As insurance companies look to push the use of analytics across the enterprise, Germany's SAP AG is paying $5.8 billion to acquire Dublin, Calif.-based Sybase, Inc., a maker of business analytics, database and mobile software popular among insurers.

Signaling the ascendancy of mobile business applications, the companies say the deal is intended to enable insurers and other customers to become "unwired" enterprises. The companies contend the confluence of their technologies will pave the way for "real" real-time analytics.

The deal comes as SAP's primary rival, Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle Corp. continues to make acquisitions targeting the insurance vertical.

"Mobile devices are becoming the preferred interaction point with business applications, whether the user is a factory supervisor, a retail manager or an entrepreneur in a developing nation," Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEO of SAP and member of the SAP Executive Board said in a statement. "The combination of SAP and Sybase will give users the option of running their operations from leading mobile devices and will unleash the full power of mobility, including messaging interoperability, content delivery and mobile commerce services, across all companies and roles and in any location."

The transaction also affords Sybase access to SAP's "in-memory" technology, which reduces application latency by taking advantage of the increasing amount of DRAM available today. "SAP's in-memory technology in combination with Sybase's database technology will revolutionize how transactional and analytic applications are built, benefiting all businesses," added John Chen, CEO at Sybase, Inc. "This will drive a new wave of enterprise productivity."

Under the terms of the agreement, SAP subsidiary SAP America, Inc., will make an all cash tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Sybase. Upon completion of the deal, Sybase will operate as a standalone unit under the name Sybase, an SAP Company.

-- Bill Kenealy

This article first appeared on Insurance Networking News, a SourceMedia publication


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