Mitchell Kertzmann, Sybase?s chief executive, believes the company is moving into its second phase of recovery and says he now intends to focus on growing its revenues.
As a result, over the next few months, he intends to bring in an executive to shore up his operational management team and fill the newly created position of chief operating officer.
His new hire will oversee Sybase?s four product teams, covering development tools, workplace database, enterprise database and the wired unit, which includes the Internet and middleware, so acting as a partial replacement for David Litwack, former chief technology officer, who left to join Silverstream, an Internet start-up earlier in the year.
Kertzmann said: ?Our next goal is to increase licence growth. You can?t just be a cost-cutting company. We have to grow, especially in our server database licences, or our shares won?t reflect our value. Databases are a strategic sell, they?re a key foundation in a customer?s IT strategy, while tools are a tactical sell, so our revenue growth will come from new products like Adaptive Server. But, we?ve done all we?d said we?d do so far and we expect to see revenue growth again in the second half of this year.?
But he added that the database industry was changing. In fact, there was really no such thing as a pure database industry any more because the market had become broader than that. The games to play for now were applications and middleware.
?In effect, there is no database industry. The battleground has become broader and is now below the operating system (OS) and above the database. That?s where Oracle and Sybase and Microsoft are moving to, although Microsoft also obviously plays at the OS level too. One of the challenges for Sybase is to prove there?s room in the middle bit for us, but Informix has proved it?s hard to survive just as a database company,? he said.
But he said Sybase was unlikely to buy an applications supplier to move into the market, but would continue its strategy of partnering. Not only did the company lack the money to do so, but it would also be unable to leverage its existing skills base in that space.
Unlike Oracle, Sybase could not afford to spend years and millions of dollars struggling to make itself successful in the applications business, Kertzman said.
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