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Sybase Acquires HFN As Part of E-Business Build-Up

Software developer, Sybase Inc, has acquired Home Financial Network (HFN), a privately held Internet financial services company. Sybase will combine HFN with its Financial Server business unit to create a new company that will focus on strategic technology solutions.

“Sybase is leveraging its strength in providing end-to-end business integration, in order to capitalise on the emerging Enterprise Portal (EP) market to provide powerful new solutions that deliver on the promise of e-Business,” says Ketan Karia, director of European marketing for Sybase in London.

In the way that spreadsheets, relational databases, e-mail, and the Web transformed business in the previous decade, EPs are becoming a central strategy for organisations today – and promise to be nothing less than the competitive linchpin for the next decade, adds Karia. “The window of opportunity is wide open for EP solutions that provide a single point-of-access to enterprise-wide information, which is the key to any responsive and competitive organisation,” says Karia.

EPsgive companies the ability to extend their business to be closer to their customers, partners and suppliers – allowing users a personalised, seamless integration of content and commerce, and the ability to relate with others through communities. Sybase EP solutions deliver personalised content by integrating and organising existing operational systems. This includes the integration of content (both structured and unstructured), existing applications that run the company’s business, and legacy applications on the mainframe and LAN alike, as well as managing relationships and events throughout the enterprise.

Sybase’s software components allow users to design, integrate, manage, visualise and administer enterprise data warehouses and data marts, which officials say helps improve customer relationship management.

“We provide organisations with e-solutions that make e-business work. Within this realm, Enterprise Portals can unlock existing systems and provide users with an e-service to offer their customers, so they can provide a better service at a lower cost,” says Karia.

HFN

The new HFN subsidiary will have three divisions: Internet Banking, Middleware and Server-Based Systems. The Internet Banking division is geared towards retail banks and any organisation that has a business-to-consumer interface. The Middleware division layers off the application software and servers, allowing banks to transact with one another, and assists with straight-through processing (STP).

“We provide the end-to-end solution. Users have access to an array of information through a single portal that is integrated with existing systems. This collection of information can then be put onto the Web and personalised for clients,” explains Karia. “HFN gives us the front end used to present and interact with the bank’s clients for e-banking.”

“E-commerce gives you the Holy Grail you’re looking for in business, because it allows an organisation to reach more customers and provide them with a better service at a lower cost,” says Karia, “And this gives you an advantage over your competitors.”

The new company will provide global, end-to-end Internet financial solutions, as well as broad-based financial middleware solutions for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer applications among the world’s leading financial institutions, including banks, brokerages, insurance companies and securities firms.

“This is primarily targeted at the extremely high-growth Internet and online banking market, with Sybase planing to undertake additional initiatives for the entire financial services market over time,” says John Chen, chairman and CEO and president of Sybase.

Chen takes a position on the board of directors for the new company.

Sybase is a global independent software company headquartered in Emeryville, CA. It helps businesses integrate, manage and deliver applications, content and data anywhere they are needed. HFN is headquartered in Westport, CT, and is an Internet financial services company, which specialises in the development of customised e-Finance Web sites.

According to the August 1999 Tower Report, 68% of the world’s investment banks use Sybase software.

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