SAS Continues Distribution Offensive With Expanded Carahsoft Alliance

Data analytics and AI software giant SAS is leveraging Carahsoft, its government contract vehicles and schedules, and Carahsoft channel partners to expand sales to U.S. federal government customers.

SAS is extending its partnership with Carahsoft Technology in a move to expand and streamline channel sales of its data analytics, data management and AI products to U.S. government agencies.

Under the new agreement Carahsoft will serve as a SAS Public Sector Distributor, making SAS software available to the federal government through Carahsoft’s reseller partners and various contract vehicles and government schedules.

The Carahsoft agreement marks the first time SAS has operated through a two-tier distribution model for U.S. government sales. In September 2023 the company said it was increasing the role of its indirect channels – including distributors – to spur sales growth.

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“Carahsoft is the leading US Federal distributor. They have access to a significant number of federal and local contract vehicles,” said John Carey, SAS vice president of global channels, in an interview with CRN. “We see a really huge growth opportunity in the government space, particularly around data and AI and the value that SAS can bring. And so expanding our portfolio and standardizing on the industry leading distributor made the most sense.”

In September SAS, headquartered in Cary, N.C., said it was doubling down on its partner strategy and increasing the role of indirect channels to generate sales. That announcement included a global relationship with distributor TD Synnex for commercial sales and an initial deal with Carahsoft to serve as a fulfillment engine for sales to federal government agencies. (Earlier this month SAS selected Redington as its distributor in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.)

Under the expanded relationship with Carahsoft unveiled this week, Carahsoft will deliver SAS products to U.S. government agencies through its own stable of more than 10,000 VARs, solution providers, government contractors and system integrators. Those products include SAS Viya, the company’ s flagship AI and analytics platform, and other SAS data management, analytics and AI software.

Equally important, Carahsoft will now offer SAS products through its own contract vehicles and government schedules including its GSA Schedule, NASA Solutions for Enterrise-Wide Procurement, Information Technology Enterprise Solutions – Software 2, The Quilt Master Service Agreement and OMNIA Partners Contract.

“Carahsoft is pleased to partner with SAS and maximize the reach of its solutions through our numerous contract vehicles and valuable reseller ecosystem,” said Craig Abod, Carahsoft President, in a statement.

“SAS has been serving the government since its inception, with over 1,600 global public sector entities currently using SAS products and solutions to effectively understand, predict and adapt to data insights. In combination with Carahsoft’s proven track record in the government space, this partnership will bring agencies the advanced AI and analytics tools needed to increase public sector productivity, make data-driven decisions and foster innovation and success for all levels of government,” Abod said.

Carey said that partners who work with SAS to sell the company’s software products to U.S. government customers can continue to do so.

SAS isn’t new to the federal government market: The company has been a government technology provider for nearly 50 years and its software is used within all 15 executive departments of the U.S. federal government and in state and local governments in all 50 states, according to the company. (SAS also works with Executive Information Systems and its GSA contracts to manage transactions.)

SAS had been looking for ways to grow its footprint within the federal government. “That is a key focus area because there’s some huge opportunities to provide value to government agencies and government departments with SAS solutions,” Carey said.

The availability of SAS Viya and other SAS products through the Carahsoft government vehicles and contracts “allows for Carahsoft’s partner community to take their expertise and our data and AI platform and evolve their own use cases, so that we can address even more value for the government customer, be that federal, state or local,” Carey said.

In fiscal 2023 SAS achieved its goal of generating 30 percent of new business revenue through its indirect channels. Long-range goals include continue to grow that new business percentage as well as move more renewable contracts and other business to the channel.