In my 15 years working for SAS, the company image has evolved quite a bit. I no longer have to explain so much to friends and family when they say "you work for who?" SAS is now well-known as a supplier of business intelligence and analytical solutions, as well as a fantastic employer.
Even though SAS (the company) now appears regularly in various publications, cited often for its enviable employment practices or its dominant software offerings, my heart still skips a beat when I see the company name in print where I don't expect it.
And now I see it more often than ever, but sometimes it's a "psych" moment. It's in part due to the rise of software-as-a-service, also known as "SaaS" and (sometimes lazily as "SaS"). This isn't like other name collisions, where the business of SAS Institute is obviously much different than that of a Scandinavian airline or a shoe manufacturer. No, this is more confusing because SAS has offerings that can be considered SaaS.
Here's a tip: when you are searching the web for information about SAS (the analytics software or the company), make sure to include one or two extra keywords to disambiguate your request. For example, instead of searching for "sas features" for the latest features, try "sas 9.2 features" or "sas stat features". (It's funny, but I have the opposite problem with another one of my favorite topics.)
As amateur scientists around the world know, SAS Institute does not have exclusive rights to words with "S" on both ends and "A"s in the middle.