Last week, SAS held its annual analyst conference in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where SAS leaders and SAS customers spoke to a room full of industry analysts about the direction of SAS products and business strategy for 2011 and beyond.
It's a pretty exclusive event, so not many attend. But - lucky for those of us who couldn't be there and still want to get the inside scoop - many of the analysts have already written blog posts recapping the event. I'm providing links and excerpts here from a few of my favorites:
Mark Smith, CEO and EVP of Research at Ventana, says SAS is "no smalltime mover and shaker when it comes to the analytics industry." He gives a very thorough review of SAS partnering, product development and market direction in his post, SAS Institute: The Multi-Billion Dollar Business Analytics Supplier. Here's my favorite excerpt:
If you have not considered SAS for technology and applications in a range of business analytics, look again; there are many great business-friendly offerings that can provide great value. SAS is transforming and simplifying its efforts, bringing its offerings into the cloud, which is part of the reason it has been able to grow without having to increase its consulting services organization. SAS has also opened up and worked very closely with consulting services firms that can help use its technology to transform management and business processes.
Cindi Howson, founder of independent analyst firm BI Scorecard, offers careful insights on the new SAS direction for business intelligence:
Looking ahead, SAS plans to release a new version of its BI suite this fall. The company has reorganized, focusing more than 300 developers on improving the user interface, a move that affects not only the BI suite, but also the presentation layer of its industry-specific analytic applications (SAS Solutions). SAS is increasingly leveraging Flash and is also looking at how to design once and render many ways as it moves to support BI anywhere (desktop, browser, tablet, smartphone) and in any interface (dashboard, visual exploration, query, or Office).
James Taylor, wrote a whole series of posts from the event, but this one about the product road map gives a nice overview of upcoming product releases and also links to the other posts in the series. James gives a nice warning up front that, "has a lot of products and even this summary was a lot," and ends with a "wow," at the length of the post. He also says,
Operationalizing analytics is key to getting value – must be able to push models into operational systems to get value from them. Model Manager is getting an update to better manage the workflow of deployment and monitoring. An additional area is a focus on business rules to help really operationalize these models once they are deployed, turning models into decisions.
Certainly there will be more to come from the analysts throughout the year, but I wanted to share some points from these initial posts. You'll feel like an industry insider too if you follow the links to read more.