Is Sybase buying Aleri?

Marc Adler and Marco Seiriö seem to think so.

Such a deal would seem a little strange coming less than a year after Sybase licensed the underlying complex event processing (CEP) engine for Sybase CEP from Coral8, immediately prior to Coral8’s acquisition by Aleri.

The terms of that licensing agreement provide a clue as to why Sybase would consider opening up its wallet again to snap up Aleri, however.

As Aleri insisted last March, “The licensing arrangement allows Sybase to embed CEP capabilities within and ONLY WITHIN Sybase products such as RAP”.

Sybase later confirmed (clients only) to us that this was indeed the arrangement and maintained that its strategy for CEP was to embed it within larger platform products.

As well as RAP – The Trading Edition, the company’s risk-analytics platform, Sybase also had plans to target opportunities in the telecommunications, healthcare and government sectors.

One justification for the acquisition of Aleri would be that it would allow Sybase to target those markets and other opportunities with a standalone CEP offering based on Aleri’s next-generation engine codenamed Ohio which is slated for roll-out in 2010 and is designed to include the best features from Aleri Streaming Platform and the Coral8 Engine and be backwards-compatible with both.

Then of course there are the Aleri/Coral assets beyond the core CEP engine, including the Aleri Studio visual modeling application, as well as dashboard and OLAP server capabilities, and packaged applications for risk and liquidity analysis and management.

As for why Aleri would sell out to Sybase – we certainly noted some trepidation from the company when we caught up (clients only) in September last year. While the company was buoyant about its plans for Ohio it was reticent to discuss details of customer wins/successes.

The only thing the company would say was that it had more than 80 customers, the number of combined customers when the merger closed.

At that point it was somewhat more confident, claiming (clients only) to be the largest pure-play CEP vendor in terms of headcount and customer base and revenue (although with none of the CEP vendors disclosing revenue figures, that last claim was always highly debatable).

Tags: , , , , , , ,


#1 Marc on 02.01.10 at 8:25 am

Hi Matthew,

It might have been as simple as Aleri needing money, and Sybase wanting to protect its interest in the Coral8 product, before a competitor was able to snatch up the assets of Coraleri.

The interesting things is whether Sybase will choose to retail the assets of the Aleri standalone product. I don’t know how far they got with the Ohio integration, but I would be surprised if they had something viable.

#2 Marc on 02.01.10 at 8:26 am

Also, since I am not one of your clients, I had no idea what you said about this stuff back in September. Care to elaborate?

#3 Matthew Aslett on 02.01.10 at 8:51 am

Hi Marc,

That certainly is a much simpler explanation. Perhaps I was over-analyzing the situation, although my impression of the Sybase-Coral8 deal is that it did not limit Sybase’s ongoing development opportunities- other than not allowing them to be standalone.

The September report was an update on our assessment of the merger noting Aleri’s plans for the Coral8 technology and the fact that it was still on track to deliver Ohio in phases during 2010.

Nothing earth-shattering if I’m completely honest – in fact the most interesting thing was what they wouldn’t tell us, as noted above.


#4 Paul on 02.24.10 at 6:54 pm

This will be an interesting offer for the market if they can add a more user-friendly, graphical front end for the system. There are good ways to display complex data like this using infographics tools. The best technical solution isn’t very valuable if people can’t make the efficient use of it.