SAS Institute Inc. is expected to announce a version of its business intelligence platform next week that will take advantage of multithreaded processing capabilities to deliver faster processing of larger volumes of data.
At the SAS Users Group International conference in Orlando, Fla., SAS is expected to announce Version 9 of the SAS System, code-named Project Mercury.
"The idea is to increase the throughput by taking advantage of new architectures," said Arthur Carpenter, president of California Occidental Consultants, an SAS consulting practice in Oceanside, Calif. "Its a speed thing. It should help us to do more multitasking."
Carpenter, a member of the SUGI executive board, said he also expects to see more support for interoperability in SAS 9, particularly Web services integration and Web enablement. New data mining and data warehousing applications as well as vertical applications will also be in the mix, he said.
"SAS has always been pretty leading edge in terms of anticipating where the market is going," said Carpenter. "They make themselves very accessible and engage the users to find out what we need. Theyre very good about taking that information, storing it and recovering it. A lot of future direction comes from the mass of information they pick up at SUGI."
Carpenter said that while hes looking forward to seeing SAS 9 demonstrated for the first time at SUGI, this likely wouldnt be as significant a release as Version 8.
"This wont be a complete rewrite of code," he said.
SAS officials would not comment on the specifics of the release in advance of the show. The company did say, however, that it plans to also announce new versions of the Supplier Relationship Management and Portfolio Risk Management applications.
New features of the Supplier Relationship Management application are expected to include a supplier ranking tool for ranking suppliers according to user-defined criteria, such as price, quality and delivery, as well as optimization, which allows users to set criteria by which suppliers should be selected.
Burgess Perry, purchasing manager at Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Research Triangle Park, N.C., said he likes the supplier ranking tool.
"You run multiple scenarios, and it gets different results," he said. "It keeps the purchasing people honest so they dont manipulate the ratings to get the suppliers they want."
Perry said SRM was helpful in preparing Aventis for its pending acquisition by Bayer AG so that it could more easily align its purchasing with its new parent companys.
"It gives us the ability to look at the data more clearly and see how much were spending by supplier," he said. "Well be able to react more quickly once the acquisition is finalized."
Aventis began using SRM, which was first announced at last Aprils SUGI conference, last summer. Perry said the software has freed his department from having to rely on IT for its purchasing analysis.
"The purchasing people dont depend on IT," he said. "We get the data whenever we want, look at it whenever we want. We can see why were using a supplier and why were not using a supplier. We can tell if its a quality-of-service issue. It helps make the process more interactive without turning it into a big IT project running reports."