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Sybase invests US$25 million in enterprise wi-fi initiative

Posted on 6-Jun-2003 07:54 | Filed under: News

Sybase unveiled a US$25 million initiative to bring reliable and cost-effective wi-fi applications to the enterprise. Sybase will collaborate with leading research universities and industry partners to overcome current barriers to the development of �always available� applications for the unwired enterprise, helping companies extend the desktop computing experience to mobile and remote workers.

The first stage of the Sybase Wi-Fi initiative will include the launch of a network of Wi-Fi competency centers, one of which will be hosted at the Research and Technology Park at the University of Waterloo, one of the world�s foremost technology research institutions. In addition, Sybase will collaborate with its customers and its network of over one thousand partners to accelerate mobile application development and deliver database-powered enterprise solutions to mobile devices. Sybase will also initiate a global marketing campaign in conjunction with its partners to raise awareness of how Wi-Fi technology enables the unwired enterprise � delivering the right information to the right people at the right time.

�Sybase, through our iAnywhere Solutions subsidiary, is already helping over 10,000 corporate customers benefit from mobile and wireless information access,� said John Chen, Sybase chairman, president and CEO. �We also offer the largest mobile content service in the world, with over 8 million registered users of My AvantGo. Our new initiative will leverage that expertise to meet the enormous pent-up demand for reliable enterprise Wi-Fi applications that deliver measurable ROI.�

�Pervasive computing and Wi-Fi technologies together are a significant area of research for the University,� said Vic Diciccio, Director, Institute for Computer Research, University of Waterloo. �The University of Waterloo and Sybase have had a long history of collaboration and we�re extremely excited to have this opportunity to advance unwired enterprise computing.�

Sybase today is solving many of the technology challenges that are blocking wider Wi-Fi deployment, including:

Roaming � Sybase� mobile technologies overcome connectivity and roaming barriers through industry-leading data management, enterprise synchronization and messaging technologies that give mobile workers the unique ability to be �always available� and work either on or offline for consistent access to their data and corporate applications.
Security �End-to-end security features reduce the security threat of mobile devices operating outside the firewall. Protection includes both on-device encryption and communications stream encryption to ensure the confidentiality of business-critical information. Mobile systems management further strengthens security by providing a reliable mechanism to distribute security patches and enforce the use of secure configuration for Wi-Fi users. Sybase also plans to adopt Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) standards when they are ratified.
Device Battery Life � Sybase�s �always available� architecture leverages local data storage, allowing workers to avoid the extreme battery drain of online connections by accessing important information offline, and then synchronizing when convenient.
�Although enterprises see great potential in applying Wi-Fi technologies to their business, many are still confused about employing Wi-Fi, with security, application persistence, and ease of deployment/use as primary concerns,� said Jack Gold, vice president of META Group. �There are significant opportunities for vendors to take a leadership position by enabling one-stop, complete solutions, thus easing the way for enterprises to apply these technologies to their business.�

Wi-Fi, also known as 802.11, solves many of the cost and performance problems associated with wide area wireless. Some analysts project the Wi-Fi industry will expand at a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 30 percent, and estimate that over 40 percent of United States companies already support Wi-Fi networks, with an additional 25 percent planning to implement and support the technology in the next 18 months. Yet, an estimated 30 percent of executives cite significant barriers to deployment of Wi-Fi including inconsistent connectivity, low network security, short device battery life, a lack of reliable �unwired� applications and technology infrastructure that is not wireless-enabled.

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