SAS launches industry-specific applications

13 June 2002 Business intelligence software supplier SAS Institute has announced the launch of pre-packaged analytic applications for three vertical markets: telecoms, banking and insurance.

Speaking at the company’s European user group forum in Paris, Jim Davis, chief marketing officer at SAS Institute, said that the applications, SAS Industry Solutions, offer “built-in industry knowledge combined with world-class data management and analytical technology”.

While several other key business intelligence suppliers such as Informatica and Information Builders have launched analytic applications for solving specific business problems in areas such as customer relationship management and supply chain management, SAS claims to be the first supplier to offer applications tailored to specific market verticals.

SAS Industry Solutions are now available for the banking and telecoms sectors. The insurance market product will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2002, says Davis. He claims that the applications will enable companies in these sectors to reduce “the requirements and design phase (of BI projects) by up to 90%”.

The applications included in the first SAS Telecommunications Intelligence Solution include strategic performance management, marketing automation, customer retention, customer segmentation, cross-sell/upsell, and credit scoring applications.

The company currently has around 200 customers in the telecoms sector. Meanwhile, SAS users in the banking sector, which number some 1,100 organisations worldwide, can buy applications for strategic performance management, marketing automation, customer retention and credit scoring.

“Companies like Informatica, Business Objects and Cognos have all attempted to redefine analytics as intelligence based on historical performance. As a result, the first wave of pre-packaged, canned analytic applications have not offered true value. You need to add predictive, high-end modelling into the mix and this is what differentiates SAS,” said Davis.

“The SAS industry-specific solutions clearly demonstrate a strong commitment to provide software that speaks the language of specific industries and that solves their unique pains,” said Bob Moran, an analyst from market research company Aberdeen Group. Nevertheless, SAS will need to combat widespread user perception that analytic applications are expensive and require extensive customisation.

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Ben Rossi

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