Following the merger of SAP AG and Sybase ASA earlier this year, both companies shared their first joint milestones in the form of combined product announcements that will focus on the mobile device, in-memory analytics and enterprise information management.
"The way we use technology will be heavily impacted by mobile devices as well as in-memory computing," said co-CEO Jim Hagemman-Snabe, simulcast from Frankfurt. SAP has said its three-pronged strategy is to focus product development on on-demand, on-device and on-premise technologies.
Within the next nine months, the companies will deliver an open mobile platform, based on both parties' technologies, upon which customers and partners can build their own mobile apps to access back-end data.
"It's about using the mobile device as the front end for that type of application," said Hagemann-Snabe. "You get that to the market and you can explode the number of use cases." One such use case, said Hagemann-Snabe, is SAP getting into the area of helping enterprise customers build consumer apps.
The company will also soon announce a new team tasked with driving forward this enterprise mobility strategy.
Pushing enterprise information management, SAP and Sybase will port the Business Suite and other apps to Sybase data management servers.
Customers will get a "business analytics infrastructure" that connects SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence offerings with Sybase's data management servers for discovery, storage and reporting.
And, in-memory computing technology will be incorporated across both portfolios so customers can get real-time anywhere data access.
On-stage in Boston, co-CEO Bill McDermott took a moment to re-iterate the value of the merger of both companies, describing it as "not your typical Silicon Valley M&A move." The mobile technology of Sybase plus the business applications of SAP "comes together in a powerful combination on device," said McDermott.
McDermott also made assuring comments about SAP's improved commitment to customers. "We're determined to be more and more intimate with our customers," he said.
Also on stage in Boston, Sybase CEO John Chen, who will continue to head the independent Sybase business, said the combination is good given both companies' engineers work well together. Moreover, both companies have been strategically aligned for some time, said Chen. "SAP and Sybase have been working on a common vision for the last three years," he said.
Both companies' sales channels will continue to run separately but they will take advantage of cross-selling opportunities.
Henry Morris, senior vice-president of worldwide software and services research at IDC Corp., told ComputerWorld Canada that he thinks the cross-selling will be more straightforward for Sybase than it will be for SAP given SAP doesn't really have a portfolio of apps for the investments and capital markets customers that Sybase caters to.
"I think when they think of cross-selling, it usually works the other way around because they do have to make priorities," said Morris.
Morris also thinks SAP's roadmap remains vague regarding how in-memory computing will be incorporated into its enterprise mobile strategy. "It's really cloudy when they try to show how these different threads come together," said Morris.
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