SAN FRANCISCO -- On its earnings call next week, Sybase ( SY) should give investors a big clue to its future, which should include the company boosting its stock buyback program by a wide margin.If such an announcement isn't forthcoming on Oct. 25, the software developer becomes a sitting duck for a buyout by Oracle ( ORCL) or other big business software vendors looking for business "mobility" software. A larger buyback -- or a sale of the company -- are two of three options that were advocated by hedge fund Sandell Asset Management in a letter to Sybase last Friday. Sandell's CEO, Thomas Sandell, also suggested the spinoff of the company's mobile software offerings as another option. Sandell recently acquired 5.4 million shares, or 6% of the Dublin, Calif., company. Sybase chairman and CEO John Chen replied in a letter on Monday that the board would consider his recommendations. The stock closed Monday at $26.12, up 6.8% since Sandell's letter was made public. Sybase closed Tuesday at $25.77, off 35 cents, or 1.3%. Oracle would likely prefer that Sybase spin off its mobile software. This is preferable to swallowing the company whole; Oracle could well be in the market for mobile integration software. In addition to database products, Sybase develops software that manages integration and security issues when enterprise software is linked with employees' mobile devices, like cell phones and handheld computers.