Sybase launch at Great Wall

Von Stefan Hammond

Hong-Kong born Sybase CEO John Chen was busy Stateside, and Beijing?s fickle weather shed droplets of drizzle over Sybase?s launch of its new ASE 15 data management product. But the launch--held at the Great Wall?s Ju Yong Gang gate on the outskirts of the Chinese capital--featured a troupe of energetic martial arts students preceding senior Sybase executives lauding their first significant release in over a year.

"We have over 500 employees in China," said Marty Beard, senior VP of corporate development and marketing, at an earlier press conference, "and 36 percent of our revenue over the last 12 months came from China." Thomas Volk, executive VP of international field operations, was equally bullish on Sybase?s China base. "We partner with three significant categories," he said. "System integrators, OEMs, and resellers."

Volk said that the new release represents a "major overhaul" of Sybase?s core product, adding that testing with customers had been ongoing for almost a year, with several IT departments currently "up and running" with ASE 15. What?s new? On-disk encryption, said CEO Chen in a statement, which will "ensure that information stored on disks and backups remains private without any application modifications." The new partitioning scheme will allow users to "work with smaller maintenance windows and increase system performance by reducing very large tables of data into several smaller tables," according to Chen.

A new query processing engine further enhances the product, said Chen. "(It will) greatly enhance the performance of reporting and complex analysis," he said, adding that "some customers have seen reductions of up to 80 percent of reporting time on mission-critical reports." Chen said that 1,200 beta-testing participants helped provide valuable feedback during the product?s development.

Volk described ASE 15 as "a new generation database, designed to perform in very large data environments while keeping risks and costs low." He added that vendors like IBM prefer his company?s software as it performs well with Big Blue?s hardware, allowing IBM to better market their gear. "Mobility adoption will grow," he said, "and the amount of data will grow explosively."

Beard said that the data management space was seeing overall revenues of US$14 billion annually, and was growing in the high single digits. He added that in China, Sybase partners with Cap Info with the aim of supporting the Digital Cities initiative. He said that his firm was working with Intel to develop a high-tech zone in Xian.

"China is an extremely important geography for us," said Beard.