Technology Connection offers R&D vision


“My goal is to constantly improve the quality and stability of our software while at the same time innovating,” said Vice President of SAS Resarch and Development Armistead Sapp yesterday at the SAS Global Forum Technology Connection. Hosted by Product Management Director Michele Eggers, the Technology Connection focused not only on technology direction, but on customer collaborations as well.

Customer collaborations

To kick things off, Eggers called on Vice President of Customer Engagement and Support Fritz Lehman who explained the creation of the new Customer Engagement and Support division, which combines Publications, Education, Technical Support, Customer Loyalty, and Professional Services and Delivery. Lehman said, “By becoming one division, we’ll have a better idea and a better way to know you and be more proactive with the services that we offer and hopefully give you a better experience.” He went on to explain how the division will provide enhanced support to customers through videos, how-to topics, documentation and a greater emphasis on online communities.

Next up was User Feedback Award Winner Eric Helmer from T-Mobile USA and SAS Consulting Director Jamie Thompson who together demoed SAS® Customer Intelligence and showed the powerful ways T-Mobile is able to prioritize and optimize campaigns more efficiently than ever before. Helmer said, “We don’t just want to send out more campaigns, we want to send out more effective campaigns.”

Technology direction

Senior Vice President of Research and Development Armistead Sapp took the Tech Connection stage next to share a little bit about his history at SAS, saying he’s worked at SAS for 25 years; he codes in SAS weekly; and he’s been to 27 SAS global user events, the first being in Atlanta and his favorite being in Hawaii, where he was actually under the stage for the opening session.

He also shared with customers and users R&D’s direction and major themes for 2014: Hadoop, in-memory analytics, SAS® Visual Analytics, SAS® Studio, responsive web design, digital marketing, decision management, fraud and surveillance, risk and regulatory reporting, data management, virtualization and cloud computing, and by 2015, making all offerings able to deploy within three hours.

Technology show and tell: Demos galore!

Principal Product Manager Amy Peters demoed the newly announced SAS® Analytics U, including SAS Studio, from her Mac. Using data from a grocery chain, Senior Director of Analytics Server Research and Development Oliver Schabenberger demoed the just-released SAS® In-memory Statistics for Hadoop and the soon-to-be-released SAS Visual Statistics, which will be available in July. Vice President of BI R&D Stuart Nisbet demoed SAS’ marquee data visualization software, SAS Visual Analytics, and showed the new word cloud functionality using SAS® Text Analytics.

Senior Associate Research Statistician Developer Patrick Hall demoed SAS’ machine learning capabilities in SAS® Enterprise Miner™ and Principal Research Statistician Developer Weijie Cai demoed SAS® High-Performance Analytics using data from SAS cafés.

You can watch an archived video of the Technology Connection at the SAS Global Forum site (skip ahead to about the 1:00:00 mark).


About Author

Lane Whatley

Sr Communications Specialist

As a Senior Communications Specialist, Lane supports SAS R&D in planning, coordinating, and executing its internal communications objectives. In this role, she writes and edits organizational and R&D-related content for blogs, internal social media platforms and the corporate intranet. Prior to joining SAS, Lane worked at the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University in a communications and outreach capacity.

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