¿Por qué el gigante IBM se une a una compañía que le hace la
competencia a su base de datos (DB2)? ¿Estará allanando el terreno
para la rumoreada compra?
IBM, Sybase join to put Wall Street on Linux
The two companies bring their respective strengths to the financial hub.
By Chris Forsyth
If the number of a corporation's representatives who attend a
competitor's event is any indication, IBM is pleased with its newly
announced partnership with Sybase.
No fewer than eight IBM vice presidents, business managers, and
strategy personnel attended a New York
Stock Exchange (NYSE) function in November to mark the joint
announcement that Sybase's enterprise database, Adaptive Server
Enterprise (ASE), on Linux will run on IBM's eServer OpenPower Linux
Guest speaker Joe Torre, manager of the New York Yankees and the only
manager to lead his team to victory in Major League Baseball's World
Series four times, might have been the drawing card to the event. But
that would not explain IBM employees' coming all the way from London;
Austin, Texas; and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The media, including The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), The New York
Times, and the best business and trade weeklies drew attention to the
implication of IBM's extending support to its software competitor by
presenting a Linux server software package. Few publications and
commentators failed to note that Sybase's ASE competes with IBM's DB2
software. For that reason, Reuters, the global wire service, called
the partnership "unusual" and The Register's headline read, in part,
ASE for Linux on OpenPower: a Logical Step
With Sybase ASE for Linux on the IBM OpenPower platform scheduled to
be available worldwide in the first quarter of 2005, some media
commented on the significance of the announcement's setting: the NYSE.
Sybase's full-page ad in the WSJ on the same day made the significance
clearer, by showing a half-page close-up of a Wall Street sign above
the title, "Celebrating 20 Years of Innovation." The title referred to
Sybase's 1984 release of its groundbreaking database and the extension
of its data management know-how into the mobile enterprise market to
create the Unwired Enterprise concept in 2004.
"Sybase has a good presence in UNIX databases. Making the jump to
Linux is a logical step," Forrester Research's Noel Yuhanna says, and
"one with which Sybase can leverage its considerable roster of
customers in the financial, retail, and insurance sectors," notes
eWeek's Lisa Vaas. Vaas also comments that "Sybase is willing to swap
its considerable clout in financial services for IBM's similar clout
Noting a "bunch of reasons" why IBM would team with Sybase, Philip
Howard, of Bloor Research, wrote in IT-Director.com: "Sybase ASE was
the first mainstream database to be ported to the Linux platform (back
in 1999), so Sybase has more experience than anyone else with running
on that platform. Second, although Sybase may have lost ground to its
rivals in the general-purpose database market [except in China], it
remains the database of choice in the financial services market and it
is also a leading provider to government. IBM wants to leverage this
A Compelling Migration Path
Raj Nathan, senior vice president and general manager of Sybase's
Information Technology and Services Group, says he believes that the
IBM partnership offers a compelling migration path, especially for
Sybase's Wall Street customers that want to reduce costs. Nathan bases
his belief on research by The Standish Group, which concluded, in
August 2004, that "overall, the most cost-effective solution running
to date is Sybase ASE running on Linux platforms."
"Sybase ASE for Linux is an ideal data management platform for the IBM
OpenPower platform, which is intended for enterprises seeking the most
scalable and reliable Linux solutions," says Nathan.
He also notes that over 90 days, 15,000 free downloads of Sybase
Express Edition for Linux had been recorded. This Sybase product,
released in September 2004, was the first enterprise-class commercial
database to go from pilot to deployment without incurring any costs.
Per Larsen, vice president, Marketing and Strategy, IBM Systems Group,
says that IBM is committed to providing customers with Linux solutions
that help them achieve peak performance with a low total cost of
ownership. "Customers want solutions that run on high-performing,
scalable, and reliable hardware platforms while lowering costs. We
value Sybase's commitment to our OpenPower platform with the addition
of Sybase ASE for Linux."
IT World Canada greeted the announcement with the headline "IBM could
unlock bank vaults for Sybase," pointing out that the Sybase/IBM deal
isn't limited to Wall Street trading and banking houses but extends to
Canadian ones as well.
The article notes the observation of Jamie Sharp, vice president of
customer segments with International Data Corp. in Toronto: The
Sybase/IBM partnership could change Sybase's market share among
Canadian financial institutions, where it doesn't enjoy the ubiquity
of the Sybase product on Wall Street.
"Sybase would be able to leverage IBM's significant presence among
Canadian banks to push its ASE, using IBM's server platform as a way
to get a foot in the door," wrote IT World Canada reporter Tom
The magazine concludes with a quote from Sharp: "If anything, this is
a gift for Sybase."
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