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In a move that is likely to cause Oracle (news, site) some discomfort, SAP (news, site) has announced that it has agreed to acquire Sybase for US$ 5.8 billion and in doing so extend its reach into the mobile business application market.

During a conference call earlier this week to outline where SAP was going with it, CTO Vishal Sikka said that the company intended to mobilize every core product it has at the moment, including its Business Objects analytical products.

SAP And Sybase Technologies

By making its software mobile, SAP expects a greater adoption of its products as more companies become mobile and the Sybase mobile platform enables business users integrate their non-SAP products with SAP.

On the Sybase technology side, the addition of SAP’s in-memory technology is expected to greatly improve the mobile platform’s analytic processing, while Sybase’s database technology will also be enhanced by the in-memory technology to provide transactional and analytical abilities there.

SAP’s in-memory technology in combination with Sybase’s database technology will revolutionize how transactional and analytic applications are built, benefiting all businesses. Further, by combining the market leader in enterprise applications with the market leader in enterprise mobility, companies around the world will be able to run their business from many devices,” John Chen, CEO of Sybase said.

Sybase’s Future?

However, SAP has said that it will not tie its applications exclusively to the Sybase database and force its customers to buy into the two, but that it would rather offer its customers choice to use SAP applications with whatever database they choose.

For Sybase users that may be concerned about future support and development, SAP has said it will support each organization’s product road map and develop current software products from each to ensure value from existing investments.

Both companies will also operate separately with organizations remaining intact and enhanced opportunities to cross-collaborate on projects.

Sealing A Partnership

That SAP has finally bought out Sybase is not really a surprise. Last year, the two entered into a non-exclusive partnership aimed at bridging SAPs enterprise software and the Sybase mobile platform.

This resulted in, for example, the release of two new solutions in March for mobile workers to carry out key business and customer relationship management processes via the iPhone and Windows Mobile.

Built on the Sybase Unwired Platform, the mobile solutions extend the capabilities of the SAP Business Suite applications, including SAP Customer Relationship Management, and also can be customized to tap into a variety of back-end data sources, including databases, Web services, files and any enterprise app that leverages service-oriented architectures.

Many of our customers, especially the largest ones, are trying to run real-time enterprises, and it's hard to do that when mobile workers don't have the data at their fingertips to make decisions in real time", Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEOs of SAP said at this week’s conference call.

SAP And Acquisitions

While SAP hasn’t exactly shied away from acquisitions in recent years, most of them since the US$ 6.8 billion acquisition of Business Objects in 2007 have been about acquiring technologies that they didn’t already have and didn’t have the time to develop in current competitive market conditions.

Unlike Oracle, where most of its purchases have been have been about expanding its footprint and buying their way across the entire stack, SAP says it will not be following the same route.

Instead, Hagemann Snabe said they would be focusing on developing the parts of the stack that their customer base is particularly interested in, with many Sybase customers interested in the Sybase database technology.

If this doesn’t reassure Sybase customers then the chances are they won’t really have to long to wait to see a roadmap of where SAP intends to go. When it bought Business Objects in 2008 it published that roadmap very quickly. No reason not to expect the same here. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.