Sybase Teams Up With IBM

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," November 30, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Imagine a company just starting off with four employees. Now 20 years later they're one of the leading providers of mobile software. And today partnering up with IBM to market its databases.

Joining us now is John Chen (search), Mr. Chen the chairman and CEO of Sybase, who joins us from the New York Stock Exchange (search). He rang the closing bell today in honor of this big anniversary.

Mr. Chen, welcome. Congratulations. Happy anniversary.


CAVUTO: What a ride it's been. I guess you've seen the best of times and the worst of times when the tech bubble burst and took your stock and so many others that had nothing, necessarily, to do with that whole bubble with it. Where do you stand now?

CHEN: Well, we do all right. You know, we're kind of more of a value-based stock today. We've got good cash and good cash generations. And the company has done pretty well. I mean, we've been profitable for a long time and done well in some selective part of markets. And we're lucky to survive for these 20 years. It has been — it has been a long, wild ride.

CAVUTO: You are a profitable entity. You make money in a business that it's tough to make money in. Yet, you've got to have that Rodney Dangerfield (search) effect in the market. You don't get the respect. Why is that?

CHEN: Well, it's a long-term thing. I think people are looking for high growth, still looking for high growth. And we have one part of business that's very solid, but the growth rates are not as high. And it's a pretty saturated and mature market, although the customers love us and it's very steady.

And then we have a part of the business that grows very fast. But on a percentage basis, it's only about 15 percent or so. So until that piece gets to be big enough, which is the mobile and wireless business. Until that piece get to be big enough to showcase its growth, we're going to have this — like we called it the Rodney Dangerfield effect.

CAVUTO: I guess so. Let me ask you a little bit about Oracle, of course, trying to woo PeopleSoft right now in what could ultimately be a friendly merger. Who knows how that will work out? Everyone seems to think that you'd get the shorter end of that stick if that were to pass.

CHEN: Actually, that's not true. I'm not in that space. I don't do applications. Maybe wireless applications I do a little bit. So and banking, not in the same kind of sector of the market.

In fact, we're seeing a different effect. You talk about IBM today. Everybody is now rushing to want to work with us, Sybase, because we're multi-tier play. And we're not somebody...

CAVUTO: But isn't IBM also, technically, a competitor?

CHEN: Yes, they are technically a competitor. But that's — that's a great thing.

CAVUTO: So you can partner with them and also try to kill them at the same time?

CHEN: Well, that's the nature of our business. They are big. I mean, they have many different, you know, areas and priorities. And in this particular one, they would love to work with us. And so we have done that before, by the way, in middle ware (ph) and done so very successfully.

CAVUTO: Indeed you have. John, a real pleasure again. Congratulations. Good having you on.

CHEN: Thank you.

CAVUTO: John Chen of Sybase, the chairman, president and CEO.

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