"SAS has invested in a strong partner ecosystem, which gives SAS a leg up for helping customers drive innovation and become true analytical competitors. By creating innovation, thought leadership and analytical solutions through investment in partners, SAS has a large advantage as a top analytical ISV, helping customers move up the analytical maturity curve faster", stated Tom Davenport, President's Distinguished Professor at Babson College and co-author of Competing on Analytics and Analytics at Work.
Through in-database analytics, Grid computing and in-memory analytics, SAS and its partners addressed big data needs before big data was formally recognized by the market.
Big data requires technologies - massively parallel processing databases, data mining Grids, distributed file systems and databases, Cloud computing and scalable storage systems - that can quickly and efficiently process large quantities of data. Through strategic alliances with Teradata, EMC, Greenplum - a division of EMC, IBM, Netezza, an IBM company, Platform Computing and HP, SAS brings these technologies to customers so they can realize the full value of big analytics. For instance:
a. SAS Scoring Accelerator, available for Teradata, Netezza, IBM DB2, Aster and Greenplum, which reduces unnecessary data movement and features database scalability for faster deployment of analytic models, enabling business productivity and near real-time analytics.
b. SAS Analytics Accelerator for Teradata, which enables the execution of key SAS analytical, data discovery and data summarization tasks within a Teradata database or data warehouse, reducing time needed to build, execute and deploy powerful predictive models. It also increases use of the enterprise data warehouse or relational database to reduce costs and improve the data governance that is required for successful analytic applications.
a. Teradata and Greenplum massively parallel database environments, which will soon house SAS High-Performance Analytics, using SAS In-Memory Analytics to solve larger, more complex business problems than were previously possible, for increased modelling capability and capacity.
b. HP, with a converged infrastructure powering SAS High-Performance Markdown Optimization has helped customers improve time in optimization, estimation and forecasting, while lowering hardware costs.
Other innovative ways SAS is working with partners to drive big data analytics include development of offerings with international systems integrators like Wipro Technologies, TCS, HCL, Infosys and Cognizant. Additionally, a recently signed expanded global alliance agreement between SAS and long-time partner HP will enable customers to continue addressing their big data needs. SAS is also a member of VCE's partner program - a joint venture from EMC, VMware, Cisco and Intel.
Technology alone won't create analytically driven organisations; customers also need to tap their own resources. SAS and its partners help customers deal with the rapidly changing marketplace by introducing new IT processes for company operations and meeting customer demands. Several SAS technology partners, as well as many key consulting partners worldwide, including Accenture, Deloitte and Capgemini have heavily invested in analytic resources to apply technology that will help customers address changing market demands.
"Customers generally know the outcome they want - they just may not know how to achieve it", stated Russ Cobb, SAS Vice President of Alliances and Marketing. "SAS and our alliance partners make every effort to help them figure it out, beyond technology and the boundaries of their own organisations. We are dedicated to keeping customers competitive and agile to meet changing business needs. Our combined expertise through resources such as SAS High-Performance Computing, joint analytics groups, customer-facing resource centers and advisory councils, enable customers to better leverage superior solutions to make the most informed, profitable business decisions."
As the Accenture SAS Analytics Group, these two companies are working together to develop, implement and manage predictive analytics solutions for clients across a range of industries including financial services, health care, and the public sector, to significantly improve decision processes for better, more accurate business outcomes. A recent study conducted by the Accenture SAS Analytics Group found that many organisations feel they are not yet using analytics across all levels of their organisation, lack analytical skills and consequently are unable to outperform their competitors. To help organisations address these specific challenges, SAS and Accenture are developing a repository of resources including on-line training, facilitator-led sessions, customized workshops, knowledge capital and performance support to develop the analytical capability and culture required to improve the quality of decision making throughout the organisation.
SAS and Teradata look to customers via a Product Advisory Council to share and validate collaborative in-database offerings before they launch. These two partners also collaborate with Elder Research Inc. in a Business Analytics Innovation Center - a "think tank" where customers discuss analytic best practices with domain and subject-matter experts, and quickly test or implement models for optimizing business operations across industries, including financial services, retail, government, health care and life sciences, and insurance.
Similarly, Deloitte uses solutions such as SAS to help customers at many levels to combine the science of advanced analytics with strategic insights to help them transform the way they are able to manage their data and run their business, especially in response to tougher regulatory environments and the vast amounts of data companies must harness.
For more than 30 years, SAS' alliances organisation has delivered significant value to not only the company, but to its customers. SAS partners influence more than 27 percent of new SAS sales on average and influenced more than 60 percent of the top 50 global deals in 2010. With more than 500 global alliances across both technology and consulting partners, SAS continues to deliver superior analytic solutions to every level of a customer's organisation - from sales and marketing to R&D and professional services.