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Sybase Gains More Middle With MMS Buy

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Sybase took a big step toward its “Unwired Enterprise” strategy Tuesday with a partnership Cable&Wireless that makes Sybase a top mobile middleware middleman.

The partnership helps provide the messaging software provider’s mobile division exclusive worldwide rights to market and sell mobile data roaming services. At the same time, Sybase’s purchase of Cable&Wireless’ international MMS Hubbing service for an undisclosed amount provides Sybase (NYSE: SY) peering deals with 40 customers and 250 mobile operators.

“This is a significant move for us into the mobile IP world and makes us an end-to-end platform for mobile enterprises,” Marty Beard, president of Sybase 365, told Sybase 365 was formed in 2006 with the acquisition of Mobile 365 for $400 million. Sybase 365 currently reaches more than 2.4 billion global mobile users and processes over 100 billion messages annually.

The news comes at a time when enterprise mobility is grabbing greater traction as companies strive to extend desktop messaging functions to mobile workers. Text messaging in particular is considered a must have feature on mobile devices, according to a recent study from Amplitude Research.

The Cable & Wireless deals make Sybase the largest GPRS Roaming Exchange (GRX) provider. A GRX is a centralized IP routing network for mobile operators that subscribers roam across multiple operators to access enterprise network data services.

Put simply, Sybase 365 will serve as an interconnect, delivering multimedia mobile messaging between an enterprise’s network provider and mobile device users, said Beard.

“This is a pretty important move for us into the IP space. Every enterprise is relying on messaging to reach customers and users and we’ll be able to provide the platform for multimedia messaging applications,” Beard said.

For example a large bank aiming to reach clients about a new service can send a text message or video clip directly to customer handsets no matter what carrier or network provider is involved. Sybase 365 is connected to all 700 global providers, according to Beard.

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