Jim Davis kicked off the annual SAS analyst event. SAS sees their work on in-memory analytics in recent years as another major change in the way companies handle data and develop analytics, especially when combined with their work on taking advantage of this with their new visual analytics interfaces. This, he says, is going to be a theme throughout the day and throughout 2013 more generally.
SAS numbers good again – 37 years of profitable growth – and they are closing in on $3B in revenue. Revenue comes 70% from existing subscription revenue and splits 47% Americas, 41% EMEA and 12% Asia Pacific. New sales growth (double digit, up to 25%) came from Asia and secondarily from the US with Euro challenges and recession holding back Europe. Financial Services is still nearly 40% of revenue with government and services filling out the top 3. 13,500 employees now worldwide and continued partner impact (about half the top 50 deals and 34% of incremental revenue, about the same as last year) with Accenture the top partner.
Product growth came in a number of areas such as Advanced Analytics (8.8% growth, 30% of revenue), Marketing Analytics (14.7% growth), Risk (14.9%), Supply Chain (19.9%) and Fraud with a whopping 22.4% growth.
SAS is continuing to drive its hosted business with hosting facilities around the world (US, Canada, Brazil, Amsterdam, France, Germany, Japan, India, Singapore, Australia planned). Business is growing rapidly in this group and SAS is investing heavily in both the hardware and people required to support these deals as well as software functionality.
From a sales perspective analytics, data management and fraud seem to have broad appeal while fraud and customer intelligence showed strong growth in the US for instance. Strong SMB growth, lots of new inside sales teams with a focus on analytics, BI and data management for mid sized. Key GTM initiatives in the US include focus on visual analytics, information management, customer intelligence, fraud/financial crimes and risk management. SAS sees a strong funnel for 2013 and feels strongly that High Performance Analytics will drive extra growth and empower better industry solutions too.
Lots of new releases coming in 2013 including many releases of solutions to take advantage of the High Performance Analytics platform, SAS 9,4 in Q2, critical new Decision Management and rules capabilities in Q2/Q3. More on some of the critical releases as the conference continues.
Jim touched on some of the competitors like SAP HANA (in-memory but not seen as competitive on advanced analytics), Microstrategy (good mobile and reporting, not so much on advanced analytics), QlikView/Tableau/Spotfire (nice visualization interfaces,not so much competition in other areas). Each one he feels has some of what SAS has but none have all of it, especially the analytics component that ties in-memory to visualization. SAS feels that it has differentiation because it’s analytics support large amounts of traditional data as well as Big Data and deliver reactive (reporting,OLAP) as well as proactive analytics (optimization, forecasting, predictive analytics). In particular he feels that SAS’ focus on in-memory analytics rather than an in memory database positions them to drive their advanced analytics across larger datasets and Big Data.
One last thing. SAS has launched a try before you buy for Visual Analytics and the High Performance Analytics server, all running on Amazon web services. Very good response, lots of interest and thousands of legitimate prospects.
Dr Goodnight wrapped up the intro session with a live demo of the Visual Analytics product, including some of the integrated forecasting and predictive analytics.