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Sybase buys Dejima technology for plain language query

Seeking to enhance the wireless offerings of its iAnywhere Solutions subsidiary, Sybase Inc. announced this week that it is purchasing the assets of Dejima, a privately held company based in Redwood Shores, Calif. The acquisition follows Sybase’s $95 million acquisition earlier this month of mobile device management software house XcelleNet.

Dejima’s technology for interpreting plain speech information requests made by either voice or simple text fits into iAnywhere’s plan to make data available on request to non-programmers with either a cell phone or PDA, said Brian Vink, marketing vice president at iAnywhere Solutions. Dijima had been selling its product to Salesforce.com, and Vink sees uses for the product with mobile workers.

In Vink’s vision of Dijima’s technology fit into iAnywhere’s Always Available Architecture, a salesperson driving in a car could request data on prospects in a geographic area simply by speaking into a cell phone. The Dijima technology works in conjunction with speech recognition software and can also be used in applications where the user’s database query is as simple as an e-mail request, such as “Sales prospects in San Francisco?”

“This can provide interactions with people who aren’t necessarily technically sophisticated, but who still need to have certain queries answered,” Vink said. “This is a natural way of extending information systems to that constituency. So anything that involves questions and answers, a directory, things like a catalog or a list of information types that people want to be able to sort through or ask quick questions of, this interface can provide an easier way to do that.”

The terms of the purchase of Dijima were not being disclosed by Sybase, Vink said. He noted that current plans are for Dijima’s technology assets and human resources to be moved to iAnywhere’s Dublin, Calif.-based offices once the acquisition is complete.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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