SAS CEO Shows Competitors No Brotherly Love

Updated: Calling SAS' business intelligence competitors "low end," CEO Jim Goodnight demonstrates Enterprise BI Server at the company's user group conference.

PHILADELPHIA—SAS Institute Inc. CEO Jim Goodnight derided many of his companys competitors as "low end" as SAS staked its claim to becoming a provider of integrated enterprisewide business intelligence technology at the opening session of the 30th SAS Users Group International conference here Sunday night.

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.

/zimages/6/28571.gifTo read more about SAS Enterprise BI Server, click here.

"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."

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read eWEEKs interview with SAS Goodnight.

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 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. is sorry for the confusion.

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