Partial Plans Perplex Press at SAP – Sybase Event, But Promise is Everywhere

SAP co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe and Sybase CEO John Chen keynoted a two-continent event on August 19 to demonstrate their solidarity and provide an early look at strategic plans. Many analysts greeted the initial announcement with positive reviews – mine is here, and Noel Yuhanna of Forrester weighed in here. Progress since the $5.8 billion transaction formally closed (just a few weeks ago) has been modest, but certainly better than the message, which was not yet crisp. The press release (several pages in length) was long on marketing phrases and short on specifics, and those in attendance generally found the content scattered and difficult to parse. Highlights emerged, however, in the subsequent discussions as press, analysts and bloggers dug in for details:

  • A mobile application software development kit (SDK) will combine the Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) with SAP NetWeaver Mobile and Business Objects Mobile software within 9 months.
  • Sybase CEO John Chen, on the SAP board, will operate Sybase as a “separate, independent unit,” and reaffirmed the commitment to maintaining the product roadmap he made when I interviewed him at TechWave
  • SAP will “port, certify and optimize” SAP Business Suite, NetWeaver Business Warehouse, Business Objects Data Services and Business Objects BI solutions to Sybase ASE. No dates were specified.
  • Business Objects, already certified for Sybase ASE and IQ, will be “combined with (unspecified) Sybase data management servers” to deliver “discovery, storage, and consumption.” No dates were specified; it’s not clear what’s new here other than packaging.
  • The companies will incorporate SAP’s in-memory computing technology across SAP and Sybase data management offerings.

Read more of this post

Microsoft TechEd vs. Apple’s WWDC: Why Apple Won

By Rob Enderle, Enderle Group

If you match Apple’s resources against Microsoft’s you see a huge imbalance.  Microsoft earns more revenues, generates more cash, and its power is heavily leveraged through massive partnerships with PC and Server OEMs and service providers.  Apple is a product company whose power is offset by its partnership with AT&T.  However, if you talk about mindshare, the reverse is true. Apple is driving most every popular client platform. It has enjoyed nearly unmatched growth in value, and its CEO was Fortune magazine’s executive of the last decade while Microsoft’s CEO is under increasing pressure to leave. Read more of this post

Just a Glimpse of Windows Phone 7

Roger Kay examines Microsoft’s much-needed new smartphone OS play. I’m delighted to welcome Roger to the blog.

Next Iteration of Microsoft’s Mobile Platform Connects Well with Backend Services

The much-missing Microsoft mobile effort was on display for a brief flash — which you could easily have missed if you sneezed at the wrong moment — during Server & Tools chief Bob Muglia’s speech at TechEd in New Orleans last week.

In his defense, Muglia is a Server & Tools guy and mobile phones are pretty tangential to his main businesses.  But one couldn’t help noticing a scattered quality to his presentation.  He just had so many areas to cover — each of which easily deserved its own keynote, if not a separate conference — that he could only give them the most succinct treatment individually.  But what he did show of Windows Phone 7 indicates that the effort continues apace and we can expect to see a fairly interesting platform later this year.  Microsoft’s position in the on-fire smartphone category has been eroding in recent years, victim of Apple’s success with the iPhone and the arrival of Android as a viable alternative platform.  Elsewhere and later at the conference, other company executives announced new marketplace policies and highlighted the business value of Windows Phone 7 in 10 mobile sessions. Read more of this post

SAP Promises Acceleration on a “Clear Path” – Will it Be Enough?

The economic slowdown was not kind to SAP in 2009, and as it launched the annual Influencer Summit on December 8th, change was in the air. Messages were shifting. “Sustainability” got a big push, and there was a ringing commitment to substantial, dramatic product change to be delivered in 2010. Different faces were on display: there was no Leo Apotheker or Bill McDermott on the stage, although Board members Jim Hagemann Snabe and John Schwarz held down the fort with new Marketing EVP Jonathan Becher and CTO Vishal Sikka in key speaking slots. Like the dances I went to in high school, the event was mostly date-free, but direct questions elicited some specific, though uncommitted, statements about deliveries in 2010, especially from Marge Breya. Read more of this post

iPhone, Wi-Fi, and MAC Address Filtering

Bet that title drove everyone away. But this is really pretty simple. I use media access card (MAC) address filtering on my home Wi-Fi network (Talked about it here.) And now I have a shiny new iPhone and I want to use WI-Fi for it (especially for Skype international calls, of course.) Only problem – couldn’t find the MAC address.

So ya gotta love the Genius Bar at your local Apple store. They solved my problem in about 90 seconds. Go to Settings/General/About. Scroll down. It’s called “Wi-Fi address.” And there I was looking at all sorts of network-related things. Silly me. No matter. I opened up the router’s admin software, added the address, and boom! in business. Easy. Now if only Gmail support was push-oriented…

GPS + GPRS + Event Processing = A New Magic Application Triangle

by Charles Brett, President, C3B Consulting Ltd

I’m delighted to welcome my friend and colleague Charles Brett to my blog. He’s graciously offered to allow me to post this piece here – it’s well worth your time.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has been around for a long time, and is now firmly embedded in both commercial and consumer devices (including the iPhone). The General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)—a packet-oriented, mobile data service available to users of 2G and 3G GSM networks—has been available across the globe for many years. Event processing (EP) has also been around since computing started (think real-time systems) but in recent years it has made huge strides in handling complexity, and many of the big vendors have responded by buying the innovators (Progress bought Apama, IBM bought Aptsoft, Oracle bought BEA, etc.) Read more of this post