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SAP makes a big splash, but what does it really mean?

by Molly Brien

May 13, 2010

By Molly Brien, Conference Producer

I’m sure everyone who’s reading this blog right now has heard that SAP announced plans to acquire Sybase.  There’s certainly no denying that this is a big deal. In fact, I read earlier that it’s the largest technology industry acquisition of the year. So, the question comes to mind: how will this affect customers? How will it affect the technology industry at large?  

I’ve picked the brains of several industry experts since hearing the news yesterday, and the results are mixed. Everyone agrees that it’s definitely a step in the right direction, and long term this move will have great success. However, it’s the short-term implications that had some people scratching their heads (eh, well, that’s what I envisioned on the other end of the phone line, anyway).  Particularly, connectivity issues with the Sybase platform itself.  I asked one member of my ‘think tank’ what he thought about these potential (short-term) integration hurdles, and he mentioned the possibility of a middleware acquisition. It isn’t perfectly clear to me why such a huge acquisition would take place that required a second acquisition to make genuine sense.  Oh well, I suppose time will tell, and in the meantime, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

Another comment that really struck a chord with me implied that SAP will now become a leader in real-time analytics. My attention to this aspect of t he acquisition is clearly biased because I’m currently building the SAP Reporting & Analytics 2010 event. Nevertheless, I’m dying to hear more about this, but realize there's a good change I'll have to wait until SAP’s annual global customer conference next week, so I will have to be patient...

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