Database firm Sybase is buying mobile software vendor XcelleNet in a $95.2m deal aimed at improving the security and management of mobile devices.
The deal, which builds on last year's acquisition of AvantGo, will help Sybase expand its 'Unwired Enterprise' strategy to build mobile software solutions for corporates, and will also result in new radio frequency identification (RFID) products.
Sybase said it expects to gain more than 2,200 customers worldwide with the acquisition, giving the database firm access to a client base including 60 per cent of UK retail chains, including Peacocks, Great Universal Stores, Clarks, Halifax and Blockbuster.
XcelleNet will become part of Sybase's iAnywhere subsidiary, which builds software that improves the delivery and management of corporate information to mobile workers. The deal is expected to close in summer 2004.
Rob Veitch, director of business development at iAnywhere, said the acquisition would build on Sybase's position in the mobile database and middleware market by adding strong mobile security and device management products.
Lars Vestergaard, research manager for European wireless and mobile communications at IDC, commented: "It puts Sybase in the market as an extremely serious player for mobile business applications.
"[Mobile computing] is an area that is of great interest in the European marketplace right now, and this will help improve security."
Sybase claimed the XcelleNet acquisition would also help it grow its customer base in the RFID sector, with XcelleNet's machine-to-machine software allowing firms to automatically collect, aggregate and correlate data across various monitoring and control systems.
"RFID will result in a lot of data that needs to be collected, processed and managed," said Veitch.
XcelleNet's RemoteWare and Afaria remote management products, which work on a range of systems including point of sale, laptops, handhelds and smartphones, will maintain their existing product names, he added.
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