Business analytics delivers value throughout economic downturn
SAS, the leader in business analytics, achieved global revenue of US$2.31 billion in 2009, up 2.2 percent over 2008 results. Despite poor economic conditions, SAS maintained its unbroken chain of growth and profitability for 34 years since the company was founded.
“Our continued growth in 2009 is further proof that investing in long-term relationships with customers and employees and maintaining a deep commitment to R&D pays,” said CEO Jim Goodnight. “We not only weathered the downturn, we came out ahead.”
In Belgium and Luxembourg software revenue rose 7.4 percent in constant currency terms and exceeded the €33 million total software revenue mark. Patrick Van Deven, Country Manager of SAS Belgium & Luxembourg, is very proud of the local offices achievement, as this result was realized in a year of recession, and after two record years of double digit growth. “Our results clearly support our conviction that we can only succeed if we solve business problems and deliver clear value for our customers”, says Van Deven.
Revenue from software sales alone jumped 3.3 percent at a time when software revenue of major vendors has been declining. SAS reinvested 23 percent of 2009 revenue in R&D and, as Goodnight promised a year ago, ended the year with no layoffs due to economic pressures, underscoring the company’s commitment to innovation and employees.
“In January I told employees there would be no layoffs,” Goodnight said. “I wanted them to stay focused on customer needs and not be distracted by issues related to corporate viability. The result is that we continued to grow in the downturn and we are ready to launch exciting new products in 2010. The momentum is greater than it’s ever been for this company.”
Sales of Business Analytics strong in 2009
In Belgium & Luxembourg the strongest sales growth has been realized in retail, where customers intensely invested in forecasting, optimization for Sales & Operations Planning, and customer intelligence. Despite the crisis the financial services sector further invested in modernization of business analytics, marketing performance, risk and financial management. Public sector organizations continue to improve external transparency by setting up modern BI platforms for the citizen and they started looking at ways to analyze and manage risk and fraud.
Tough times drive sales of recession-fighting solutions
2009 results mirrored 2008 in that customers sought SAS solutions to grow revenue via maximizing effective customer relations and better managing operations and costs through risk management. Analytics, customer intelligence, data integration and risk management solutions grew the most.
Among industry-based solutions, growth rates were highest in banking, government, health care, insurance and retail. Of note are increased sales to financial services, which account for 42 percent of total revenue. These companies turned to SAS to help them navigate changes in customer needs, business models, and government and central bank oversight. “To show growth in this sector is a real achievement,” Goodnight said,“ and shows the confidence financial services companies have in our ability to partner with them to solve complex business issues.”
In the government sector, which accounts for 15 percent of SAS revenue, key concerns include declining tax revenue, managing service levels and transparency. “We are seeing growing interest in using data as a strategic asset to combat fraud, make sure taxes are collected most effectively, and ensure that citizens are getting the most for their tax dollar,” Goodnight said.
Sales to retail saw a 12 percent spike despite a very challenging environment for that sector. “Double-digit growth in retail is particularly noteworthy,” Goodnight said. “We’re helping retailers price products and stock stores, taking into account regional, local and even store-level buying preferences of their customers. Retailers have very tight margins and we continue to help them find ways to improve them.”
SAS revenue was distributed around the globe: The Americas accounted for 44 percent of total revenue; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 45 percent; and Asia Pacific 11 percent.
Eighty-three percent of the 120 countries where SAS does business saw growth in software sales. Among mature markets, growth rates for software sales were highest in the U.S., the UK, Canada, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, ranging from 6 percent to 17 percent in constant currency. In developing markets, double-digit percentage gains were achieved in most of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, and pockets of Asia and Latin America.
SAS’ global footprint grows
SAS gained 1,389 new customers from around the world in 2009. Customers new to SAS include: Anglopharma, Bombay Stock Exchange, the Clorox Company of Canada Ltd., Efficiency Unit, Fiat Automóveis, Lego Systems Inc., Loyalty New Zealand, Niagara Health System, RH Donnelly Inc., Telefonica, TV 2 AS (Norway), WestJet, Wet Seal Inc., Wistron Corp. and Vattenfall.
Deploying powerful business analytics has been commonly associated with large corporations; of the top 100 companies on the 2009 FORTUNE Global 500® list, 93 are current SAS customers. In the US, 80 percent of new commercial accounts are small and midsized businesses (SMBs), showing that organizations with annual sales under $500 million recognize the value of business analytics from SAS.
Effective partnering yields results
SAS’ growing network of alliance and channel partners played an integral role in
25 percent of new sales and half of the top 50 global deals. Of note are strategic initiatives including partnerships with leading business consultancies and systems integrators, expansion of in-database activities across multiple partner platforms, and a continued focus on building third-party channels.
Partnerships with global systems integrators such as Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte, and Wipro Technologies offer customers the specialized resources and expertise to leverage SAS Business Analytics throughout the enterprise. As the enterprise software business landscape continues to change, SAS will continue to work with such companies to create innovative analytics-driven solutions and new delivery methods to meet our clients’ needs.
In addition, SAS continues to drive the momentum of in-database analytic innovation with technology partners such as Teradata and Netezza. SAS understands the importance of this computing shift and will continue to lead industry efforts in this area.
With economic recovery in many parts of the world off to a slow start, organizations will continue to focus on improving customer-centricity, enhancing top-line revenue growth, and optimizing their businesses in 2010. SAS will help by providing a business analytics framework that grows over time and enables quick, meaningful decisions, risk analysis and optimization solutions to save money, customer intelligence and marketing automation to grow revenue, and social network analysis to sniff out fraud and uncover terrorist threats as well as business opportunities.
“We live in a global economy,” said SAS Senior Vice President Jim Davis. “Not everyone is turning the corner at the same time. In 2010, we need to realize where the opportunities lie and how to approach those opportunities based on whether that particular region is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”