SAS Credits Channel For Boosting 2010 BI Software Sales

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SAS also credited its channel operations, which the company has been building up in recent years, with growing its customer base during the year. SAS said its expanding network of partners influenced more than 27 percent of new sales and more than 60 percent of the company's top 50 global deals.

SAS is widely seen as a bellweather for the business intelligence software market given that it has been the biggest independent BI software developer since early 2008 when IBM bought Cognos and SAP acquired Business Objects. SAS is also the largest privately owned software company in the world and does not release detailed earnings or sales information.

Business intelligence has been a hot technology area in recent years with numerous surveys of IT executives putting business intelligence at or near the top of their IT spending priorities. BI has remained a strong seller through the recession as companies try to improve their visibility into their business operations, forecast sales trends and make better business decisions.

"Analytics is used in virtually every industry and branch of government," said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight in a statement. "The predictive power of analytics can make a difference by helping you see further into the distance so you can make adjustments faster and with more confidence. We've experienced 35 years of unbroken revenue growth and high customer loyalty because our customers get value from our software and trust the results."

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SAS markets a broad range of business intelligence and data mining software, ranging from core reporting tools to complex statistical analysis applications. While SAS products are widely used for such sophisticated applications as fraud detection and drug development, the company said sales of business analytics software – the kind of tools businesses use to analyze sales data and make marketing decisions – surged 26 percent in 2010.

The Cary, N.C.-based company said it plowed 24 percent of its revenue back into research and development during the year and increased its staff headcount by 2.4 percent.

SAS said 46 percent of its sales were in the Americas; 42 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and 12 percent in Asia/Pacific.