Casio transfers encryption algorithm to iAnywhere

A US$5 million investment in Sybase’s mobile and wireless subsidiary will give Casio some database strength to take on the corporate market.

iAnywhere Solutions Monday said it would use the money from Tokyo-based Casio Computer Co. Ltd. to fund development efforts of its mobile business products. The companies said they would also extend joint marketing efforts in financial services, health care and field sales force automation.

Casio Computer president Kazuo Kashio said the company would begin a technology transfer of its encryption algorithms so that iAnywhere could include it in its database suite. This work will likely involve the participation of Sybase’s development facility in Waterloo, Ont. “We are confident that it can provide the differentiation that is needed to satisfy corporate customers’ security needs,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of time developing this technology.”

Casio already embeds iAnywhere Solutions’ mobile database and enterprise synchronization technology, SQL Anywhere Studio, on its business handheld devices, including the Cassiopeia EG-800 and IT-70/IT-700.

iAnywhere was created just over a year ago when Sybase invested $2 million in a facelift of the Waterloo office. The subsidiary was intended to provide Sybase a deeper focus on the emerging mobile and wireless sector.

Terry Stepien, iAnywhere’s president, said the two firms already enjoy a number of joint customers, including a regional bank in Japan and a U.S. systems integrator which has built a time card reporting application via Web browser on Cassiopeia handhelds.

“Casio brings a combination of global reach and brand recognition,” he said. “The bank was particular in favour of the security and robust construction, and the easy development environment.”

Stepien said PricewaterhouseCoopers is also working with both companies to implement mobile business solutions with its worldwide customer base.

So far, Stepien said, iAnywhere has more than six million licenses deployed, including more than 600 application partners who are basing products on its platform.

Kashio said partnerships between hardware and software firms with a concentration on mobility are essential to serving the needs of commercial clients. “The corporate market is seeking mobile soluitons that can solve many different problems,” he said. “(The partnership with iAnywhere) means we can create easily-to-deploy solutions.”

The first public display of the deepening partnership will take place next week in New York, where iAnywhere and Casio will power a wireless golf scoring application at the Sybase Big Apple Classic Celebrity Pro-Am Tournament.

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