SAP Buys Database Maker Sybase for $5.8 Billion
May 17, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The balkanization and stackification of the IT industry continued a-pace last week as German software giant SAP weaved when I said, only last week that it should bob and buy database maker Software AG and instead said it would pay $5.8 billion to acquire database maker Sybase.
Sybase needs a sugar daddy and SAP needs a database besides the MaxDB database it co-developed with MySQL, which is now part of archrival Oracle and which never took off as the database of choice for SAP application software. Sybase has some very good complex event processing (CEP) algorithms built into its Adaptive Server and Sybase IQ databases. Sybase also has a slew of extensions to its databases that allow them to interface with mobile devices, something that SAP can do to a certain extent with its applications, but Sybase has built the back-ends for the actual wireless carrier services and that expertise can be used in other industries. Sybase has a nice niche in high-throughput, low-latency financial services transactions, which SAP can tailor to other industries to give its applications some goosing.
All the tongues last week were a-wagging about how Hewlett-Packard needed Sybase for all the same reasons as SAP, and that it needed it more and therefore might make a counteroffer to Sybase shareholders. HP has $12.4 billion in cash and can try to steal Sybase away. And it just might.