SAP & Sybase: Database Darlings? A Marriage Made in Heaven

    By: Mr. Adrian Bridgwater on Jul 25, 2011

    I’ve written a piece for ISUG Technical Journal this month that attempts to examine Sybase’s acquisition by SAP and looks towards the new ‘joint future’ which the companies will share.

    For the benefit of online readers -- and hopefully to draw your eyes to the complete version of this piece in the magazine, I have included a few excerpts below.

    May 12 2010 was the day we learned that SAP would acquire Sybase for a cash offer of US$65 per share, or about $5.8 billion. Lauded at the time of the move as a potential challenging point from which to take on Oracle in the business software game, the aftermath of the acquisition has been an almost exclusively positive set of comments made by the IT press and analysts alike.

    Some commentators have suggested that the high price paid for Sybase shares (a 44 percent premium on the company’s average price over three months prior to acquisition) smacked as something of a shotgun wedding. SAP “needed” Sybase technology to fill a gap in its portfolio, so Sybase represented an “instant opportunity” to play in the rapidly changing mobile market.

    The market needs Sybase whether they are the largest database player or not in terms of total sales. Oracle, IBM and Microsoft (if anything) are a little less agile and potentially weighed down by their colossal corporate girth. Under Chen (especially so) Sybase has always appeared to be a degree more nimble and ready to approach new opportunities where they exist.

    The question now arises of whether we are about to witness a bit of a three-in-a-bed is a crowd scenario. Estimates suggest that as over three-quarters of SAP’s ERP customers use Oracle database technology at the back end. This is not great for SAP (obviously) as the two firms are pitched very much head-to-head when it comes to analytical applications. But with Sybase now in the arsenal, SAP arguably has a route to chip into its customers’ usage of Oracle technologies.

    Indeed, SAP appears to be moving with all speed to approve formal certification of ASE as the RDBMS of choice for its own ERP offerings. In line with this move, SAP will also want to endorse Sybase IQ as its favored RDBMS for the data warehouse behind SAP BusinessObjects analytics.

    The golden chalice here is the potential to create a combined firm (of Sybase and SAP components) that has an justified and quantifiable technology proposition, a well rounded and reason business argument.

    It’s very much a case of watch this space.

    Released: July 25, 2011, 4:44 am | Updated: March 22, 2014, 2:41 pm
    Keywords: Opinion News | SAP




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