Don't talk back to this company about business intelligence. SAS (pronounced "sass") specializes in software used for business analytics, data warehousing, and data mining activities employed by corporations to gather, manage, and analyze enormous amounts of data. Clients, mainly financial services firms, government agencies, and telecom carriers, use its applications to find patterns in customer data, manage resources, and target new business. SAS also offers software and support packages for other segments such as leisure, manufacturing, and retail. It has 400-plus offices in some 55 countries.
Cary, North Carolina-based SAS has customers in nearly 140 countries and more than 400 offices globally. The Americas is the firm's largest market, accounting for almost half of annual sales. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa represents about 40%. The Asia-Pacific region contributes about 10%.
SAS operates through two companies: IDeaS is a provider of pricing, forecasting, and optimizations products and services, whose clients include hospitality, travel, and transportation companies; Memex supplies intelligence and information management products to law enforcement and government agencies, and private industry that is used to combat terrorism, crime, and fraud.
SAS claims to have never experienced a down year since its founding in 1976. The company reported $3.02 billion in annual revenue in 2013, up 5% in 2012. It pointed to strong sales of fraud detection products, as well as analytics, information management, customer intelligence, retail, risk and supply chain applications as key drivers of growth. In 2013 revenue from all its industries grew, including an 18% spike in the energy and utilities sector, a 17% rise in health care, and a 16% jump in capital markets.
SAS budgets about one quarter of its revenue for research and development -- well above the 10% - 15% average.
SAS has expanded its core business intelligence product line with applications for financial management, marketing automation, data management, reporting, and risk management, among many others. The company works with partners such as Accenture, IBM, and Teradata to integrate its software with their products, extending the reach of its brand.
With an eye on the growing health care field, in 2013 SAS partnered with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine on a multiyear collaboration to develop analytics-driven population health management capabilities to personalize care delivery for patients with type 2 diabetes.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In November 2012 SAS acquired technology and staff from start-up company rPath, a North Carolina-based provider of system automation technologies. The purchase was aimed at broadening SAS's solutions and increase its cloud and on-demand domain expertise.