Case study: SAS Case

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SAS Case

As the leading AI and advanced analytics platform, SAS continues to innovate relentlessly. We’ve aligned our company behind one common goal: to help customers realize the full potential of their AI and analytics investments. This commitment has supported the profitability, stability and growth of the company for decades. More than 83,000 organizations rely on SAS to help them make better decisions. The year 2019 represented significant transformation for SAS, driven by a transition to cloud-based technology and related pricing strategy, as well as financial accounting changes. SAS began adjusting its pricing strategy to smooth multi-year revenue pricing more evenly over contract periods, which is consistent with cloud pricing across the industry. SAS also adopted the new accounting standard for reporting revenue referred to as ASC 606 that changed the timing of when revenue is recorded. As a result, SAS revenue in 2019 was relatively flat, growing .5% in constant currency. In USD, SAS revenue was $3.1 billion, reflecting accounting and pricing changes, as well as the impact of exchange rate changes. Initiatives SAS targeted for investment performed very well. SAS experienced double-digit revenue gains in AI software and solutions for IoT, risk management and fraud and security intelligence. Cloud revenue rose as well, reflecting customers’ appetite for cloud-ready solutions like SAS Customer Intelligence 360 and SAS Viya to modernize their analytics environments. In 2019, we committed to invest $1 billion in AI innovation over three years. That investment continues to pay off as customers realize the benefit of innovation, education and services to optimize ROI on AI projects. We’ve also expanded our channel program to give customers the full power of our partner network. In 2019, SAS partners influenced 56% of new sales, and half of our top 50 deals. Analytics remains a hot industry, and we’re redoubling our efforts to remain the undisputed leader in this space. We continue to reinvest an average of 25% of revenue back into R&D – double the average of large technology companies – to create innovative products, improve customer experience and help our customers digitally transform to meet the needs of tomorrow. Everything we do at SAS is designed to help organizations transform to make better decisions. Innovation is our north star, and we constantly strive to deliver better for you.

Empower everyone, everywhere with analytics

Our technology has propelled four decades of growth for SAS in a competitive market. Today, more data and more diverse data are generated than ever before and are moving about the networks. SAS puts the right analytic technology to the right place at the right time: on premises, in a public or private cloud, at the edge. Here are technologies that we’re refining as we move into the next decade.

SAS Platform. The SAS Platform is the engine that powers our analytics technology. Open to any interface or coding language, our end-to-end platform works with all analytical tools including open source. From data to discovery to deployment, the SAS Platform handles the entire analytics life cycle, helping you operationalize analytics and get models into production faster. Cloud Analytics creates value. But to cash in, organizations must ensure resources like data, insights and analytics software are available across the enterprise. Companies want to realize efficiencies from cloud computing, lowering the costs of storage and processing. Together, these factors are making it less likely that organizations will power their analytics efforts using a fixed, on-premises infrastructure. While every organization has different needs, most still require a strategy for the cloud, and the ability to find the right combination of technologies to turn a mountain of data into useful decisions. Through a comprehensive vision for cloud solutions and deployment, SAS is aggressively evolving our technology to become cloud-native. We help organizations innovate, manage risk and create value through the SAS Cloud, which combines software, infrastructure and services that are designed and managed by SAS for optimal performance and value. And we offer cloud-deployable options that help customers run SAS in new and modern ways on almost any private, public or hybrid cloud infrastructure. SAS services are configured to address the growing interest in a “cloud first” approach to analytics, AI, data visualization and data management. Innovative deployment options now serve any business need. For example, SAS for Containers gives data science teams a flexible and efficient way to execute SAS workloads and help IT teams to be agile and take advantage of cost-efficient cloud infrastructures. And with SAS Results, a cloud-based results-as-a-service offering, customers provide the data, a specific business problem and a scope of work, and SAS delivers answers you can act on. Cloud collaborations In 2019, SAS and Red Hat announced an expansion to their existing partnership with the creation of a best-in-class hybrid cloud analytics solution, using SAS Viya on Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform. By offering our award-winning software and services on the SAS Cloud or third-party cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google or Microsoft Azure, we give organizations the ultimate flexibility to optimize the performance and value of their analytics ecosystem. SAS doing great things with public cloud providers Handling today’s modern analytic workloads in the cloud is no easy task. Heavy workloads of AI, model development and model training can really slow things down. And more and more SAS customers are exploring options for running their development and production workloads. As customers make the decision to move toward cloud-native deployments, SAS continues to develop software, services and deployment patterns that use the capabilities associated with public cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google. From establishment of Global Cloud Acceleration Centers to using advanced technologies to modernize SAS’ risk, fraud, compliance and customer intelligence solutions, SAS and our partners help companies navigate their cloud journey more simply and with optimal efficiency. This includes: 

  • Coordinated security and access management services of environments that are as safe as on-premises deployments. 
  • Access to cloud-based data sources like AWS Redshift, Google Big Query, Snowflake and more. 
  • Orchestration tools like OpenShift and other Kubernetes services to manage SAS in container-based environments. 
  • Continuous innovation/continuous delivery pipelines to deploy new SAS functionality without major upgrade efforts. 17 An early return on SAS’ $1 billion investment in AI came in the way of a 2019 release of SAS Viya 3.5. And in 2020, customers can even more easily get SAS technology in their hands with the launch of cloud-native SAS Viya 4.0, a more powerful, easy-to-access platform.

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