Business software giant SAS has unveiled a next-generation family of software products that are engineered to be easier to use and to take full advantage of cloud computing.
Randy Guard, chief marketing officer of the Cary-based company, hailed the new SAS Viya products as “a huge step forward for SAS.” The products were announced late Tuesday at the SAS Global Forum, the company’s annual conference for customers, in Las Vegas.
Guard said in an interview that the four new Viya products, which will be provided to “select early adopters” in May and will be generally available in the third quarter, are “just the tip of the iceberg. We have a lot more planned with Viya.”
All the Viya products are “cloud-ready” and can work with a number of different private and public cloud architectures in response to customer demand.
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“They are asking for more and more flexibility and the ability to put their applications in a cloud infrastructure,” which can be either a private cloud or a public cloud provided by third parties such as Amazon, Guard said. SAS’s cloud revenue grew by double digits in the first quarter.
The Viya products also are designed to be “easy to deploy, easy to use and easy to manage,” Guard said. “But,” he added, “we’re not sacrificing the power that SAS has always had.”
“When a client starts one of these new projects,” Guard said, “they want to be up and running and in test mode and in development mode in hours and days. We don’t want multiple days or weeks of installation.”
Corporations, government agencies and others use SAS business intelligence and analytics software to analyze their operations and forecast trends.
The Viya products also are the first SAS products that are “open” in the sense that SAS will provide customers with a public API, or application programming interface. That will enable customers to create custom applications that interact with SAS software.
Viya versions of two existing products are being introduced, including SAS Visual Analytics, which enables users to graphically portray large amounts of data to make it easier to pick out patterns.
In addition, two all-new products also will be available on the Viya platform. SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning can, among other things, be used to make customer recommendations based on past behavior. SAS Visual Investigator can generate alerts for investigators on the outlook for, say, fraud and then help them delve into the investigation.
SAS also unveiled two other products that are available immediately:
▪ SAS Analytics for IoT is a package of products, designed for the Internet of Things, that enables companies to focus on what matters by determining what data is relevant. They also help combine data obtained from device sensors with other types of data in order to make it easier to detect important patterns.
▪ SAS Customer Intelligence 360 enables clients to combine data from a wide variety of channels – e-mail, online and brick-and-mortar stores – into what Guard called “a customer decision hub.” Clients can use that data to improve their customers’ experience.