Sybase Picks Orange To Host Mobile Platform

The carrier- and device-agnostic enterprise mobility platform allows global firms to manage the flood of different devices operating in countries around the world.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

March 4, 2010

3 Min Read

In a move to extend its mobile device management services to global enterprises, Sybase reported that its mobile device platform will be hosted by Orange Business Services, which manages the world's largest telecom network, spanning 220 countries and territories.

Sybase's Mike Oliver, noting that its enterprise mobility platform has been device agnostic, said in an interview Thursday that it will now also be "carrier agnostic." Oliver, who is based in the United Kingdom as manager of Europe mobility marketing, added that large international enterprises are increasingly being challenged to manage the flood of different devices on their far-flung operations.

"Staffs are bringing in their own devices and different regions have different preferences," he noted. "The Nordic countries and Spain (tend to) have Symbian devices. In North America, it's Blackberrys. The iPhone and Windows Mobile elsewhere. And everybody is flagging the Android as becoming dominant soon."

By utilizing Sybase's enterprise platform on Orange's network, firms requiring cross-operator and scalable cross-device management can meet large mobile fleet demands as well as the exploding growth often fueled by individuals bringing in their own mobile devices, Oliver said.

Sybase has been building its platform over the past year, largely through a partnership with SAP, culminating in Sybase Mobile Sales for SAP CRM and Sybase Mobile Workflow for SAP Business Suite. The partnership with Orange, announced this week, will enable users to consolidate global mobile assets like devices and SIM cards.

"All of a sudden the C-level in enterprises -- CIOs and CFOs" are addressing the problem of mobile devices congregating on their networks, said Oliver, who added that network efficiency is often improving by 20% via the mobile platform. "It used to be a big investment, but with Orange taking it (the mobile device platform) to market, the complexity is removed and it's easy to get up and running."

Noting that in some cases thousands of new mobile devices are showing up on enterprise networks in an uncontrolled manner, Oliver said, "it's almost impossible for IT to control the growth." With the Sybase platform and the Orange network, he added, networks scattered around the world can be managed from one central location.

"The whole point of our deal with Orange is to take away the fear factor, to take away the complexity," said Oliver. He added that Sybase also has a partnership with Verizon Communications to manage mobile devices on Verizon networks.

The Sybase platform has security safeguards built into it that will be available over the Orange networks. In a statement, Orange's mobility business unit head Caroline Comet-Fraigneau said, "Security compliance, centralized mobile device control, and application deployment are major challenges that global enterprises must overcome... Our cloud-ready approach to mobile device management not only addresses these issues, but also ensures a positive return on investment by avoiding heavy CAPEX investment, ensuring a low unit cost per user by sharing our platform across multiple customers, and helping reduce enterprise mobility costs." Orange, which has more than 130 million customers, is the key brand of France Telecom.

Oliver pointed to a recent IDC study that found 40% of organizations plan to deploy mobile software-as-a-service solutions in the next 12-18 months while taking advantage of mobile apps without compromising security.

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