The business intelligence giant enhances industry-specific software solutions and offers a new data integration initiative at its annual conference.
Posted Mar 28, 2006
At the annual SAS Users Group International (SUGI) conference on Monday the BI software company celebrated its 30th anniversary by unveiling 10 BI applications. The San Francisco conference drew 4,000 attendees and marked the third decade of continuing growth from the world's largest privately owned software company. SAS also announced a data integration initiative, which will include new software and increased financial investment.
SAS's BI products represent three new and seven enhanced software services for financial services, manufacturing, retail, and telecommunications. The new services are built on top of the same BI solution, the SAS Enterprise Intelligence Platform, from which SAS develops all its products. This flagship solution integrates technology for storage, BI, predictive analytics, and data integration.
Jim Davis, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, is confident in his company's new products. "No other vendor can offer the same depth and breadth of BI solutions as SAS," he said. "And we will continue to deliver constant, customer-focused innovation, as shown in the 10 products announced today."
SAS is introducing three product upgrades for the financial services industry with SAS Anti-Money Laundering, SAS Credit Risk Management for Banking, and SAS Fair Banking. For manufacturing companies SAS introduced upgrades for SAS Warranty Analysis and launched SAS Service Part Optimization. Retail companies can expect upgrades in Marketmax Allocation, SAS Markdown Optimization, and SAS Promotion Optimization. The company also introduced two new products for the telecommunications industry: SAS Revenue Assurance for Telecommunications and SAS Price Plan Optimization for Telecommunications.
In addition to the new and enhanced product offerings, SAS announced a plan to work toward developing an international data-integration platform. "There is so much more data now, more data being stored by more companies from more different sources," says Laurie McCabe, vice president and analyst for SMB insights and business solutions at AMI-Partners. "You have to have a way to integrate it and rationalize it. If you don't have a good underlying way to integrate data, then your BI suffers--garbage in, garbage out."
"Data intelligence is certainly one of the topics of keen interest," said Joe Augustine, product and marketing manager for data integration at SAS. "One of the challenges we hear repeatedly is the need to deal with more data in less time." Augustine explains SAS's initiative as a response to this need. "It is a very customer-focused product delivering to the market what they need right now."
The past year SAS invested more than $400 million, 24 percent of its revenue, in company-wide research and development. The company revealed at the conference that it would increase that expenditure in both 2006 and 2007. The increased development expenditure will go to improving the program SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server, as well as developing new customer data-integration technology. SAS also plans to create a data team to visit companies worldwide to assess and solve data integration issues as well as producing on-demand Web seminars to improve understanding of these systems.
McCabe sees the conference announcements as positive signs for SAS saying, "This just reinforced that they are on top of industry trends. This is a good indication that they are at the head of the curve and ahead of the competition." As a final mark of growth and success in a company that has grown from a $138,000 company in 1976 which now services 96 percent of the top-100 Fortune Global 500 Companies, SAS announced that the conference would be changing its name from SAS Users Group International to SAS Global Forum in 2007.
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