The unwired platform

Wires are passé according to Sybase. At its tenth annual TechWave conference last month, it unveiled the Sybase Unwired Platform, its architecture for mobilizing enterprise applications, which encompasses new versions of a number of its products and is scheduled to be available in the fourth quarter of this year.

According to Gartner’s November 2007 Multichannel Access Gateway (MAG) Magic Quadrant, by 2010, 50 per cent of enterprises will have migrated away from tactical mobile application silos (supporting a single application) to strategic platforms capable of supporting multiple applications, managing devices and securing data and transport. Gartner claims that this approach will cut TCO for mobile application deployments by 30 – 50 per cent. Sybase was the sole company in the Leaders quadrant.

Said Mark Wilson, Sybase vice president, corporate marketing, “Our strategy is to unwire the enterprise – any application, any data source. The idea is, if we can unwire data and people, we can unwire business processes.”

For example, he said, Hyundai department stores in Korea took out its cash registers, gave each clerk a mobile device and turned them into personal shoppers. They could upsell more effectively, and customer satisfaction increased.

Fully half of total revenue across all of Sybase’s products is through the channel, noted Dr. Raj Nathan, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, worldwide marketing and business solutions operations. And the partner channel is more active than the direct sales force in mobile-related products, since it can more easily reach medium and small business.

Added Jay Foreman, senior vice president and general manager, North American region, “We have made a deep commitment to building a strong partner channel, and our reseller program is part of our thriving Sybase Business Solutions Alliance Program. Our dedicated VAR sales managers work with resellers to develop their territory and deliver Sybase solutions.”

He went on, “Our Sybase direct sales force focuses on a select set of customer accounts worldwide – our resellers manage the rest. We carefully limit the number of resellers in each geography, so our customers are well-served and resellers can grow and thrive.”

The channel program particularly emphasizes half a dozen products: Sybase IQ, the company’s speedy columnar database, Sybase Analytic Appliance, Sybase iAnywhere Mobile Office Appliance, RAP-The Trading Edition, an analytics platform for capital markets, Sybase Impact! For Healthcare, and Sybase SQL Anywhere database.

As part of its TechWave announcements, Sybase launched SQL Anywhere 11 database, offering improved performance, embedded full-text search, and a relay server component that resides in a DMZ to allow mobile connectivity without punching holes in the firewall. The company also announced SQL Anywhere 11’s record-breaking results in the TPC-C benchmark, running on Dell PowerEdge, as the best price/performance of any system under $65,000, the best published TPC-C results for systems priced under $35,000, and the first ever TPC-C benchmark with a total cost under $20,000.

Although Foreman says that, between North America-wide and Canadian-only resellers, its coverage is currently very good, he sees greater demand as companies begin to unwire themselves and information mobility becomes a priority.

“That said,” he noted, “Sybase works very selectively and closely with VAR partners who can combine our technology with their business and technical expertise. Whether it’s a direct or reseller channel, our focus on delivering superior industry and business-specific solutions cannot be compromised.””To a certain extent, at least as far as training and management, our channel is treated as if they were an extension of Sybase’s sales force, and they will be measured on the same criteria, not just results.”

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Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree

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