SAS Takes Its Business Analytics Software To The Cloud

Starting with the release of SAS 9.4 in June, businesses will be able to deploy SAS business analytics software in public cloud environments, such as Amazon Web Services and Rackspace, and within private clouds. Until now the company has offered its software only for on-premise deployment or as a SAS-hosted service.

SAS 9.4 is the core, built-in business analytics functionality that underpins all SAS products, including its business analytics tools, data visualization software, and analytical applications such as SAS Customer Analytics for Insurance and SAS Fraud Management.

[Related: Big Data Demands Drive SAS' 2012 Sale Growth ]

"Every IT organization is either building their own private cloud of virtualized systems on commodity hardware or looking to third-party providers," said SAS CTO Keith Collins, in a statement. "These enhancements will make it easier for users to access new SAS high-performance analytics capabilities in our current analytic product portfolio. Our goal is to decrease the time-to-value for SAS users while reducing the total cost of ownership for IT."

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SAS partners say the cloud service will make it easier for their customers to get up and running on SAS systems. "We are excited about the 9.4 cloud offerings because it allows our customers access to a supported environment more quickly, providing them more of an opportunity to get successful results more quickly," said David Septoff, CEO of Zencos, a Cary, N.C.-based solution provider, in an email to CRN. SAS, which is holding its SAS Global Forum 2013 in San Francisco this week, said the year-old SAS Visual Analytics software, an in-memory application for analyzing and visualizing big data, is one of its first products adapted to run on the SAS 9.4 platform and take advantage of cloud deployments.

SAS also is launching a handful of new business analysis applications designed to take advantage of in-memory computing technology, allowing them to perform data analysis tasks much more quickly and tackle problems that involve larger volumes of data.

The six new products, also slated for availability in June, include SAS High-Performance Statistics, Data Mining, Text Mining, Optimization, Econometrics and Forecasting.

SAS said it would allow current subscribers of other company products, including SAS/STAT, SAS Analytics Pro and SAS Enterprise Miner, to gain access to the same high-performance capabilities at no additional charge when they upgrade those products to SAS Business Analytics 9.4.

SAS also has combined its marketing automation, marketing optimization, realtime decision manager and digital marketing applications into an integrated set of marketing analytics applications called SAS Customer Intelligence. Added features include new A/B testing tools, new email campaign design capabilities, and the ability to quickly switch from inbound and outbound marketing campaigns.

SAS also unveiled an alliance with data warehouse system giant Teradata under which the two companies have designed an appliance based on Teradata's hardware platform and the new SAS' High-Performance Analytics applications and SAS Visual Analytics.

Septoff said the announcement of the Teradata 720 Appliance for SAS High-Performance Analytics especially caught his eye. "It makes so much sense to deliver an appliance that has the environment built in and ready to go," he said. "Plug-and-play, if you will. Again, quick to the point where our customers can see success and results."