Sybase snuggles up with Siemens, but do you care?

Corporate news can be such a pain. All that backslapping and, “we’re delighted to be working with xyz,” malarkey is hard to swallow.

Corporate news can be such a pain. All that backslapping and, “we’re delighted to be working with xyz,” malarkey is hard to swallow. It’s hard to cut through the chaff and find a few scraps of wheat to uncover any genuinely interesting technology developments.

After missing out on Sybase’s TechWave conference this year due to a corporate travel bungle I haven’t had a chance to mention the company much of late. Of course many of us in the UK still ask the “whatever happened to Sybase?” question. Knowing the company quite well as I do, I’ll just note again that it sells heaps into defence, financials and mobile infrastructure – so its stock is blossoming even if its position on the IT sexy-o-meter is waning.

So what’s new on the “oh god, not another boring partnership” newsreel for this week then? Well, Sybase is snuggling up with Siemens Enterprise Communications Group to provide mobile and fixed-line voice and data offerings. Ears pricked up yet? I thought perhaps not, let’s dig deeper.

Well, I work mobile aplenty and Forrester reckons that 73 per cent of the global enterprise workforce will be mobile users by 2012. Personally I think that’s a broad brush overstated stat, but even if it were 50 per cent – it would be a lot right?

Where Sybase is clever (in my humble opinion) is in the secure mobile data exchange arena. If an engineer needs to get info from a corporate data centre for a military grade job using an ‘occasionally connected’ device that retains security settings whether the pipe is open or not, then Sybase has an app for that.

So Sybase is fairly tidy when it comes to mobile-device management and Siemens just happens to have some fairly presentable fixed mobile convergence technology (which it snappily labels Siemens Fixed Mobile Convergence Technology) so the two together might be pretty interesting. Especially if, as in this case, there is a chance to provide IT managers with the ability to control key mobility-related functions via a web-based console - “Allowing governance over management and security of any network mobile device, in any location.”

From the corporate blurb machine, “By partnering with Sybase we can offer our customers the management capabilities for all forms of mobile devices that they require, enhancing the usability and the ‘industrialization’ of fixed mobile convergence technology,” said Marcus Birkl, vice president of mobility solutions, for Siemens Enterprise Communications Group (SEN Group).

Hang on – he might have spelt ‘industrialization’ incorrectly with a Z, but he didn’t have a hint of corporate smirk once in that statement. Further, he talked about industrialising fixed mobile convergence now that we are all inevitably working towards a massively higher percentage of mobile work. That’s a de facto standard expression they should be trade marking now. Come on guys, take a lesson from Microsoft.

Anyway, that’s my little rant at what is actually a good story for my money. Sybase made some smart acquisitions in the mobile space of companies like Afaria over the last five years and the company is trading well on them now. I guess I just had it up to here this week when one PR firm sent me a press release telling me a new account manager had been appointed for xyz company.

Let’s keep it real people, please – for all of our sakes.