SAS Global Forum, at one remove

What a day (yesterday was)!

A flurry of press releases from SAS®.

Two caught my eye: SAS to offer R integration to support analytical innovation, and SAS and Teradata Announce Availability of Analytic Advantage and Optimization Services Packages.

SAS to offer R integration to support analytical innovation

SAS, the leader in business analytics, is expanding analytical options for its customers with a new interface to R open-source statistical software. SAS’ initial integration with R will be included in SAS/IML ® Studio 3.2 (formerly SAS Stat Studio) scheduled for summer 2009.



“It is no secret that SAS has been working on interfacing with R,” said Anne Milley, SAS’ Senior Director of Technology Product Marketing. “SAS and R are here to stay, and as organizations work to harness the full potential of their data, an expanded set of analytics options can only help.”

So if you want the R interface you need to license software (SAS/IML) that under-performs the software (R) that you currently use. I think that this is a brave step by SAS, but it looks a little misguided: the power of R is that it interfaces with SAS data and provides functionality not available in SAS and all of this for little cost (cost as effort, rather than just license dollars).

If R was being used as a marketing tool to try to sell SAS, I could imagine an antipathy or backlash developing in the R community.

SAS and Teradata Announce Availability of Analytic Advantage and Optimization Services Packages

Why is it that when we’re paying for SAS and Teradata we feel that we can expect to pay for their integration, but when one component (eg R, see above) is free, we expect the package should be free?

“Our partnership with SAS creates a highly innovative dream team focused on helping companies activate and optimize analytic model development and execution inside the database, where we see processing speeds increase as much as 45 times,” said Rob Berman, SAS Partnership Vice President for Teradata. “These two packages are just the beginning of an in-database planned portfolio of offers we’ll deliver to a market that is ready and waiting for it. In view of the economic pressures companies now face, these packages have come at exactly the right time.”



The Teradata and SAS partnership has continued to earn high marks from the analyst community. “Both SAS and Teradata are large, financially stable companies with loyal customer bases,” said Helena Schwenk, Senior IT Analyst at Ovum, in a new analysis. “More importantly, both companies’ software, applications and infrastructure are essential tools for helping companies beat the downturn – whether they are used to highlight cost reduction opportunities, improve supply chains, optimize inventory levels, help businesses understand risk or rapidly changing customer preferences and spending.”

I look forward to hearing more!

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