Growing customer demand for cloud analytics and data visualization in 2014 were among the top drivers for SAS’ 39thconsecutive year of revenue growth. SAS posted US$3.09 billion, up 5.1 percent in constant currency (2.3 percent US dollars) over 2013.
“SAS is the market leader in analytics, and we plan to stay there,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. “SAS Cloud Analytics lets customers take full advantage of the cloud, and we are blazing trails with big data. We expect to be the No. 1 provider of analytics for Hadoop. And we offer the most powerful data visualization software on the market today.”
SAS® Cloud Analytics revenue grew 24 percent worldwide in 2014, as more than 400 customers in 70 countries wanted cloud technology for rapid access to analytics solutions. In response, SAS opened a new building at its Cary headquarters to house the growing SAS Solutions OnDemand team responsible for the development and support of SAS Cloud Analytics for customers such as Dignity Health.
One of the largest health systems in the United States, Dignity Health chose SAS to help build a cloud-based, big data analytics platform to optimize patient treatment through better data analysis.
Adoption of SAS Visual Analytics continued to surge. Introduced two years ago, the product is now licensed at nearly 3,400 customer sites, and revenue increased by 12 percent. Two new releases of the popular data visualization software gave customers a wide range of deployment options including public cloud, and the flexibility to use a variety of data sources, including Hadoop and SAP HANA. Customers including Italian wine retailer Wineverse, Brazilian bank Banco Santander and French retailer Schiever sought to increase customer insights and reduce operational costs with SAS Visual Analytics.
Other high-growth product suites included high-performance analytics, customer intelligence and data management. SAS fraud solutions also performed well, as organizations such as the commonwealth of Kentucky sought to reduce losses from fraudulent activity and rapidly changing threats.
Growth transcends borders and industries
SAS revenue grew globally, with strong growth in the Asia Pacific region and the Americas. Financial services, government, insurance, communications, manufacturing, retail, health care and life sciences continue to represent the highest proportion of SAS revenue by industry. Growth was led by a 23 percent jump from government organizations, including the US Social Security Administration, followed closely by a 21 percent revenue increase in life sciences. This category includes customers such as AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly.
Commitment to innovation keeps customers happy
Ongoing commitment to research and development is critical to SAS success and customer satisfaction. In 2014, SAS reinvested 23 percent of total revenue into R&D. In the last year, SAS aggressively brought to market advanced analytics software supporting customers’ growing use of the Hadoop big data framework. Such continued innovation around industry-leading solutions brought 2,045 new customers to SAS, increasing the total to more than 75,000 sites.
SAS’ strong partner ecosystem is a consistent factor in the company’s success, and last year influenced 30 percent of new sales and half of SAS’ largest deals. This includes substantial activity in fraud management, risk management and analytical platform modernization. To better meet customers where and how they consume analytic services, SAS enhanced its partnering efforts in 2014, including a global reseller agreement with distributor Arrow Electronics. The agreement made SAS products and solutions available to more customers worldwide through Arrow’s network of authorized resellers in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Last year, Arrow helped SAS recruit and train 80 resellers worldwide.
SAS leads in business analytics market share (per IDC) and is a leader in agile business intelligence according to Forrester, and is poised to remain at the top. IDC recently identified SAS as the top supplier, owning 35.4 percent market share of the 2013 advanced and predictive analytics market, more than twice that of the next-closest competitor. In addition, the IDC report ranked SAS among the top five providers with the highest growth rates in advanced and predictive analytics software.
SAS remains a leader in analytics in large part by listening to customers and adapting to their changing needs. Currently, market drivers like the cloud, big data and the Internet of Things are revolutionizing the software industry, and agility is key.
“As billions of data-generating devices become connected, the raw data they generate becomes collectively valuable,” said Jim Davis, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “The challenge is drawing insights from that data. SAS, as the leader in analytics, is positioned to do just that. Our continued reinvestment into R&D will bring some innovative new products to the market in 2015.”
This year, SAS anticipates continued growth in cloud analytics, BI/data visualization, data management and Hadoop, customer intelligence, security intelligence/fraud solutions and risk management. In 2015, strategic partnerships will receive renewed attention and investment.
Free software and training and university partnerships aim to close analytics skills gap
People are seeking SAS training in record numbers. To address a persistent analytics skills gap, the company launchedSAS Analytics U, a global academic initiative that includes free SAS software, university partnerships and engaging user communities that support the next generation of SAS users.
These free offerings saw tremendous uptake last year. Downloads of SAS University Edition topped 160,000. Students and academics accessed the e-learning courses more than 21,000 times and viewed video tutorials more than 650,000 times. SAS programming certifications were up 12 percent.
SAS is used at more than 3,000 education institutions worldwide for teaching, research and administration. SAS collaborated with colleges and universities around the world to launch more than 30 master’s degrees and 60 certificate programs in analytics and related disciplines. New master’s programs in 2014 included Michigan State University, University of Maryland, University of Missouri, George Washington University and University of South Australia. In 2015, new SAS education initiatives will further enhance those programs to multiply the pool of talent trained to use analytics.