Sybase looks to channel as key to enterprise mobility market

Sybase looks to channel as key to enterprise mobility market

Opportunities abound in mobile security, vendor says

Mobile security is a high priority for IT managers and CIOs, but service providers have to adjust their perceptions of what it entails before demand can be met, according to one software vendor.

Speaking at the Toshiba MobileXchange conference in Sydney last week, Sybase mobility director, Mark Geddes, said IT managers were used to being able to manage and mitigate desktop security by having full visibility and access to everything connected to the network. This mindset should be carried over into the mobile space.

"Our play, and discussions on uptake in that [mobile security] space, is about extending to mobile devices that same degree of functionality from an IT perspective," he said in an interview. "The opportunity is how many mobile devices carriers see themselves deploying in the marketplace. Not many of them have thought a lot about how to manage and secure these devices."

Sybase's Afaria software is designed to cater to the demand for security in the enterprise mobility market. Because it is predominantly an infrastructure provider, the vendor is depending on the channel to bring it to market.

"To date, more than 90 per cent of our mobility business is done through the channel in various forms of arrangements," Geddes said, "and we're going to continue to grow in those spaces in 07 and onwards."

Leopard Systems is one partner combining Sybase-developed infrastructure with its expertise in the transport and logistics, retail, and healthcare markets. The partnership, which was announced in October, has seen the Melbourne-based company deliver Afaria frontline management and security product within its suite of mobile application offerings.

"Sybase builds infrastructure that companies like us can leverage without having to go and reinvent the wheel and build that type of technology ourselves," managing director, Alex Koumaras, said. "It allows us to build very feature-rich, targeted applications for the different verticals that we are playing in."

Geddes said it was keen to hear from all manner of resellers and integrators.

"It really comes down to the solution they [customers] require on what sort of device, and in what sort of conditions and what sort of industry," he said. "Every sort of partner model fits into our profile - we don't discount any of them."

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