Most of us have already heard that Sybase will become part of SAP — or, to be more precise, that SAP and Sybase announced that SAP's subsidiary, SAP America, Inc., signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire Sybase. When this acquisition takes place, there will be various impact areas across SAP and Sybase’s combined portfolio. Rather than discussing this big picture, I would like to focus on SAP for Banking.

SAP’s banking platform consists of a number of applications, such as SAP Bank Analyzer, SAP Deposits Management, SAP CRM, SAP Financial Database, SAP Hedge Management, and SAP Payment Engine. However, the banking platform’s strength is on the back end; when it comes to the front end, there are only a few options. Examples include teller solutions from partners as well as SAP CRM. Compared with other global banking platforms, Forrester recognizes a gap in SAP for Banking as far as multichannel banking is concerned — and has continued to explain to SAP the need to close this functional and architectural gap.

Consequently, my initial reaction to this acquisition is focused on multichannel banking and in particular the combination of SAP for Banking on one side and Sybase Financial Fusion and Sybase mBanking on the other. Whether SAP has already been in the process of design and developing an Internet/multichannel banking solution or not, SAP’s acquisition of Sybase has the potential to provide long overdue Internet/multichannel banking capability to SAP for Banking.