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SAS Performance Management Strategy Earns Industry Backing

Butler Group and IDC validate SAS as a leading player

SAS is a leading player in the performance management market based on its combination of technical depth and industry expertise. This is the conclusion of a recent research note from European analyst company Butler Group.

According to the analysts, SAS, the leader in business intelligence (BI), has a well-rounded vision for performance management, combining operational capabilities to clean, improve and integrate data, and to report and visualise performance. Complementing this strategy are forecasting capabilities and a wealth of tools for linking performance management processes to operational systems and predictive analytics to provide consistent insight required for process improvement. Thus, SAS addresses what Butler Group identifies as missing in many performance management implementations: bidirectional links between operational reporting, business objectives and plans, and initiatives that aim to model, predict and improve business process performance. “One of the most impressive solutions in this space comes from SAS,” said Tim Jennings, Research Director at Butler Group. Besides validating SAS’ strategy for performance management, Butler also gives the leading BI vendor credit for its level of expertise, replicated across all industry sectors it covers.

SAS launched its comprehensive portfolio of solutions in May under the heading of SAS Performance Management at SAS Forum International, the BI company’s annual customer event, in Geneva. The solutions suite is based on the SAS9 Enterprise Intelligence Platform.

“Performance management is no longer driven solely by Finance. Successful companies are beginning to use BI across the enterprise, including departments such as Marketing, IT and HR. We advise our customers to not be fooled by flashy dashboards with limited capabilities offered by some of our competitors. Only SAS solutions address technology issues within these departments and spanning the enterprise – enabling alignment around its corporate strategy,” said Chris Sporleder, Director of Solution Development at SAS International based in Heidelberg, Germany.

According to SAS, organisations evolve through distinct phases of performance management maturity. “What SAS is now being recognised for is that we provide a clear road map showing our customers how they can transition from merely reporting financial performance to the highest maturity level of actually improving corporate performance,” Sporleder explained. Only when organisations are able to draw conclusions from the software results and use this intelligence to adjust strategies and plans will they reap the full benefits of their performance management solutions, he added.

According to a poll of roughly 750 customers conducted at SAS Forum International, more than 55 per cent of SAS’ customers and prospects already have implemented a performance management initiative. While Finance still drives the initiative in 43 percent of the cases, about one-third of those polled said that other departments, such as IT and Marketing, were responsible for introducing performance management.

According to another soon-to-be-released industry analyst report, the market for performance management and financial analytic applications in Western Europe is growing roughly 12 percent per year. The same report also places SAS in the leadership category and predicts it will be one of the two top vendors in the future.

More information on both market reports can be obtained at SAS. Also available for free is a SAS-sponsored case study, written by IDC, revealing how a German hospital was able to improve corporate performance. The hospital showed a return on investment after taxes of roughly 570 percent just nine months after implementing SAS.