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SAP Advances Innovation Strategy With Sybase Acquisition

Blog: Forrester Blog for Business Process and Applications Professionals

In late breaking news today, SAP announced a definitive agreement to acquire Sybase for $5.8 billion. The deal will be accretive for SAP and is expected to close in July 2010. Sybase is a profitable company with revenues of $1.2 billion and $1 billion in cash. Sybase Chairman, CEO and President John S. Chen will become a member of SAP’s Executive Board.

The deal is a good move by SAP mainly because it accelerates SAP’s innovation strategy, which is focused on in-memory computing, mobile device applications, analytics, and SaaS. Sybase brings assets to the table in each of these areas:

It is also a good move for several other reasons:

Regarding the latter point, SAP and Oracle regard one another as bitter rivals in applications, yet SAP has a significant dependence on Oracle as a key database platform provider, both for customers and for its own internal use. Potentially, the Sybase ASE database platform will reduce SAP’s own dependence on Oracle and give it an opportunity to offer customers another option. However, Sybase is not currently a supported platform for the SAP Business Suite. SAP says it intends to make Sybase a supported platform as soon as possible.

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