said.

One of those verticals is the banking industry. Chen says Sybase has a very strong presence in investment banking, and does very well in other types of banks as well.

As SAP tries to push its way into that industry (SAP consultants in Canada are currently working on a huge banking implementation there. You can read about how they're tracking success with earned value metrics at the ERP Expert site), the presence of Sybase could be a nice bonus.

Forrester analyst Jost Hoppermann sees things the same way, posting on his blog that Sybase may help SAP close a gap between back-end and front-end capabilities in its SAP for Banking application suite:

Consequently, my initial reaction to this acquisition is focused on multichannel banking and in particular the combination of SAP for Banking on one side and Sybase Financial Fusion and Sybase mBanking on the other. Whether SAP has already been in the process of design and developing an Internet/multichannel banking solution or not, SAP’s acquisition of Sybase has the potential to provide long overdue Internet/multichannel banking capability to SAP for Banking.

It seems that SAP's determination to reach a billion users in the next few years means they'll have to own more the application stack than they have historically. It will be interesting to see if the Sybase acquisition helps them get there in the banking industry.

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