RealTime IT News

Sybase on The Move Again

Enterprise mobility applications vendor Sybase has acquired intellectual property from privately held iFoundry, an engineering company focused on designing, developing and building wireless applications, for an undisclosed amount of cash.

Sybase acquired licensing rights for short-range wireless interconnect protocol stacks, as well as a software consulting, training and professional engineering services business, in order to round out its software development kits (SDKs).

Sybase's SDKs allow OEMs, original device manufacturers (ODMs) and chipset manufacturers to implement and embed wireless technology, such as Bluetooth and infrared (IrDA), into such devices as cellular handsets, mobile devices and automotive applications.

Terry Stepien, president of Sybase iAnywhere, explained that its customers have been asking Sybase for services that will help them accelerate their time to market.

"The acquisition of iFoundry Systems' professional engineering services team brings this capability to Sybase, along with strong existing customer relationships with established mobile device OEM, ODM and chipset manufacturers," Stepien said in a statement.

He also noted that the acquisition gives Sybase a presence in Asia, "where the majority of embedded software design and purchasing decisions are being made."

Sybase said it is also gaining valuable embedded software intellectual property that has been developed by iFoundry Systems but not yet productized.

The company expects to use this intellectual property to augment its portfolio of Sybase iAnywhere mobile device applications, giving cellular phone OEM and ODM customers additional integrated technologies.

Sybase has clearly been eyeing the mobile messaging market, which its CEO, John Chen, last month estimated will be worth $7.5 billion by 2008.

The company also cited data from IMS Research estimating that revenue for the worldwide market for Bluetooth-enabled cell phones will increase by 70 percent between 2006 and 2011, and that unit volumes will double from 2006 to 2008, increasing to more than a billion units in 2011.

Only last month, the Dublin, Calif.-based company acquired mobile content and services provider Mobile 365 for approximately $400 million.

It also acquired Extended Systems for $71.3 million in cash. The buy gave Sybase access to a patented software server called OneBridge, which provides secure mobile access for applications from PDAs and handheld computers.

Sybase and iFoundry Systems have a long-standing relationship, as the Singapore-based company has been a distributor of iAnywhere mobile device applications since 2002.