Sybase Acquires Mobile 365 — Assessment

Sybase is already an important provider of solutions that help companies integrate mobile phones with their business. It focuses on the integration of email applications and custom data applications, such as sales force or delivery support systems.

On September 5, 2006, Sybase announced it will acquire Mobile 365, which mainly:

  • Provides SMS interoperability between mobile carriers.
  • Provides SMS application delivery services to corporations -- e.g., where a financial services business wants to deliver stock sales notifications to customers.

Mobile 365 is a leader in this area. It's roughly a $90 million/year business, profitable, and growing at a healthy rate. The customer list in both areas is impressive. The main implications of the deal are:

  • It builds Sybase's strength as a mobile connectivity provider.
  • Previously, Sybase has sold mainly to businesses. The acquisition brings the firm a large number of major cell phone carriers it can sell to.
  • Sybase's other mobile offerings are customer-installed software. Mobile 365 offers ASP/hosted services, broadening Sybase's offering.

For mobile connectivity, including messaging connectivity, Sybase is clearly in the list of top players, along with RIM, Nokia/Intellisync, and fearsome new-kid-on-the-block Microsoft. ... David Ferris

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