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Mobile

Sybase unit takes mobile software lead

iAnywhere unseats Research In Motion as the No. 1 seller of software that companies use to let employees wirelessly access corporate networks, according to a recent report.

A Sybase subsidiary has unseated Research In Motion as the No. 1 seller of software that companies use to let employees wirelessly access corporate networks, according to a recent report.

The subsidiary, iAnywhere Solutions, wrangled 12.7 percent of the $700 million that companies spent last year on so-called mobile middleware, according to the report from market analyst IDC.

iAnywhere just slipped past former No. 1 company RIM, maker of the Blackberry pager, which wrangled exactly 12 percent of last year's mobile middleware revenue, according to those familiar with the IDC report.

The market for such software is supposed to grow to $1.6 billion by 2007, promising a bruising battle to come as Sybase tries to keep its leading market share position.

"As 2002 was indeed a challenging economic year worldwide. Steadier rather than hyper growth prevailed in the mobile middleware market and will be the theme" for the next five years, IDC infrastructure software manager Stephen Drake said.

Drake's report suggests that Sybase's purchase of software maker Avantgo for about $38 million four months ago helped the company's sales rise above those of RIM and other heavyweight competitors, including Microsoft, IBM and Oracle.

Sybase's surge was also due to its push to incorporate Wi-Fi hot spots into its offerings. In June, the company unveiled a service that's designed to help businesses adopt Wi-Fi technology. Under its CRM Mobilization Program, customers can get their sales employees to try out a wireless system for handling customer relationship management (CRM) data.