Did you know the first SAS® Users Group event took place before SAS was incorporated as a company? In 1976, hundreds of early SAS users gathered in sunny Kissimmee, FL to share tips and offer feedback before SAS was even officially a company. Our users have continued to influence the direction of our products ever since. And we continue to be keenly interested in the customer experience.

Since today is Customer Experience (CX) Day, I’ve been reflecting on my time at SAS and how I’ve seen that commitment grow over the last few years. I remember my first SAS users group conference in 2001 when I was a new product manager at SAS. Attendees told me how much it meant to them that we were there to listen and learn about the ways they used SAS products and the value SAS had for their organizations. The peer interaction that happens in the SAS community continues to inspire me, and I consider that peer interaction to be an essential ingredient of the SAS customer experience, too.

Since that time, our customer experience program has grown roots and become a key driver in the decisions we make as a company. The feedback and input we receive from our users fuels our growth and allows us to focus on the products, services and overall experience that matter most to you.

Consider this example. Recently, our newer users told us that it can be overwhelming to get started with SAS and to find all the resources they needed to improve their SAS skills. We understand there can be a learning curve with any new software, and we wanted to make it easier for anyone – from students to professional data scientists – to reap value from SAS immediately.

In response to this feedback, we created a SAS Starter Kit and a SAS Communities space just for new users. The starter kit makes it easy to access free training, support and services. And the communities space pairs new users with SAS pros who enjoy sharing their experience and answering even the most basic questions.

What should we do next to improve the customer experience? You tell us. Next week, we’ll send out our global customer satisfaction survey to continue collecting feedback from you, our customers. If you’re invited to participate, we hope you will take a few minutes to provide candid feedback so we can continue to improve.

And you can always reach out to any of the SAS Cares channels listed below (click the image for a PDF with clickable links).

Contact information for SAS channels. Click for pdf.

You can learn more about the top enhancements resulting directly from customer feedback on our new SAS Customer Experience news site. This site is updated often, so check back to stay informed.

At SAS, customers are at the heart of everything we do, and your experience is our passion. It’s our promise to continue to listen and act on your input in meaningful ways – on CX Day and every day.


About Author

Randy Guard

Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer

Randy Guard is responsible for the SAS brand, providing global, strategic direction and marketing vision for SAS® products and solutions. He oversees several operational business units, including global marketing, product marketing, go-to-market, sales enablement, customer experience management, corporate communications and creative services.


  1. Hi Randy,

    I have been using SAS since 1990 in a university setting, and I know that there are quite a few others that have been using it at least as long as I have.

    Recently, when asking a SAS Tech Support representative about when the next level of SAS foundation was going to be rolled out(I have 9.4 M6 currently), they told me that there was considerable discussion about rolling up Foundation SAS into SAS Viya and having SAS Foundation, which many of us use, go away.

    Please don't even think about doing such a thing!

    Many loyal customers would be very upset about this who are looking only for features to be added to what is already very good!

    Please consider the following:

    1) Not everyone wants there data and programming to be done on a cloud.

    2) Consider making Viya functionality an extension for SAS Foundation which would follow the pattern and logic of your previous development.

    I hope that you will take my advice to heart.

    All the best,


    • Alison Bolen

      Hi, Todd. Thank you so much for your feedback. While we’re moving more and more of our development efforts to the cloud, we don't intend to force all customers to the cloud. We know there are a lot of customers who still require on-premise installations, and we'll still have options for customers who aren’t moving their data to the cloud.

      -Alison Bolen, SAS blog admin

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