RealTime IT News

Sybase 'Extends' Mobile Software Reach

Sybase has agreed to acquire mobile software maker Extended Systems for $71.3 million in cash to prop up its plan to let corporate employees tap into their companies' computers from the road.

Boise, Idaho-based Extended makes a patented software server called OneBridge that provides secure mobile access for applications from personal digital assistants and handheld computers.

Corporate employees can use OneBridge to access e-mail, sales force automation, customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning applications.

Extended also offers software development kits that let manufacturers and partners integrate wireless connectivity and synchronization capabilities, such as Bluetooth and OMA, into mobile devices.

Extended rounds out its portfolio with products for tapping into back-end systems. The company makes database software to help developers create business applications that can be deployed in mobile and remote environments.

Sybase has been on a quest in the past few years to strengthen its ability to enable corporate employees to tap into their company's computer systems while they are on the road.

The Dublin, Calif., company calls the strategy "unwired enterprise," which includes a mobile database and mobile device management software.

Should the deal close in the fourth quarter as expected, Sybase will integrate Extended into its iAnywhere Solutions subsidiary. Sybase will retain Extended's 180 employees in North America and Europe, where the company's business is particularly strong.

"The acquisition of Extended Systems is expected to enhance our portfolio of mobile middleware solutions and strengthen our geographic presence, particularly in Europe," said John Chen, Sybase chairman, president and CEO.

Sybase embarked on its unwired enterprise path in November 2003 with chipmaker Intel onboard as a major supporter. The company has since cemented its plan with a modest acquisition spree.

In May, Sybase moved to fortify its initiative by acquiring Avaki and ISDD.

Avaki makes integration software lets customers cull data from multiple sources, allowing developers to build applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA) . ISDD makes software that indexes and queries unstructured data such as e-mail, notes, chat, photos, marketing materials and presentations.

In April 2004, Sybase bought XcelleNet, which makes software to help workers manage information from wireless devices and remote locations.