Bright ideas came to light as we closed out SAS Innovate 2024. 

Day three opened on a high note with a fun performance from iLuminate. After that, we jumped into learning about our partners’ work and SAS innovations. 

iLuminate performs at SAS Innovate

How partners are helping others  

SAS Vice President of Global Channels John Carey joined SAS Office of the CEO Executive Vice President Gavin Day to talk about how SAS is giving more business value to our customers. Carey started by thanking organizations that were recognized as global partner award winners. 

“These partners represent great examples of how, working together, we can do more,” he said. 

They were then joined by Chris Tobias, General Manager, SMG Americas, Technology Leadership and Software at Intel. One of SAS’ longest partnerships, SAS and Intel have collaborated for 20 years. The beauty of it is the combination of SAS® software and Intel’s hardware. How do customers benefit? Three ways: optimized computers, improved productivity and accelerated performance. As we say a lot, the speed of SAS® Viya® is 49 times faster than other commercial and AI platforms, all on Intel chips.  

Why does speed matter? It’s how you are able to get more done and reduce your infrastructure costs.
— John Carey

Tobias discussed the production and safety this delivers for our customers. He also walked through a few of the latest advances Intel and SAS are bringing to market that are now available as proof of concept. Not only that, but the Open Platform for Enterprise AI is also new to the partnership. “This makes GenAI much easier to implement,” said Tobias. 

Chris Tobias, John Carey and Gavin Day

How SAS and Microsoft are doing more together

Dipti Borkar, Vice President and General Manager, Fabric Strategic ISVs, Azure Databricks and App Development at Microsoft, then discussed how we – SAS and Microsoft – are better together. SAS Viya and SAS® 9.4 are available on the Azure Marketplace and supported in multiple languages. Now, SAS is integrating an extension called SAS Decision Builder into Microsoft Fabric.  

Shadi Shahin and Dipti Borkar

SAS Vice President of Product Strategy Shadi Shahin joined Borkar for a walkthrough of that.  

Borkar talked about Microsoft Workspaces, where data can be linked together or mirrored in so that SAS® Decision Builder can run on top of that. This is specific to leveraging what is in Microsoft Fabric, not a full intelligence decisioning experience. With this extension, we are targeting a private preview by the end of Q2.  

Stepping into the lab

Donning a lab coat, Shahin brought the science experiments to the stage to discuss digital twins, entity resolution and quantum computing. 

What is a digital twin? It is a mirror, a digital entity of something used to simulate “what if” scenarios.  

“If something exists in the real world, there is a good chance someone is working on it in the digital world,” said Shahin. 

Shadi Shahin and Mary Osborne

SAS Senior Product Manager Mary Osborne joined Shahin onstage to exhibit a supply chain management scenario. In a SAS dashboard, she walked through what can happen if a slowdown in production occurs. She used SAS Viya Copilot and a digital twin to run scenarios behind the scenes to determine outcomes, profit and loss and to give her information to make a better-informed decision.  

Entity resolution is the process of identifying and grouping data records from disparate sources that belong to the same real-world entity. Entities can be people, businesses, physical assets or even consumer packaged goods.  

“Entity resolution is a must if you are going to understand the data at hand,” said Senior Data Scientist Charles Cavalier. 

Cavalier walked Shahin through a visual investigator cluster and success stories, including tax fraud detection and prevention and applied AI and modeling. 

Quantum computing can process many inputs simultaneously instead of having to go through one by one. Applied AI and Modeling Director Jinxin Yi talked about the kidney exchange problem. About 100,000 people are in need of a kidney donation today. If you look at it, you have the recipient and donors. About one-third of those pairs are unacceptable, so how do we look at more than one and do a two-way or multiway swap? In an impressive show, Yi wowed the audience by demonstrating how this science integration and SAS® Optimization can make a positive transformation. 

Shahin closed by saying Innovate isn’t just an event; Innovate is who we are. 

Related: Learn more about quantum computing in this blog post

Looking forward to SAS Innovate 2025  

We’ve turned the page on this year, but we’re already looking forward to SAS Innovate 2025. Mark your calendars for May 6-9, 2025, in Orlando, Florida. This will be another great opportunity for attendees to discover what SAS is doing, learn new skills and meet up with old friends, so make sure those dates are on your calendar. 

Missed out on the action at SAS Innovate in Las Vegas? Sign up to re-watch the event on-demand!


About Author

Ginny Inman

Ginny Inman loves telling people’s stories. Having studied at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and earned her master’s degree from North Carolina State University, she uses her experience to communicate through writing and video production for SAS’s internal communications team. She enjoys using creative communication solutions to build projects from the ground up for SAS employees around the world.

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