Sybase looks to boost e-business efforts with NEON buy

Sybase is looking to become a player in the e-business infrastructure market with its purchase of New Era Of Networks (NEON), Sybase President and CEO John Chen said Tuesday.

The company on Tuesday announced an agreement to acquire NEON, which provides EAI (enterprise application integration) software and services, in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $373 million.

"We want to become a player in the e-business infrastructure market," Chen said. "We think that is where the money is going to be."

To that end, NEON, in Denver, will become part of a new e-business division that Sybase plans to create when the acquisition closes, which is expected in the second quarter of 2001, Sybase said in a statement.

Chen said that although the company has been undergoing a transformation away from being a database vendor and toward providing an overall e-business infrastructure for three years now, creating a separate division will help the company focus on the e-business market space, just as it has in the past for markets such as mobile and wireless.

The move is the latest from Sybase as it looks to expand beyond its core database business and into the broader market for Internet-related business software. Sybase, in Emeryville, Calif., said the deal will significantly boost its strategy to provide companies with software that lets them do business with other companies online.

NEON offers a range of products for integrating business applications, including ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management), supply-chain management, and e-commerce applications from the likes of SAP, Siebel Systems, i2 Technologies, and Broadvision.

Its products include NEON Process Server, NEON e-Biz Integrator, and pre-packaged solutions called NEON Adapters that are designed to work with specific off-the-shelf applications and standards.

Chen said that Sybase feels EAI is another important market that it enters with the acquisition. He said that Sybase hopes to make the EAI market a two-horse race between itself and BEA Systems, in San Jose, Calif.

"EAI is growing 40 [percent to] 50 percent a year, and it doesn't look like it will slow down anytime soon," Chen said.

This story, "Sybase looks to boost e-business efforts with NEON buy" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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