Sybase Finalizes Its New E-Business Suite

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Sybase Tuesday will take a giant leap toward promoting its e-business platform with the expected launch of new products and a company-wide strategy.

As first reported in CRN in November, Sybase will unveil a product for generating Web services, the Web Services Integrator, as part of the Business Process Integrator Suite, said Bob Breton, senior director of product strategy for Sybase's E-Business Division.

The product suite contains pre-existing products, including Sybase's Java 2, Enterprise Edition (J2EE)-compliant app server, EAServer and enterprise application integration software acquired from New Era of Networks last year. The products support Sybase's new "all-encompassing" company philosophy to help companies use existing IT assets to create new applications and services, he said.

"[The new suite contains all of the services we can provide to help partners leverage existing business applications and repurpose them for new business functions," said Breton.

Sybase also will launch PowerDesigner 9.0, a new version of Sybase's design and modeling tool; and Sybase Enterprise Portal 2.5, the latest version of its portal server.

Sybase is best known for its database and PowerBuilder client/server development tool. In the past six months, however, the company has staged an aggressive marketing campaign to bolster its image as an e-business infrastructure vendor.

While solution providers agree that Sybase sells strong technology products, they said they aren't sure whether Sybase can make inroads in a tough market. Other vendors in the Java-based platform space, including market leaders BEA Systems and IBM, have been making similar platform enhancements.

Bill Green, president of Marlton, N.J.-based systems integrator Power3, said Sybase has been gaining market share by targeting vertical markets with products built on EAServer. He said while Sybase will have a difficult time taking on a huge rival like IBM, its strategy is changing market perception about the company.

"You can be another Borland and have great products and no marketing and get buried, or start looking at marketing yourself at the same level as the IBMs and BEAs and Microsofts do, and I think I'm starting to see [Sybase picking up toward that level," said Green. "I don't think they're there yet, because IBM [probably has a marketing budget that is greater than Sybase's revenue. But you're starting to find people associating [Sybase more with Web technology."

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