At the conference this week, SAS is announcing its Enterprise BI Server, which features Version 2.1 of Web Report Studio, a product SAS officials are positioning against technology from Cognos Inc. and Business Objects SA.
"Today, more than ever, theres no reason organizations need low-end reporting tools like Cognos and Business Objects," Goodnight said to a round of spontaneous applause from the SAS users gathered at the event. "We offer everything from simple query and reporting up to complicated forecasting and predictive analytics."
Goodnight spoke of other new technologies SAS will be demonstrating at the conference this week, including upgraded forecasting; a new ETL Studio product to visually build and manage data extraction, transformation and loading processes; and the companys continuing efforts to make its technology easier to install.
But it was clear the Enterprise BI Server is the star of this show.
"This is going to allow you to distribute SAS to all departments and all end users in your organization," said Goodnight, during a demo of the Web Report Studio 2.1 product, a major component of the Enterprise BI Server. "You wont have to contend with other vendors."
Goodnight was joined on stage by a number of noteworthy customers during the opening session. An executive at Citibanks Citicards group spoke of using SAS analytics technology in combination with ESRI Corp.s geo-analytic capabilities—the integration partnership is a key new feature in SAS Enterprise BI Server—to better visualize customer data. A Home Depot executive talked about how the company uses SAS predictive analytics technology to predict customer buying patterns and inventory shifts. And the CEO of Major League Baseballs Advanced Media group, which runs the MLB.com Web site, described how SAS analytic technologies powered the groups customer relationship management activities, which won it the SAS 2005 Enterprise Innovation Award.
Meanwhile, SAS Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jim Davis announced that more than 20,000 copies of SAS 9 had shipped since the platform release was announced last March, which led to the company recording more than $1.5 billion in revenues in 2004. SAS in turn put 26 percent of those revenues back into research and development.
Davis told SAS users they are "ahead of the game" because they are using predictive analytics to spot business trends rather than relying on historical reporting.
Editors Note: This story was updated to reflect that SAS CEO Jim Goodnight said "low-end" rather than "low-rent" in reference to the companys competitors. eWEEK.com is sorry for the confusion.