SAS Names New Executive To Manage Its Channel Partner Program

Business intelligence software developer SAS Institute has a new executive overseeing its nascent channel program after Miles Mahoney, vice president of SAS' global alliances and channel group, left the company last Friday. SAS executives would not disclose the circumstances of Mahoney's departure.

Russ Cobb, senior director of corporate and product marketing, was named on Monday to take over Mahoney's post. Jim Davis, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said the management change would not disrupt the company's channel efforts.

SAS, long known for developing sophisticated business intelligence and data analysis software, started a channel program one year ago to sell pre-packaged bundles of its business intelligence, data analysis and data integration software to SMB customers. Mahoney led that effort, which the company recently said was being expanded beyond the U.S. to resellers in 13 other countries.

Ham Pasupuleti, president of PluralSoft, a Denver solution provider and SAS reseller, was unaware of the management change. He said the program has been working well with SAS providing him with training, support and other resources. "It's been going pretty well for us," he said of the SAS relationship. Pasupuleti said he would be more concerned if there were changes closer to his company, such as with SAS' regional channel executive.

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In an interview Tuesday Davis would not say whether Mahoney was dismissed or left voluntarily. Davis said SAS' channel program plans are in place and the company is now executing on that strategy and Mahoney's departure would have no disruptive impact. "We are still going ahead full-bore with the alliances and channel strategy," he said.

SAS has recruited close to 100 resellers for the channel program and expects to have 150 globally by the end of the year. Ultimately the company plans to have 200 to 250 channel partners. Tuesday CEO Jim Goodnight said he expects the channel to account for 15 percent of the company's new business within about three years.

Cobb joined SAS in 2002. Prior to leading the company's corporate and product marketing organization, he established new business marketing and financial services strategy groups and led the Business Partners group within the SAS Alliances organization. The latter is responsible for developing marketing and sales programs for SAS products with strategic partners such as Accenture, BearingPoint, Deloitte and IBM Global Services. Before joining SAS, Cobb worked in consulting at Accenture and Marakon Associates.