SAS Institute was digging into big data and analytics before
they were buzzwords de jour. The privately held company's software
is used for business intelligence, data warehousing, and data
mining by corporations to gather, manage, and analyze enormous
amounts of information. 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. Cloud-based apps are the company's fastest growing
business. SAS also offers software and support packages for other
segments such as leisure, manufacturing, and retail. It has
more than 400 offices in about 60 countries.
SAS operates two companies, both were acquisitions, that offer
products to specific industries. IDeaS provides pricing,
forecasting, and optimizations products and services for
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.
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.
The Europe, the Middle East, and Africa market represents about
38%. The Asia-Pacific region contributes about 13%.
Sales and Marketing
Banking continues to be the biggest single market for SAS,
accounting for a quarter of revenue. Other areas that contribute
revenue in double digits are government, 14%, services, 11%, and
SAS claims to have never experienced a down year since its
founding in 1976. The company reported $3.09 billion in annual
revenue in 2014, up 2.3% from 2013. Cloud Analytics and Visual
Analytics, both relatively new product areas, posted strong sales
in 2014. Other high-growth lines were high-performance analytics,
customer intelligence, data management, and fraud management. Sales
to government customers paced SAS' sector sales, growing 23% in
2014. Life sciences was close behind with a 21%.
SAS budgets 23% of its revenue for research and development --
well above the 10% - 15% average.
While SAS has long helped customers collect and analyze data, it
recently has developed cloud-based applications with key
investments. SAS Cloud Analytics sales grew 23% in 2014. The
company has engineered its cloud apps to run in the Hadoop cloud
software system or access Hadoop as a data source. Its Visual
Analytics products grew at a 12% rate for the year.