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Growth was fueled by analytics platform, cloud, and fraud and security intelligence solutions

SAS had much to celebrate in 2016. The analytics leader commemorated its 40th anniversary, expanded operations globally and continued to achieve revenue growth and profitability, posting US$3.2 billion in total revenue. That’s up 4 per cent in constant currency (1.3 per cent USD) over 2015. New software sales increased 9 per cent in constant currency (7 per cent USD), signaling continued demand for SAS Analytics solutions.

“We aim to help every customer turn analytic insights into value. We do so by adapting to changing markets, working with disruptive technologies, and remaining relentlessly committed to innovation. This has allowed us to remain a leader across core markets while providing innovative solutions to our customers’ most challenging business problems,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight.

In the UK & Ireland, SAS recorded 5.6 per cent year-on-year growth in total software revenue. The results were achieved through deals secured across a number of sectors including financial services, retail and public sector.

Charles Senabulya, Vice President UK & Ireland, commented: “We achieved this revenue growth against a testing backdrop of political and economic uncertainty. For me, our success came down to listening to and working with our customers to understand exactly what business challenges they were facing and the pain this created for their businesses – and how we could help them address this as a strategic analytics partner rather than simply being a software vendor. We managed a very strong finish to the year and the UK & Ireland is now well placed continue this momentum to deliver again in 2017.”

 Global growth

Revenues grew worldwide in all geographic regions. Asia Pacific and Latin America saw the highest growth as customers in those regions adopted more strategic uses of analytics. All regions grew revenue in SAS core technologies, including data management, analytics and business intelligence. By industry, banking, government and healthcare/life sciences grew most.

Last year, nearly 3,000 new customers sought value from SAS solutions. They bring the ranks of SAS customer sites to 83,000 worldwide including Boston Bruins, Finnish railway VR Group, Imperial College London, Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, Ireland/UK-based financial group AIB, and New Orleans health clinic CrescentCare.

To meet customer demand in 2016, SAS opened new customer-facing facilities in Dublin and Paris, and a Detroit office to support growth in auto manufacturing. A new office tower is under construction at SAS’ Cary, NC, headquarters.

 2016 Growth drivers

The explosive growth of data has driven a proliferation of data management and analytics within enterprises. To realize the full value of their data, organisations look to SAS to help drive insights from data that impact decisions and operations. Forrester defines this capability as an enterprise insight platform suite, an integrated suite of data management, analytics and insight execution. Forrester[1] named SAS the sole leader for enterprise insight platform suites in 2016, stating that SAS offers “best-in-class analytics coupled with a breadth of good data management for streaming, virtualisation and master data management” along with “a balance between strength of current offering and a platform strategy”.

Forrester added that organisations “looking to simplify their heterogeneous data management and analytics architecture should consider embracing SAS Viya as an enterprise insight platform as more of it rolls out in 2017.” New software sales in analytics, data management and foundation tools grew by 8 per cent, representing more than half of total new revenue in 2016.

Additionally, cloud continues to impact SAS growth, with associated revenue rising nearly 9 per cent, due to market demand for cost-effective, convenient and secure methods for accessing SAS solutions. SAS continues to find new ways for clients to access SAS’ solutions and expertise through offerings like SAS Cloud Analytics and Results-as-a-Service (Raas). RaaS, which experienced a dramatic increase last year, will continue to grow in 2017 as customers see a rapid return on investment and the ability to tap into SAS’ advanced analytic solutions and talent base without having to incur the cost of building their own internal teams.

Among SAS business solutions, fraud and security intelligence grew by 36 per cent as organisations face the imperative of fighting fraud and financial crimes and addressing regulatory compliance in areas such as anti-money laundering.

SAS partners influenced nearly a third of new sales. SAS’ strong channel programme of resellers, OEMs and managed analytic services providers focused on helping customers implement SAS technology in ways that best fit their individual needs, and those of their own customers.

 Continuous innovation

Analysts named SAS a leader in predictive and advanced analytics, customer intelligence, data management, data integration and data quality. According to IDC[1], SAS holds a 31.6 per cent share of the advanced and predictive analytics market. SAS has also been recognised by industry analysts as a leader in fraud detection, risk and retail analytics.

Maintaining this leadership is heavily dependent upon innovation. Year after year, SAS reinvests about twice the average of major technology firms into R&D – 26 percent in 2016. This unwavering commitment to innovation is behind the ground-breaking new SAS Viya technology – dubbed by analysts as changing the industry. SAS continues to introduce new innovation around this open and cloud-ready high-performance analytics and visualization platform – most recently with SAS Visual Investigator, which marries advanced analytics with dynamic and interactive visual workspaces. With it, organizations can identify, investigate and govern the entire life cycle of an investigation, search or inquiry. SAS plans to introduce even more to the SAS Viya family in the first quarter of 2017.

Looking further ahead in 2017, SAS will continue innovation in its core focus areas, including analytics, visualization, data management, customer intelligence, risk and fraud. Additionally, SAS Viya, artificial intelligence, cloud and IoT will be strong investment areas for SAS.

 Making analytics accessible to all 

Recently, Money magazine called SAS Analytics “the most valuable job skill.” To bridge a persisting analytics skills gap, SAS makes it easy to build those skills. SAS University Edition provides free access to SAS software so anyone can learn how to analyse data. Thousands of professors, students and researchers take advantage of free, cloud-based SAS OnDemand for Academics. Downloads and registrations of these two products have reached more than 900,000. Free e-learning resources and online tutorials help users get started in SAS. And, for young students learning to code, SAS recently introduced the free CodeSnaps app.

SAS’ deep bench of analytics solutions continue to improve the world by using data to solve issues around poverty, health, human rights and education. From helping Arizonapublic health officials fight heat-related illnesses to predicting the risk of suicide among Canadian youth, SAS analytics change people’s lives.

[1] “The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Insight Platform Suites, Q4 2016.

[1]IDC’s Worldwide Business Intelligence and Analytics Tools Software Market Shares, 2015: It’s Still About Self-Service.