Sybase buys ExcelleNet

Sybase, a provider of enterprise infrastructure and mobile software, has announced a $95m buyout of data management applications...

Sybase, a provider of enterprise infrastructure and mobile software, has announced a $95m buyout of data management applications maker, XcelleNet. The deal is aimed at improving the security and management of mobile devices.

Privately held XcelleNet will become part of Sybase's mobile division, and will further enhance the company's mobile solutions offering. The acquisition marks the latest move by Sybase to expand its presence in the mobile middleware sector.

Sybase chief executive officer Alan Cowley said the deal is the next step in the company's "unwired enterprise" initiative, which focuses on creating mobile software solutions for corporates, and will also result in new radio frequency identification (RFID) products.

The company expected to gain 2,200 customers through the acquisition of XcelleNet, and expected to close the deal during the second quarter. Sybase will also try to expand relationships with partners and independent software firms already working with XcelleNet, including Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft.

 XcelleNet chief executive Joan Herbig said the deal makes sense for her company, because it provided new resources and broader market reach. The executives said they expected to hold on to most of XcelleNet's employees under Sybase, with the company existing as an individual group operating under iAnywhere.

Stephen Drake, an analyst at IDC, said the acquisition indicates Sybase's intention to move increasingly into mobile data management, adding that the addition of XcelleNet should help Sybase establish its ability to compete more closely with larger database software makers, including IBM, Oracle and Sun Microsystems.

"We are seeing within [end-user] companies that mobile deployments continue to get much larger, with far more people using mobile devices to access corporate networks and data," he said. "This deal gives us a broader view of where Sybase is hoping to go in tying mobility to its database and integration tools."

While Drake did not see any major holes in Sybase's existing array of products, based on the XcelleNet acquisition, he said the company could improve its appeal to ICT buyers by offering mobile data applications for specific vertical markets.

Drake believed the buyout gives Sybase a great deal of expertise in security software, and that  the company was likely to turn to partnerships, rather than to additional acquisitions, to increase security capabilities in the future.

Written by Computing SA staff

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