SAS is one of the most stable and well-respected vendors in enterprise software. It has had 35 straight profitable years. SAS has for decades been known as one of the most humanitarian of companies and one of the best software vendors in which to work, however, what we are observing across the enterprise software space is that jobs are becoming more difficult. It is much more common to find companies – epitomized by Epicor, that are primarily run for the benefit of executives. This trend is very harmful to future implementation success ratios, and it is disheartening to hear about standards of how employees are treated being lowered even at SAS. Because of the way that SAS treats employees, SAS provides one of the most experienced and most knowledgeable groups of consulting resources in forecasting, and that is a differentiator for the company. SAS has been an independent private since its inception, and for SAS will be independent in the future. Oracle cannot come and buy SAS, and then reduce development, support and product quality – which should count for something when companies look at the risk of their enterprise software purchases.
AS is not only rated as a good place to work in its home country of the US but its international locations as well. Interestingly in a time of great outsourcing – which invariably has to lead to lower quality, even the childcare workers at SAS work for SAS itself.
Quality of Information Provided
Known for a conservative sales philosophy, which is quite rare, particularly for a software vendor of SAS’s size. Part of the reason for this is that sales are not as well compensated versus other functions as it is in other software vendors. SAS provides good quality information. This is true of sales, and several employees of SAS are authors and are published through SAS Press – a longtime publisher that has written on SAS software and related topics. When SAS makes statements, they are in most cases true, not only regarding their products but also about concepts. For instance, there has always been a great deal of hyperbole surrounding the business intelligence field. However, SAS has consistently been a voice of reason. One example of this was in deflating the marketing hyperbole generated by SAP and Oracle, who are cynically promoting their HANA and Exalytics “products” as items that make much more of a contribution to BI than they do or will.
“These in-memory approaches like SAP HANA are basic business intelligence on steroids,” said Jim Davis, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at SAS. “But you can’t do high-end analytics on them as they are database-bound systems.” – Enterprise Apps Today
Jim Davis of SAS is correct on this point. Certainly, SAS is trying to win converts, but a historical analysis of SAS’s statements demonstrates that they are typically true. When SAS says something, it most often makes sense to listen, which is normally not the case with the larger software vendors.
Consulting and Support
SAS has many experienced consultants of excellent quality. We do not have enough information to comment on SAS support.
SAS has historically had good internal efficiency, but as with any company of significant size (and SAS is now 7000 people), SAS has its challenges with bureaucracy.
SAS has been a historical innovator. Its Current Innovation Level is still relatively high.
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The Necessity of Fact Checking
We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.
Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?
If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.
In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.