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Sybase: Don't Overlook The Wireless Enterprise

NEW ORLEANS -- Sybase CEO John Chen began his CTIA Wireless 2005 speech by poking fun at his company's animated video introduction.

"Samsung always has very beautiful people in their commercials," Chen said, comparing Sybase's clip to Samsung's slick presentation earlier in the day. "We have two-dimensional people."

The joke warmed up the crowd, but it also made a point: Despite the sleek handsets and entertainment content (rapper/entrepreneur P. Diddy delivered a keynote address on content yesterday) that have dominated this year's trade show, there are tremendous opportunities in enabling the wireless enterprise.

"Going forward, all architecture needs to come from the core and flow to the edge -- not just for scalability but for data integrity," Chen said.

Sybase has been investing in mobile technology for more than a decade and offers database software, middleware and device management applications in a promising market.

Chen said the worldwide market for mobile hardware, software and services will reach $337 billion by 2008. But because of the size and complexity of providing an enterprise company with all its wireless needs, partnerships are key to successfully serving large corporate customers.

At CTIA, Sybase made several announcements, including support for the Research In Motion wireless platform. The move will allow companies using BlackBerry for enterprise e-mail to enable sales force automation, field service and other applications.

The overarching goal is to help customers move along a path of wireless evolution -- from mobile e-mail, to mobile applications to business-model changes, Chen said.

Financial services and telecom/networking are two industry segments that are farthest along the continuum, said Chen, whose company's customers include T. Rowe Price, Deutsche Bank, Ericsson and Cingular.

Other speakers this morning identified additional early-adopting segments. Pat Russo, CEO of network equipment giant Lucent said her company is working with Verizon Wireless to bring high-speed wireless data services to Visiting Nurse Association.

Bill Owens, CEO of Lucent rival Nortel , added that government agencies said third-generation wireless technology presents a challenge for networking companies.

"How will these services affect government?" Owens asked. "How do you secure the IP networks?"