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Tastiest Tidbits From SAP/Sybase Media Day

Enterprise software sometimes gets short shrift compared to consumer technologies like tablets and smartphones. Not the SAP/Sybase Media Day, however. Here's a collection of the deepest thoughts, cheapest shots and bon mots from the event.

I used to write about Microsoft, so I'm no stranger to large-scale media events filled with mobs of press and analysts. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that even an enterprise applications vendor, albeit the world's largest one, has almost the same drawing power.

There was a *ton* of analyst and press chatter on Twitter (hashtag #sapsybase) during SAP's media event on Thursday.

Partly it was due to the star wattage on stage: SAP co-CEOs Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott, CEO of newly-acquired subsidiary Sybase, John Chen, SAP's CTO Vishal Sikka and Sybase Senior Vice-President (and former head of Adobe System's mobile Flash unit) Gary Kovacs.

The event spanned two continents (Frankfurt, Germany and Boston) and laid out more details about the synergies, or what the executives continually referred to as "force multipliers" resulting from SAP's $5.8 billion acquisition of the data management and mobile vendor, Sybase.

You can get the main news from SAP's press release, as well as excellent overviews by IDG News Service's Chris Kanaracus and Computerworld Canada's Kathleen Lau.

Instead of further adding to the chatter (see my Twitterstream for #Sapsybase @ericylai ), I thought I'd round up some of the more interesting tidbits, comments and reactions from the press conference, Twitter and blogs:

On synergies:

"McDermott 'Mobile is the next desktop'; 'What we saw in Sybase: leadership, sound financials, product portfolio, financial services lead'." - analyst PJ Jakovljevic.

"Chen: 'In 9 months, [we] will deliver an [mobile] SDK to enable any back office, not only SAP." - Forrester analyst, Stefan Ried.

"Vishal [Sikka] says leveraging the Sybase mobile SDK [Software Developers Kit] will save 2 to 3 years of development work to bring its [SAP's] applications to mobile dev." - Forrester analyst, Paul Hamerman.

"We'll be smart on it." - SAP co-CEO, Bill McDermott, asked about SAP's plans for SAP and Sybase licensing.

"Snabe says we are not porting SAP to mobile, we are enabling access of mobile to SAP." - analyst Kevin Benedict.

On mobile:

"The good news is that SAP did acquire Sybase, which has some decent mobile management technology that maybe can be translated to mobile delivery technology and paired intelligently with other SAP technologies." - Galen Gruman, InfoWorld

"Was Hagemann Snabe checking email during Chen's answer? That's mobile computing." - TechTarget reporter Barney Beal.

"Sybase & SAP should articulate need for Location Based-Service in Consumer World with Mobile Platform & Tools - Opportunity!" - Ventana Research analyst, Mark Smith.

"Snabe says no company he has met in the past 6 months has not wanted mobile apps. They are all looking. IMPORTANT!!" - analyst Kevin Benedict.

"SAP also acquired the 5 Sybase (365) mobile messaging data centers - a strong control-point in the mobile economy for business leverage." - TBR analyst, Stuart Williams.

"Sybase 365 and mcommerce clearly could be a very big business, but old pal Robert Schwartz tells me winner in space unclear." - analyst David Dobrin.

On data management and analytics:

"I think the port to Sybase ASE for SAP [by mid 2011] should be easy, given that [Microsoft's] SQL Server is already supported and has similar T-SQL/Database Architecture." - Forrester analyst Noel Yuhanna.

"Sybase database integration with SAP puts pressure on Oracle." Forrester analyst, Noel Yuhanna.

"MY POV: Analytics on mobile is what's hot. Building it to user experience and role based even better. One platform best!" - Altimeter analyst, Ray Wang.

"Raj [Nathan, Sybase chief marketing officer] acknowledges plans for [Sybase] IQ to interoperate with Hadoop and other outside data and says work in process to be exposed later." - analyst Merv Adrian.

"Chen's in-mem answer (on whether going forward whether SAP or Sybase's in-memory database will be favored) actually was more clear than appeared. "Which tech for now is use-specific. We'll insulate customer from it." - analyst Merv Adrian.

On competitors:

"My favorite part of the webcast, though, goes to Chen. Before moving into a demo of Sybase's product, he stated he wouldn't be running the demo because he didn't want to come off like some other CEOs, namely 'some guy named Larry,' who can't seem to ever make their demos work." journalist Scott Priest of SAP Insider Learning Network.

"Another [SAP] executive made it a point that the new SAP management team is global and collaborative and not command & control focused. This, he explained, permitted more innovation. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what competitor this is addressing." - consultant Brian Sommer, on ZDNet.

On Sybase's direction and John Chen's role

"This event is very notable for the joint discussion by execs and their comfort in handoffs to one another. Clear partnership." - analyst Merv Adrian.

"Hope he [Chen] has a big influence in SAP's EIM [Enteprise Information Management] group." - Gartner analyst, Andreas Bitterer.